I’m Liz. I am one of the co-founders of Educational Freedom having been around when it started in 2013. Personally, I was good at school and excelled, however, school did not offer the freedom to cater for my interests or abilities. After stopping work to become a stay-at-home mum, I read about Home Education on a parenting forum and decided to look deeper into it. Home Education is the perfect way to tailor education to the individual’s needs.
I got involved in Educational Freedom because I can see the real need for it, especially as I am one of the parents who did not want to pay to become a member of an organisation!
There is a need to dispel the multiple myths about Home Education, and to make every parent aware that it is a legal option if they do want to choose it.
Not only that, I think there are three dangerous lies about education that seem to be automatically accepted as correct:
Learning only happens in school;
Learning stops at age 18;
Learning is difficult.
All three of these are WRONG and need to be challenged at every turn. School is the best place for some students, and some students do great at school – I was one of them! However, that alone is not enough for school to be accepted as the only place for children to learn after the age of 5.
These days I mainly get involved with the behind-the-scenes activities, from answering emails and doing the accounts, to collating FOI Request data and being involved in the Elective Home Education Alliance. I also work with Local Authorities 1:1 to improve their policies and communication through co-production – this is when the local authority and local home educators are equal partners in drafting policy and improving relationships between the two parties. Educational Freedom helps facilitate co-production over many months until our input is no longer required. (We have a published documentation explaining co-production. Please email us if this is something you would like help with in your area.)
I have two children that I used to home educate, until they both decided to try secondary school. I think this decision was easier for them because they know that home education is always an option, should they no longer decide that school is the right path for them. Despite being a maths tutor myself, I never pushed or forced my children to do formal or structured work. Instead, we unschooled. I allowed my children to have autonomy over their own education, and facilitated their interests. We did a lot of work through conversation and discussion, enabling them the freedom to notice patterns or come up with stories, or even arguments, without having the additional pressure of having to write and format everything at the same time. This did not disadvantage them at all when going to secondary school, and though there were some terms that they had not come across before attending school, their background knowledge and understanding of how things worked was a good foundation.