Hatfield mum explains why home education is perfect for her family
PUBLISHED: 10:44 10 January 2019 | UPDATED: 11:03 10 January 2019
Teaching your children at home is not what most parents would opt for, but for some youngsters it works really well, according to Hatfield mum Jane Teather.
The mother-of-two has one child who is home-educated and one who went through the mainstream school system.
Both children have succeeded and both had an education that suited their individual needs, she explains.
Jane’s daughter Eleanor attended Birchwood Primary and Stanborough School and has now grown up.
Her other child Freddy is gender fluid and prefers to be addressed by the pronoun ‘they’.
Jane said she knew when Freddy was four years old that her youngest child “would not be happy in school.”
She states that Freddy , now 16, “hated noise and was bored by enforced learning”.
Having worked in a further education college, Jane had observed some home-educated children and was astounded by their politeness, confidence and dedication to their own learning.
“We do something called autonomous home education which is based on following a child’s interests “ Jane said.
Jane cites the late home education expert Roland Meighan and in particularly finds his theory on purposeful conversation highly effective with Freddy. Meighan believed students should determine their own way of learning.
Seeing herself as “very much a facilitator”, most of the learning is attained mutually through research, conversation and being able to ask enquiring questions.
Jane refers to them as “the big questions”.
Freddy and Jane also attend a weekly social gathering for home-ed families and take part in educational visits.
Tutors are brought in for GCSE exam tuition in subjects chosen by Freddy and sometimes that is done in a small group with other home-schooled children.
The mother of Crawford Road explained that the main misconceptions are that home-schoolers are socially isolated and are not able to suitably develop skills for adult life.
Clarifying, she said: “Freddy has loads of friends. Home-education does involve some level of routine.
“Plenty of adults struggle with that, regardless of their education.”
Freddy’s mum concluded by saying: “I quite firmly believe if I had sent Freddy to school that they would have been turned off learning and life would have been more stressful.”