Wednesday, 8 February 2017

This IS my Home Ed


It's flying around social media at the moment, following the recent flurry of media attention on one family who utilises gaming a lot in their home educating lives.

I get it, I do. My first thought on reading the initial article was, "Oh my god, what were they thinking?" And I'm not gonna lie, there's still an element of that. When home education is already under attack on an ongoing basis, publicity that attracts that kind of negative reaction is going to be met with fear and frustration from those who hold dear this freedom that we have to educate our own children, meet their individual needs so flexibly, and do so without undue interference from those who would often like to.

So yeah, I get it, I get that people are frustrated and fearful and confused that someone would perhaps, potentially, put all that at risk.

Not my home ed though?

This absolutely is my home ed. Not necessarily because of the seven hours a day of videogames. Although that is a big part of our lives, particularly for Sprout! But the seven or however many hours a day of children engaged with, and absorbed in, something that interests them, something that they love. Something that they're learning from. Because, believe me, if they're interested and enjoying it, they're learning from it. Whether it's videogames or dancing, cooking or tree climbing, painting or reading, swimming or horse riding: a child that has chosen that thing, and continues choosing it, is learning.

 Sprout and Moppet with a Fallout 4 T60 power armour cosplayer, after chatting to their team about how they made it. Sprout has now just finished building a 3D printer in order to make his own Fallout 4 cosplay veteran ranger helmet and accessories.

So this IS my home ed. I hold it very dear. It's not just mine, and that of every home educator in this country, but every school child too, because at any time, should a parent find that the school system and method isn't meeting that child's needs, that the parent is actually legally responsible for getting met, they can say no. No. I know what my child learns from, and it's not schoolwork; it's play. Or dance. Or videogames. Or geocaching. Or gardening, animation, documentaries, chatting, and gymnastics. Or all of those things. Or none of those things. Or just one of those things for a whole year until the child has learnt all the maths, geology, Cold War history, architecture, geography, US history, art, grammar, etiquette and aesthetics they're interested in from that one game they've been completely absorbed in day and night... and then off, away, engaged in another thing and full of joy with it and its new threads of interest. 

So, yes. #yesmyhomeed

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