Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The next generation of home educators

One of the parents commenting here is unusual in that she was herself home educated. I have been wondering lately what the feeling of home educated children is towards not being taught in school like everybody else. In particular, I was curious to know of any of the older home educated children or young people have expressed any interest or desire in educating their own children in this way.

The public pronouncements of some of the more well known home educated children are not encouraging. In recent times , We have heard people like Ruth Lawrence and Edith Stern say that they wish their own children to have 'normal' childhoods; which clearly suggests a degree of dissatisfaction with the way that they were raised. However, such people are probably not typical of home educated children. Like John Stuart Mill, they were taught intensively by their fathers and the education they received was probably not a common one in the British home education scene today. My own daughter does not really care for babies and children and has said that if she had one then she would want others to take care of it as much as possible!

If the experience of home education is a good one for children, then I should think that quite a few would be eager to repeat this sort of childrearing when they had kids of their own. I have heard of one or two cases in the USA and, as I say, one of the people on here belongs to this category, but that seems to be all. Have other people's children ever expressed any thoughts on this? There must be thousands of young people in their early twenties who were educated in this way and the numbers are swelling every year. Will we will be seeing the emergence of a family tradition of home educating? I am thinking that this would be a real endorsement of the practice; that those upon whom it was used, then chose to use it themselves upon their own children. Does anybody know of such cases? With an estimated eighty thousand or so home educated children, it must surely be happening from time to time.


  1. Interesting post Simon. I would love to know if there are others who were home educated and then home educated their own childen. I know of a couple people who live in Devon who were home edded by their mother and they went on to home educate their children. I am not in contact with them now though.
    Other than that I have never met another home educator who was home educated.
    My eldest dd has said she might home educate if she ever has children, whether she does remains to be seen.

  2. I do know of one mother who home educates who was herself home educated but she is American. Interestingly though my mother has said if she had her time again my brother would never have stepped foot inside a school. My brother is autistic and was bounced from one special school to another and did for a while have a home tutor provided by the LA. At the time (this was during the 80's) my mother knew nothing of home education and she has told me more than once that sending him to school is something she deeply regrets.

  3. "My own daughter does not really care for babies and children and has said that if she had one then she would want others to take care of it as much as possible!"

    I think it's difficult to know how a young person will feel when they actually have children. I remember happily stating that children should be left to cry themselves to sleep before I had children. I felt very differently once mine were crying!

    I would also have said that someone like your daughter should not have children if they have no intention of bringing them up themselves - how judgemental we can be when young. I have since seen relatives have children and use nurseries and work, often with little choice, and have seen that their children are fine. Still not something I would choose, but also not something I would oppose for others.

  4. I have 4 daughters 17 - 25 all home educated; all express the desire to home educate their own children when ( or if) they have them - oldest married but diagnosed fertility problems :-(

  5. Hi:

    I'm dying to know more about the same topic. In latin america I hear about is the colombian hilosopher José Antonio Zuleta, he home educated his kids, and they hate it!.
    In Chile some of the granchildren of Kathleen McCurdy, pioneer of HS in the country, are currently being homeschool. (her web page: http://www.familiaescolar.com/)