What’s been said?
Two recent reports from the Lincolnshire area illustrate well the scope and flexibility of home education and how it has enabled two girls to pursue their interests. We follow these with news of a positive recommendation of HE featured on the BritMums website.
On 5 July Young Travellers’ Times (“made BY young Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people FOR young Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people” and aiming to “challenge stereotypes and celebrate the talents of young people from these communities”) published “Samantha Bryan’s journey to Arts Award success on elective home education“.
“I am home educated as a lot of other young Travellers are,” writes Samantha from Grantham. “I find that this suits me better than school as I can concentrate on the subjects that interest me as well as my curriculum studies… I have loved every minute of my Arts Award”. Her work was graded Outstanding.
Home-educated eight year old Amelia Durdy from Doncaster was playing her flute in Lincoln city centre when a curious CSO asked her Mum why she wasn’t at school. Lincolnshire Live reported on 9th July that “the pair didn’t fall foul of the law as soon as Fiona explained that Amelia is home schooled.”
In the BritMums article (1st July), Kate Davis-Holmes headlines her own experience of home education, “It’s not scary: 4 benefits of home education”. Reminding readers of the growing popularity of HE and how celebrities such as Stacey Solomon and Nadia Sawalha home educate their children, Davis-Holmes highlights four key advantages. (Sawalha also recently commented briefly on her own HE journey in the Metro)
Why does it matter?
Samantha emphasises, “The end of school definitely does not mean the end of your education!”, pointing them to the Lincolnshire Travellers Initiative which has supported over 30 young travellers through their Arts Award or facilitated their involvement with youth charity The Princes Trust.
The flexibility of home education shines through young Amelia’s story too, as she is able to develop her considerable musical talent by attending a young musicians’ weekend music school and playing at events such as “weddings, old people’s homes and benefits for the food bank in Doncaster.” Who says home educated young people are invisible?
No doubt readers could add personal testimony to confirm Kate Davis-Holmes’ experience. Have we not witnessed increased mental wellbeing as youngsters find themselves free from the stresses of school, or appreciated the freedom and flexibility of a diverse curriculum, sharing life skills as they happen, in the home or in the community? We can identify with her joy in sharing her love of learning in the context of a family adventure together, and see the benefits of working with the individuality of each child, particularly in the case of children with SEND needs.
What can I do?
Be encouraged that you are not the only one ploughing this furrow – others are home educating and the outcomes are encouraging. Keep stories like these in mind so that when you encounter people who are unconvinced about HE, you have something positive to tell them. They might even prove useful as anecdotal evidence when you are speaking to your MP.