Sunday, 2 August 2009

Why Heretic?

First, a little background. I never once thought of sending my daughter to school and so educated her myself until she was fifteen. This was a very enjoyable process for both of us and after taking a number of IGCSEs she enrolled at college to take A Levels. One of the things that struck me over the years was that the home educating "community" seems to be dominated, at least in Britain, by so-called autonomous educators. Many of these people seem to be almost fanatical in their devotion to this style of education. To an outsider, they can almost appear like some peculiar cult, particularly since a lot of ideas to which they subscribe appear more than a little odd to outsiders. They also grow angry very quickly if anybody questions, let alone challenges, their beliefs. For this reason I decided to call myself a "heretic", in the sense that my ideas are utterly beyond the pale for these people and opposed to all that they hold dear. (I also have a suspicion that some of them would cheerfully watch me being burnt at the stake in the style of a real heretic!).