Saturday, 27 April 2013
What is wrong with people??? Part 2
Another irritated complaint about the sort of things people say on home education lists. This one relates to the Education Otherwise support group. Somebody posted there yesterday, full of pleasure and enthusiasm for the speed with which her twelve year-old daughter was zooming through academic work in preparation for IGCSEs. In fact things were going so well, that the mother was thinking of letting the kid sit the examinations early. Cue comments along the lines of, “Why are you doing this? Why not let your child decide for herself what she studies?” The suggestion was made that “many” mysterious "agencies" had found that it was “damaging” for children younger than sixteen to take IGCSEs. These “agencies” were not named and so it is hard to know what was meant by this. Even Fiona Nicholson, who really ought to know better, advised caution and talked of the possibility of being oppressed by examinations.
This is all so absolutely bizarre, that one hardly knows what to make of it! A child is rushing through work at a rapid rate, as many do when they are being taught one-to-one, and there is no indication that there is any pressure or stress involved. Actually, children out of school often enjoy learning things and take pleasure in working quickly through academic material. It is in school that this kind of thing is an onerous chore; you seldom find it with home educated kids. The mother was, in effect, being advised on a home education list run by a major organisation in this field, to slow her child down and discourage her from learning so fast!
I must point out that a number of people, including a woman who comments regularly on this blog, then popped up and said that their children too enjoyed studying and made very rapid progress. But how extraordinary that the first response to news of a home educated child studying and making good progress should have been that there was some sort of problem that needed to be dealt with and that all could not be well in that family for the mother to be considering IGCSEs a little earlier than they are taken in schools!