One of the regular objections made by teachers and other professions in the field of education to the idea of home education is that one or two untrained people cannot replicate all that modern schools provide. This is quite true of course; they can’t. How could I ever have found the time for the endless risk assessments and drawing up of policy documents? There were no CRB checks, no Ofsted inspections. We had no cleaners in the evening to straighten the place up and prepare it for the next day, nor did we hold regular staff meetings or arrange Inset days. We had no staff room, no proper facilities for sport, no laboratories, the child was left unsupervised for long periods of time because we did not arrange a supply teacher to cover my absences due to shopping and so on. From a school point of view; the enterprise was a disaster waiting to happen.
I posted a link a short while ago to a family who live round the corner from me in Buckhurst Hill. This mother is doing A levels with her kids very successfully. She used to be an opera singer. Others with no background at all in education do GCSEs. The whole notion that one needs a school to do these things is of course nonsense.
The one thing which I have a slight doubt about is how the personality of home educated children turns out after spending so much time in adult, rather than children’s company. This factor is pretty much the same whether the education has been structured or unstructured. The less time that children have spent at school, the more likely they are to present as a little strange and atypical, at least compared with other young people who have attended school. Those who are deregistered at the age of twelve or thirteen seem OK, but I have to say that young people who have never been to school often come across as a bit odd. Not necessarily a bad ’odd’, but odd none the less. They speak differently, dress differently, often have their hair done differently; they are just a bit…different. This is not of course a bad thing in itself, just something I have noticed.