What is in a name? Why I don't home school

Admin

Administrator
Thank you to the Serendipitous Home for reminding us of the importance of getting the terminology right when it comes to elective home education in the UK, and for questioning the motives of the media (and others) in portraying it relentlessly as 'homeschooling'.

What is in a name? Why I don't home school

I have been contemplating the slow burn shift that has been happening in the UK. There has been a move away from calling what we do, Home Educating. And a move towards it being called Home Schooling. Obviously not everyone does it, but more and more (and I am sorry to say, it is mostly new people to the HE community) are doing it.

I have a bit of a problem with it and here is why.

Home education, although not the most perfect name for what we do, is very different to home schooling.

Home schooling conjures up in people's mind, kids sitting around a table (or a classroom at home), doing school at home. And perhaps that is what you do, and so, in that case it is probably an accurate term for you.

However, everyone else may not be like you- which is why I think we (who don't home school) jump on the media when they use such a generic term.

I haven't quite worked out if the media are using the term deliberately or not. I can swing both ways, depending on how shiny my tin foil hat is that day. On one hand it could just be ignorance. On the other, it could be a clever ploy, to make an association between what we do at home, and what schools do.

Home education, provides scope, to encapsulate many different philosophies of education. It is of course our right, under the current education act, to 'educate otherwise'. That means you can sit at home doing bookwork, or you can be off at the park learning naturally, or unschool (again not a fabulous title), you can come under a Charlotte Mason approach, an autonomous method, use classical schedules, or any other approach or combination you choose, that best works for your family.

Probably the biggest beef I have with referring to it as home schooling is that, when you put us in the same box as a school, then you open up the door for people to expect us to be treated like schools.

Schools have Ofsted- therefore homes should have a similar thing.

Schools have monitoring and registration- so therefore homes should have a similar thing.

Schools have funding- so therefore homes should have a similar thing.
And on it goes.

This is why, I am not quite willing to give the media the benefit of doubt. I do wonder, if referring to it constantly as home schooling, plants the seed in people, that we should be monitored the same way as schools.

I have never claimed to be a school, I don't come close to looking like a school, and I certainly do not want to be lumped together with schools.

I am not a school. We are a family, in a home, learning, as is our right, as the current law gives us freedom to do.

It worries me, that the more we refer to ourselves as 'home schoolers' the more we wear down the divide between us, and traditional educational settings. People come to expect the same things from us, that society expects from their schools.

We are very different. And that is ok. It is ok to be different. We have our own identity, our own purpose, our own philosophies and our own ways of educating our children.
:clap2: :clap2:

I have lost count of the journalists and editors I have berated for getting the terminology wrong. Elective home education, or just home education, covers the spectrum of approaches and is referred to in statutory guidance.

Let's call it what it is: home education, not homeschooling.
 

mirky

HE
Absolutely! I think it is a statist ploy, a mahoosive nudge, an almighty shove to disempower loving families - making them feel inadequate and ill equipped to do exactly what they are called to do. To raise up a damn fine generation of independent minded whole human beings. Vive la resistance!
 
I object to it because I'm better than a school! Everyone seems to call it home schooling now, even when I'm talking to people and referring to it as home education. I sometimes say that I teach him at home as it just sounds a bit less formal and sometimes that feels more appropriate.
 
eek!

I am one of those new Home Educators calling it Homeschooling when people ask if my child is at school yet :( It's not that I prefer the term but it seems to be more easily understood. To be honest neither of these terms feel like they describe what we do. And neither does 'unschooling', which is more about what you're not doing!

I strongly believe that we should have the choice of how to educate our children. After reading Serendipitous Home's comments I shall endeavour to tell people we are Home Educating ... until a better description comes along!

However we describe it, we love it ....
 

Diane

HEdups
I have always hated the term 'Homeschooling' and have always used 'Home Education'. I wish I had written the blog post, but that's OK because 'Serendipitous' wrote it so well.
 
eek!

I am one of those new Home Educators calling it Homeschooling when people ask if my child is at school yet :( It's not that I prefer the term but it seems to be more easily understood. To be honest neither of these terms feel like they describe what we do. And neither does 'unschooling', which is more about what you're not doing!

I strongly believe that we should have the choice of how to educate our children. After reading Serendipitous Home's comments I shall endeavour to tell people we are Home Educating ... until a better description comes along!

However we describe it, we love it ....
We've been home educating for eight years and I still don't really understand what unschooling means! :) Although my son only went to school for two terms so perhaps I didn't need to undo too much?

It's funny how language affects things; I've tended to just plod through our education, doing what feels right or necessary at the time. I think it can be hard for other people to understand, particularly as I don't have the words to describe how we do it; to say, "we just get on with it, really" doesn't seem to be enough for other people to get their heads around. 'Home schooling' does seem to be a more recent description; when we started out everyone I met referred to it as home education but more and more now seem to call it home schooling. Perhaps we should start calling it 'useful education' and be done with it ;)
 
I've been thinking about this today ... For me, when we're asked, I think it might be the word 'home' in 'home educating' (it sticks in my throat to say that). I wonder if it doesn't suggest, hmmmm, I don't want to say 'inferior', it's definitely not that, but perhaps this kind of education is perceived by others as being of less value, or a lesser quality. I know this to be the furthest from the truth ...

I'd much rather describe what we do as a 'natural education'. Yes, that would sit better with me.
 
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