Lord Lucas has asked for responses to the Badman Home Ed review. This was my letter:
Dear Lord Lucas,
Thank you for showing your support to the Home Education community. As I’m sure you are aware-we are not a cohesive community. We have all come to home educate our children for a huge variety of reasons.
We chose to home educate our children before they were born, and it had nothing to do with the current UK school system. We have not been ‘forced’ to home educate-it is a way of life that we have freely chosen to live. As a child I enjoyed school and can’t think of any ‘bad’ events-but I always felt I could learn more at my own pace, and if I followed my interests. We educate our children at home as we feel it is providing them a loving and stable environment where they are free to explore the world at their own pace. I have two very clever and extremely happy children. I have nothing to hide-but I want the sanctity of my home life to remain as it is and I do not want my rights to do so taken away.
I see this report as eroding away the civil liberties of not just home educators, but all families. If they want to talk to my children alone without a family representative-then they will have to apply that law to all families in the country. I’m sure no one thinks, or can prove, that child abuse in the home only happens Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30am and 3:30pm.
Why do I need to submit a 12 month plan-are they planning on extending the school year? If they actually learned anything about home education during the review-they would have realized our children do learn year round. They are with their ‘educational facilitators’ 24/7. Learning does not occur during school hours only. To say you cannot learn without going to school is absurd. That would mean no one would learn anything from the day they are born till they entered school, and that you couldn’t possibly learn anything when you left school.
Why do they think our children are hidden? I’m sure every museum throughout the country will vouch that they have booked numerous home education outings. Our children are the ones that are enjoying all the wonderful things the UK has on offer. We are out and about every day. Our children interact with all walks of life. They have private and group lessons, they join in the Scouts movements, they see the shop clerks, run errands with their parents, go to home education group functions, and numerous other events throughout the year.
We are not hiding our children; we are not abusing our children. We are taking full responsibility for our children’s happiness, their well being and their educational provisions, as is our legal right. I have never, and will never, abdicate this responsibility to the State. The State does not love and cherish my children-only we, as their parents, can ensure they have a safe and happy life-not some unseen bureaucracy.