In the last few days, people commenting here have put forward several possible ideas as to what might be stopping other parents from home educating. One of these was that very few people do it and that it involves going against the trend. Another is that some people might not be aware that home education is a legal option. Both seem pretty feeble explanations of anything!
When we embark upon a new enterprise, whether it is buying a car, doing electrical work around the home or arranging for our children's education; the onus is firmly upon us to establish the legal position. if I fail to insure my car and when caught, I claim that somebody in the pub told me that I didn't need insurance, this will not be a good excuse. It is up to us all, when starting a new enterprise to look into the matter and find out the facts and legal situation. From that point of view, arranging your child's education is no different from any other project. If we can't be bothered to check out the legal situation beforehand and simply take the word of friends and neighbours for what the law is relating to this, then we can hardly be surprised if we end up in a muddle and don't get to the facts.
That other people send their children to school, therefore some people feel that they too should send their children to school, is an even worse reason for not home educating! My neighbours go to the pub and also drink wine with their meals. This is very common; one might say everybody does it. I am a temperance man though; I do not drink alcohol. By the sort of reasoning that has been used to explain why parents go ahead and send their children to school without thinking about it, I suppose that I would be joining the man next door at the pub of an evening and drinking alcohol with him. After all, it's what everybody does. Remember at school when you tried to justify some foolish action by saying, 'Please sir, Smith did it first and I copied him?' Do you recollect what the teacher used to say? 'If Smith jumped out of the window, would you jump after him?' Precisely. If, as adults, we see our friends and neighbours engaged in a foolish or harmful activity, we really are not obliged to copy them. Somebody said here that most parents don't even think about possible alternatives to school; if true, this only compounds the felony, it is not a mitigation at all.
Quite apart from all this, I don't really believe for a moment that many parents in this country have not heard, even in a vague way, about home education. Almost everybody is aware of cases like Ruth Lawrence, even the popular papers carry bits about various child prodigies who have not been to school. It is generally known that some children do not go to school, but are instead educated by their parents at home. The real reasons that people do not choose to home educate have little to do with either peer pressure or ignorance. It is a lot of trouble and generally means remaining poor. Add to this the fact that most people would not wish to spend all day with their children and I don't think we need to cast around any further for an explanation of the popularity of schools and the fact that few people educate their own children. Occam's Razor triumphs again!