The education law as it stands at the time of writing clearly states that a child's education is the responsibility of the parents.
Most of us are ( in my mind ) duped into think school is compulsory which it is not, education is compulsory, which you will see if you read the Education Act.
Therefore I find it really odd that lots of home-edders are causing such a stink lately about not being given free this and that, including exam centres and access to labs and such. The word people are forgetting here is choice. You make a choice. Okay it is the biggest pain in the butt if you choose to send your child to school and the school does not deliver or provide what you see as a safe and appropriate environment for your child BUT...if ultimately if you take your child out of school, or home educate them in the first place, you are doing no differently than those who choose to follow the independent school route...they have to pay and pay they do...mostly it seems they get what they pay for, but my gripe is why do home educators suddenly think they have all these rights to free funding and equal rights to accessing those facilities that school children have access to...they are not in the school system, the school system provides them yes, but you have chosen not to be in it. I am not talking about things out of the system such as access to commercial things like Leisure Centres and private educational facilities such as Science theatres...then I feel it is a bit unfair if a certain section of society is being denied something that others do just because they are coming at it from a slightly different angle but their aim and use of the facility is the same ...but in that case the gripe should be with the provider and has nothing to do with the school system.
Come on you whingers in the home-ed community...why should you get everything for free...if you get it for free then let everyone get it for free including the independent schools' lot as well. That is in my opinion a crazy notion...deciding to home-ed is not a decision any parent should take lightly and with it goes the responsibility of YOU providing that education.
Stop whinging it is hard to find exam centres...did you ever think it would be EASY? The system is geared up for school children...you are not in the system.
Stop whinging that correspondence courses cost so much...Hello, are we even on the same planet?...why should someone write courses free just for you?
Stop whinging that it takes up all your time...erm yes...home-ed is a lifestyle it is a 24/7 thing.
Stop whinging that your kids are driving you up the wall...erm if they were in school they would be driving the teacher up the wall...if you don't like spending time with your kids why did you have them and why did you even contemplate home education...or maybe it is a discipline thing...I am not even going to go there!
Education is not a game...mostly education doesn't just happen...some does through the spirit of adventure but the things such as the 3Rs are not going to drop out of the proverbial sky into your child's lap. You have to put effort in.
I could say we have survived the home-ed years but that would make it sound like it was a chore, nothing done with love is a chore...yes it was hard at times...there were times when I was throwing up with stress for days on end...did I whinge? No! Did I crumble when those outside sought to interfere? Internally yes... but I kept a hard exterior and fought for what I knew was right...and might I add won! I went into this lark a mouse and came out a Lion. I did not just educate my child, this family was strong in the beginning but is even stronger now. We have all learned a lot, academically obviously but also about what is really important in life, who we are and what we need.
I make it sound as if the home-ed years are over but as DS pointed out to me when I mistakenly said we had come to the end of a journey that no we have not come to the end. After all these years this is now a way of life...and a way that DS said he will always live. He always wants to be learning new things, meeting new people and improving himself. He is a confident intelligent young man whom I am proud to call my son and these last few years are ones that I will treasure forever. Fellow Home-edders when you are whinging and moaning just remember that so many parents rarely get to know their kids like we do...the kids don't truly know their parents. I remember the old school days when ds was so exhausted he would come home flop on the sofa and veg, it was hard to get any idea of what he done that day out of him...there are situations like that all over the country every day sad as it is that is a lot of folks way of life...be thankful that it is YOU that your kids spend the majority of their waking hours with each day, instead of some teacher than you may have met once or twice if you are lucky...you get the quality time, you have the time and opportunity to become a real family whilst others are moaning that they never get any decent time with their kids.
Phew, that feels better...and yes after 8/9 years of doing this lark I think I am entitled to an opinion on this!
Doxie, getting down from her soap box.