This question has been simmering at the back of my mind for some weeks, now. When Daisy and I started putting sounds in our Sounds Book, we took it with us to a few places, in order to show it off. On one of these occasions, a relation of mine took the opportunity to ask me about the home education – were we still planning to do it? I smiled, nodded towards the little book, and said, “We already are!” To which the person responded, “Yes, but I’d expect you to do that anyway.”
I was utterly bemused. Why? Why on earth would I send her to school, AND teach her myself? Either I will educate my kids, or someone else will – both is not an option. But of course, lots of people DO do both, and actually, I can remember her doing both when her kids were small. It seems like insanity, to me. And a little bit unreasonable – school is a pretty exhausting business, without parents adding to the pressure at home, surely?
I appear to be fundamentally abnormal, in terms of the types of middle-class parents that I would loosely consider to be my peers. I don’t want academic achievement at any cost. I want my kids to get an efficient education, from one source or another, and I’m not interested in papering over the cracks with extra lessons. Either school is good enough, or it’s not.Â If it’s not, then do something else.