U.K Homeschool


Years ago when I was homeschooling four small children, my brother and his wife came to visit.

As a childless couple they were full of enthusiasm and patience to be the best Aunt and Uncle their American nephews and nieces had.

And they were.

They took them to the cinema and spent as much money at the concession stand as at the ticket counter, my children tasted AMC hotdogs, nachos and popcorn for the first time with their English relatives.

They stopped at every drive through for spur of the moment snacks, anything ranging from French fries to a slurpee.

They painted their faces for Halloween then took them to several neighbourhoods to trick or treat.  They allowed them to keep ALL the candy!

They played endless games of Monopoly, Pretty Princess and Guess Who?

They bought dozens of do-nuts for Sunday breakfast.

And you should have seen the pumpkins they carved!

When they left it was amid tears, they had been the best Aunt and Uncle, for seven days of continuous fun!

During their visit I taught my children in the morning hours while my brother and sister-in-law were recuperating from being Star Relatives.  On their last day she said to me,

“When you move back to England,” even back then I had one foot on the plane home, “you’ll send them to normal school won’t you?”

I looked at her and thought, ‘she has no idea what I am doing!’

I think she thought I was insane, voluntarily working in a continual romper room.

I answered,

“No!  I don’t homeschool because I don’t like what’s going on in the public schools here, I don’t think it’s any better in England.  I homeschool because…” and here I stopped.

She didn’t want to hear my religious convictions, she didn’t want to hear about family values and needing to be there for all my children’s firsts.  All she knew was that she had been around them for seven days and was happy to be going home to her career and childless bliss.

From her nieces and nephew’s tears she knew she was  leaving them with a great impression indelibly imprinted on their minds, which was good.

As for me, she wondered why I didn’t send them away for 8 hours a day so that I could go back to work and return to the real me living in the real world!

With her words still in my mind years later, and a trip to England pending I picked up a review of an article written by Daniel Monk, for the Child and Family Law Quarterly (2009), entitled “Regulating Home Education:  Negotiating Standards, Anomalies, and Rights.”

You’ll have to come back next week to read about what I found there!


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