Just because I now lost TWO arguments doesn't mean I'm going quietly.
Swinging punches on the way down with Argument One:
We Home EDUCATE. We do not Home SCHOOL.
School is about training to shut up and sit quiet while knowledge is transmitted to you. It usually filters from top to bottom. To allow that process to happen, you have to accept procedures, restraints, limitations. Did you hear that bell sound? Change what you are doing. Shut up that you were 'just getting into it'. Time to do something else.
Of course we are not trying to reproduce school in a kitchen. What would be the sodding point? If we wanted schooling then we could send the kids to school, duh.
Wot we do - we swotty Ancient Classics types staring specky-eyed at our Western philosophical tradition - we like to call our stuff, Education.
Education, well, that never stops. It's not timed, it's not disciplined, nor delimited by hours, and it includes the observation of dust trickling in sunset, the way sound scatters across a marble floor, and the entire works of Shakespeare if that is your passion.
Education is free-flowing; it requires your active thinking, pursuit, and construction of knowledge. The knowledge you construct, you call your own. You, thinker, doer, expert, you find out what you like, when you like.
This wonderful segue of learning about life does not mean your learning comes without structure. As you approach anything you want to learn about, you begin to find the way the subject organises itself; you learn the language of the area you study; you discover the rationales, reasonings, labellings and semantics of the discipline.
Quickly you realise that if you're going to get far into any area, then you must bring some self-discipline to the study. You organise your time and articulate your motivations; you discover the things which facilitate your learning and the things which prohibit your learning. You learn not only the discipline you've chosen, you also learn how to learn. Welcome to our philosophy of education.
Personally I don't believe the way schools are now structured, supervised and managed allows for much of that free-ranging discovery to happen.
Chewing at anyone's ankles while flat on the floor, losing Argument Two:
Religion has nothing to do with our choice to Home Educate. We are ATHEISTS.
I now routinely face the idea that we home educate because of our religious conviction. We must be Christian / Muslims / Jews, otherwise we would send our kids to school, right?
All I'm saying, is that I'm equipping the entire family with colanders.
Yes, of course there are children who are told to believe that a virgin can conceive a child after a shadow passes over her, Gabriel speaks to some bloke holding a rock, and Moses can't find the path out a desert for 40 years, and I call this passing on your values and beliefs to the next generation.
Good luck to you. Showing your child the cultural community they are born into, what beliefs can give comfort in times of crisis, and what guides can help aspire to kindness is no bad thing. If it involves a rock, a piece of thread, or a bird that the landed gentry didn't shoot already, then so what?
But it seems to me that every parent in this land is under assault for trying to pass on their beliefs.
And if only the kids would listen to us, right? I mean, kids got Planet Internet, Wikipedia, every media resource going, the news on the TV, the shops filled with people, and the street where they live.
So the idea that a child's only source of knowledge is their parents?
PS. If you want the Religion of Grit, it is Do to others as you would have done to you, and From little acorns grow big trees.