If any home-edders are having a wobble this month, don’t despair. A quick glance at social media will remind you that you are doing the right thing. Everywhere I look at the moment, I see posts by concerned parents who just instinctively feel that their 6 year olds shouldn’t be taking phonics tests or key stage 1 SATS. I read articles about the ridiculous content of test papers and the stress put upon children and teachers across the country. It is madness.
I have wobbles, not major ones but wobbles nonetheless. I have days when I find myself nagging my 6 year old to do more, because his friends at school will be doing so much work and he must not fall behind. These days are thankfully rare and I know this is because I am so schooled myself, it is taking a long time to shake my understanding of education. Both children can read and write, both are confident mathematicians, both are interested in science and the world around them, they love history and music and art and dance and theatre and WHAT MORE COULD I WANT?????
So, on the wobble days it is good to focus on what your children are missing out on by not being in school. They are missing out on a narrow curriculum, endless pressure to progress and achieve, age inappropriate targets and high stakes testing at the end of each key stage. That is what they are missing out on.
It is very important to step back and look at the overall picture. Are the children happier? Healthier? More engaged, inquisitive, independent, sociable? If the home educated kids I know are anything to go by, then the answer will be yes.
So even when the SATS aren’t around to remind us, we have to know we have done the right thing. Embrace the wobbles, it just shows how much you care.