Thursday 23 October 2014

Aren't you keeping them out of the real world?

Aren't you keeping them out of the real world? 

This is a question I was asked yesterday during a conversation on Home Education started by an acquaintance, my inner thoughts went...

THE REAL WORLD! I cannot believe how many times I have heard it and how many more times I am sure I will hear it. Why do people think that sending their children to school will teach them about the real world, about real life challenges?  


Being in school does not teach a child how to deal with trials in life...

If you are a child in school and a peer began to bully you, you cannot run away, you cannot fight back and often you feel trapped and depressed.  You cannot leave the situation as a child.  

If you are an adult and a peer tried to bully you, you would deal with it entirely differently; you would have the freedom to walk look away, look for a new job, go to a different coffee shop, shop at a different store. People are more likely to listen to you as an adult.  

As a child who was badly bullied at school, I can tell you that often I wasn't believed by adults around me who were suppose to protect me and look after me.  Society failed me, so don't expect me to trust it now!  The past is in the past.  I am no longer the victim but I am NOT chancing having my girls go through that EVER.

Not having my girls in school does not mean that I am shielding them from the real world. Kids are kids and some have less empathy than others, some take longer to learn that empathy therefore 'bullying' can still occur - sometimes adults haven't learnt about empathy. Sadly, sometimes they never do.  

My girls have a mixture of friends, some boys, some girls, some that attend schools and some who are educated at home. They get their fair share of what people who ask this question call 'the real world'. There is one difference: they are not stuck in an institution controlled by adults they barely know who they are and, in my experience, can't care less most of the time; they are free to come to me, to go home or simply remove themselves from any grief they get. That is a much more real world, I would say.  The less empathetic child can be talked to immediately but by their parent, someone who knows them and cares about them and also knows how to help them best.  I have one that is less empathetic and I know because of that she is best close to me until she learns more empathy.

What sort of mindset a child who is being bullied in a school have with no choice but to attend everyday have when it comes to abuse - that is what bullying is - not a healthy one.  What sort of mindset does a bully end up with?  Again not a healthy one, bullying weakens the spirit both for the bullied and the bully.

Anyway, forgetting bullying, we all have things in life that we have to endure, all of us with our own very different battles but I love the fact that home education allows children the freedom to see the real world.  

I  think of it this way: one day they are going to fly the nest and I want my girls to be ready for the world that can be so cruel harsh at times.  No one can escape the ups and downs of life, but I want them to be prepared, brave and strong and to know that I am always going to be there for them.  I want to teach them this in a safe place, learning without the fear or intimidation.  I want to explore feelings of all kinds and learn to understand themselves and have compassion for this world.

So what real life situations are in school?

To me there are no other real life situations.  Think about it, if there were why would children in schools need those field trips to supermarkets, the butchers or even play areas in parks if that were true.  They are kept out of the world so much the schools have to educate them about these things. That is a truly sad thing I think.

What is real about having to sit tests?  Being forced to learn a certain way.  People trying to mould you to believe the governments way is right; society is just planning on building a robotic world where very few are truly autonomous in their living - that's what I think anyway. Why should be believe everything we are taught?  Why is it when a child questions a teacher's teaching, does the child have an attitude problem?  We as adults question each other all the time.  We are just learning from each other aren't we?  When my children questions what we are learning we research it out together.  They are not squeezed into a box they don't fit into.  Ever.

I don't like the idea of my children going to an institution like this, feeling that all adults are above them to be obeyed without question.  Sounds dangerous doesn't it?  It can be!

What made me most cross about this question was, why was he so concerned for my children and my life?  Surely he has a life of his own.  Why are people so rude!


  1. Can I lift some of your sentences as I am being asked about home education tomorrow and this sounds so much better than the words I had written. Thank you

  2. And so say all of us!! Brilliantly put x