Thursday, 27 May 2010

Encouraging news for home educators

There have been a couple of very encouraging news items recently, suggesting indirectly that home education is a good thing. One was by Nevada University in America. They discovered that a jolly good indicator of how a child will do academically is the number of books in the home. This is more important than class, parents' income or parents' educational attainments. Work by the National literacy Trust in this country pointed in a similar direction. A brief account may be seen here;

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/7763811/Children-more-likely-to-own-a-mobile-phone-than-a-book.html

Piles of books is often one of the most noticeable features of homes where a child is being educated out of school. I found this research interesting because all too often income and parents' education, whether they went to university and so on, are singled out as important factors in future success of the child. Just having loads of books in the house seems though to be even more important as a predictor of future academic achievement. Often, we get sidetracked into the idea that good teaching at schools is connected with good outcomes for the pupils. It is probably more the case that industrious and well behaved pupils attract the good teachers to the schools in the first place and that home background is really the key to understanding why kids from some schools do well and those from others fail miserably.

In short, it is parents and how keen they are on books and reading which might provide the key to how children get on educationally, regardless of whether they attend school or not. This is very good news for those of us whose homes contain (a.) thousands of books and (b.) a child who did not go to school! I have felt for many years that this is a very important facet of education in both schooled and home educated children; it is nice to see my preconceived ideas confirmed in this way.

20 comments:

  1. You said you cant trust reseach into home education? apart from Badman reseach! which you agreed with! or have you forgotton?

    Why dont we have free books for all home educated children?

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  2. This is not research into home education. It was a large survey of children at school in the USA and a smaller sample of children in this country. If you want books for a home educated child then charity shops are a good source. This is where we acquired most of ours.

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  3. So you now prefer a survey over research? you never told Badman that?

    We buy our books brand new have no need to use a charity shop! sorry to hear you had to shop in a charity shop.

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  4. Depends on the research. A large, whole population survey by a university can throw up interesting information. If the research is of a small sample by a biased reseracher, then it might not be so useful. You have to judge each case on its merits. Tell me, who do you think should pay for these 'free' books that you want?

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  5. Badman research was biased yet you agreed with him at once!

    The government should pay after all ever child matters! may as well see where some of that tax payers money goes!

    if theys not enough money for this i suggest no colour TV's for people in Jail along with a number of goods they get some have assess to a gym computers playstations xbox games and much more! some also enjoy trips out to shops and soical events amazing!

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  6. It is just amazing that families don't have books, but I know it is true; really sad though that a whole generation seems to be growing up without a love of reading. My daughter always struggled with some aspects of English language because of her autism, but certainly it is reading good books which has had the greatest impact on developing those language skills.

    We always have used a lot of second hand book shops, and also the various HE small businesses which spring up from time to time which sell childrens fiction. I do use Amazon often for textbooks, but find there is a better selection of most good fiction in many charity bookshops. We also use the libraries as much as we can, although it seems that often classics are consigned to the library stores and you have to keep asking for them; the shelves are often full of trashy novels!

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  7. Yes, I visit homes where there are stacks of DVDs and a television, games console or computer in every room, but not a single book. Many schools don't really encourage books. A lot of homework involves searching the Internet; no mention of going to the library. For many children, books are simply not part of their lives.

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  8. Simon says-Yes, I visit homes where there are stacks of DVDs and a television, games console or computer in every room, but not a single book.

    why are you visiting these homes who for the LA? you then report to tell them this family is no good? not doing home education the Simon way!

    do you give these family the books your daughter no longer needs? and tell them to ask they LA to give them books like Julie appears to get from HCC? but not every one in Hampshire is allowed to have these books!

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  9. Oh Peter - do wake up - Simon works for a charity helping parents fighting the LA, not the other way round!

    As for us, yes, we were offered a set of books (about 20, I think) from some Govt school scheme - (not Bookstart but for year 7 children) which we use as a library for anyone in the group who wants to use them. Frankly, it was a willing gesture but most of our families are well supplied with their own books,so won't make much impression. As a group though we do forge links to make sure that our members do get whatever is going - for example we make sure all babies and pre-school children get the Bookstart scheme stuff which is normally handed out through nurseries and we make links through things like art galleries- a group of HE children did the Bronze Arts Award last year at Southampton Uni art gallery. If you want to benefit from what local groups are doing for their members, join one!

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  10. Julie said...

    Oh Peter - do wake up - Simon works for a charity helping parents fighting the LA, not the other way round!

    who would want Simon fighting the LA for them when we know he does not like home education and agrees with LA telling lies and bullying family's Simon also always blames parents for everything its never the nice LA fault is it Simon? you have to be crazy to want him to help you! what ever charity he works for they wanna get rid of him at once LOL i drink to that! im sure Simon work for his LEA maybe as a spy?

    you where offered books but not other home educators you think thats right? ALL home educators should be offered books not just one or two small groups and Jan Lewis dos not make the effort to help ALL home educators only the chosen few? you think that is right Julie?

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  11. Peter said "you where offered books but not other home educators you think thats right? ALL home educators should be offered books not just one or two small groups and Jan Lewis dos not make the effort to help ALL home educators only the chosen few? you think that is right Julie? "

    I think it is a good use of resources to share them where they can be used by a large number of home educators. Sharing them out to all HEers in Hants would mean everyone got a few PAGES each....not a lot of use, but at least this way the 150 families in our group can borrow them. Likewise any thing that goes to the North Hants groups will be available to benefit 250 families.

    Obviously some things will be offered to all individual home eduators- the exam centre which is being organised not far from you is one example. As soon as it is finalised I will make sure that you are personally sent the details so you can benefit from it Peter!

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  12. or Matt 7.6 perhaps?

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  13. Julie -Obviously some things will be offered to all individual home eduators- the exam centre which is being organised not far from you is one example. As soon as it is finalised I will make sure that you are personally sent the details so you can benefit from it Peter!

    Ahh Thanks Julie but the details should come from HCC/Jan Lewis? who so far has refused to make her self know to Peter and how she may be able to help? you think that is right? how does all of this square up with David Kirk writing to say that NO resourses to be given to home educators? nothing at all has been offered here to Peter apart from threats!

    books can be shared by all home educators not just in a group? you could give out one book at a time?

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  14. I am sure Jan will be in contact when the centre is up and running!

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  15. Julie said...

    I am sure Jan will be in contact when the centre is up and running!

    i dont think she will!(Jan shown no hurry so far to contact Peter!) i still dont understand what her job is do you Julie? i wonder how much she gets paid by us the tax payer?
    they something very fishy about her and her real role towards home education!

    Peter and I do enjoy our chats with you Julie but your often wrong about everything LOL I think you make a good home educator if you could escape from Simon(he is LA staff all but in name) and his crazy ideas LOL time for coffee! and cake

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  16. I wonder if I could apply for an educational grant for more bookshelves (and walls on which to mount them)? I remember reading a lot as a child, including such seminal works as the "AA Book of the Car". I picked up a lot of casual knowledge from them, plus reading all the school textbooks so I knew most of the year's schoolwork before it was taught, making the lessons into revision sessions.

    In recent months my son has picked up the reading bug - it's a wonder how he manages to get into bed at night, given all the books he keeps on it. Perhaps he ought to go sleep on his bookcase.

    As for piles of DVDs and computer games, some of those can be very educational, although probably in most cases they aren't.

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  17. Dave says-wonder if I could apply for an educational grant for more bookshelves (and walls on which to mount them)?

    why not? you should be able to if it is for your son after all every child matters! write at once to your LEA and ask for this let us know what they say?

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