Tuesday 31 January 2012

Do you have to follow the Curriculum?

Yes, another of those common HE questions all of us Home Educators have been asked at some point.  Well, if you haven't yet, you will be.  This time I answered differently with a Yes!  My curriculum.  Completely perplexed due to the obvious misunderstanding of the word curriculum.  I found she just stopped asking questions incase she got more confused!  Fantastic.

I know she meant the national curriculum, but she didn't really specify.  Seeing as the definition of curriculum is basically  a plan of what is going to be taught, to an individual or group, I thought my answer accurate.  Whilst letting me have a little chuckle inside! 

It was like at the museum the otherday, the lady at the front desk asked 'No, school today?'  Don't get me wrong, the woman wasn't being negative towards home education, that was obvious from her body language.  It was just yet another of those situations where she had no knowledge of home education.  Well, at least she didn't ask me if it was legal, like I was some sort of criminal hee hee!  (No, really people do ask that sometimes!)

She did ask the same question but specified National Curriculum.  So I answered slightly differently with, no, I use my own curriculum.  She then flowed with questions.  The first was what qualifications do you need to do this?  Her eyes enlarged when I said none.  I mean do parents have to do special qualifications on child care before they have their baby?  No, that would be most ridiculous.   Then she asked, who checks up on you to check your educating them properly?  Grrr!  I gritted my teeth as I could plainly see that this woman simply needed a little deschooling and educating about the right to home educate.  She looked as if she was about to climb over the counter she was leaning so far over it towards me.  No one has to, I informed her.  I stated that social services don't come into everyone's home to make sure people are looking after their children properly.  That they wouldn't unless they have good reason to believe that there are problems. Well it's the same with the LA why should they interfere unless they've good reason to believe a child's education is being neglected.

Of course then the usual socialisation questions came in to play.  I said how home educating children's social skills tend to be much better as they don't pick up all the negative socialising that happens at school.  She answered with I know why you must do it - defensively.  I think she realised she was coming over all interrogating so she stopped and changed the tune to general chit chat in attempt to make it known she didn't mean to sound nosey.  But I didn't take her that way.  you know when you can tell the difference between genuine curiousity and judgemental policing of HE by the general public.  This one was definitely the former.

I don't know why I humour conversations like this, I think it's because I see it as a chance to educate people about home education and that it's a choice that people can make.  Especially when they're not closed minded people.  Then in came our friends and when she saw home educated children socialising, the shock stunned her and that was the end of that, silence.


  1. The folks I wanted to be rude to most were the ones that tried to test my children on their knowledge etc.... I worked in a museum, my kids came with me and they had a couple of folks they avoided due to the "test questions".lol I wondered of they did the same to school children to check if they were learning ok.lol DD had to get to uni before anyone would take her autonomy seriously and realise she might just have learnt enough to get by without school.

  2. They most definitely do not test school children lol! I hated when the plumber came round once and asked my 5 year old if she could spell knight. Grrr! That was irritating! People like that are so rude.

    However the other day 2 electricians came round and loved the idea of home school and thought school a complete let down and waste of time. Education comes in all sorts of shapes :)