Wednesday, 5 June 2013
Providing evidence of Education at Home
It's that time of year again when I write my educational report. This one will be my fourth and I always have to psyche myself up to prepare it.
The local authority has a duty to ensure that children are educated in accordance with age and ability and evidence can be offered in the form of a visit by them, a report or some other type of evidence such as photos or copies of the childs work.
For us the option of a home visit has never been realistic. Our home is a place of security for my son, a safe haven away from the horrors and stress he associated with school and we didn't want to break the trust he has placed in us. Having aspergers we knew that he was likely to go mute in the presence of a stranger and that they would learn very little from him about his educational experience. We also feared that yet again we might find that our home education officer had very little experience of autism and would judge our parenting skills based on the perceived behaviour of our son, who in the presence of someone unknown may swear and lash out if severely stressed.
Deep down I know that my son learns so much more at home than he ever did at school- nevertheless it is always traumatic waiting for the report to be approved. I have always kept a diary of what we do at home - it has proved invaluable when I look back over the year. I also take photos which serve as a visual reminder of where my son has been and what we've done,
When I looked back at last years report I was amazed to see what my son had covered just from watching the news and observing every day life.
Today for example my son was sitting in the car eating his KFC which has become part of his weekly routine now. For a change we had gone down to the beach to eat it because the sun was shining and his big brother was on study leave from school. My son said something in a foreign language which, it transpired was japanese. He then went on to say several sentences , all of which he had learned from his Shogun Total war game, he also commented on a news article he'd seen about a chinese baby who'd been flushed down the toilet- he told me about the one child rule in China and that the rule was more relaxed in rural communities. He also mentioned a string of islands in Indonesia which I'd never heard of and told me that Hong Kong had got independence from Britain and wasn't under Chinese rule.
Every time something like that happens I am taken aback although I should be used to it by now.We haven't 'discussed' any of these topics as part of his education but some how he is teaching himself and his range of general knowledge is amazing.
So, as I sit down to write my report, I would say he's doing pretty well thank you very much. Certainly far better than he did when he was at school so put that in your pipe and smoke it Mr Cameron as it's certainly not thanks to you or your government or the labour government before you. who continue to let so many autistic children down. Home education rocks.
P.S. As I write this I see that my blog has now exceeded 5000 views today and I would just like to thank all my followers and readers for their kind comments and support which encourage me to write about our experiences,