Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Not A Monster After All.

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Last week I had a visit from the Local Education Authority 'Home Education co-ordinator', who came armed with a form and loads of questions about our reasons for home educating James, and our methods for doing so. I was feeling somewhat trepidatious beforehand, as I wasn't sure quite what she would be looking for, and I was fully prepared to have to defend our decision to take James out of school and to present her with a well-reasoned argument in support of the approach we have taken so far. I was relieved to discover however that she wasn't offensive in any way, shape or form, that her questions were simple to answer, and that she actually had some helpful suggestions for topics and activities we could attempt in the future. She was complimentary about what we had achieved so far and her subsequent report painted us in a very good light! Phew. Panic over.

Many people choose not to allow local authority representatives into their houses and refuse to fill in their forms, preferring instead to supply their own format of evidence, or, in some cases to supply no 'evidence' at all, and just have an informal chat on the telephone. I didn't feel the need to draw the line at our front door, or to avoid the perceived intrusion of answering someone else's questions about what constitutes a good education, and I am glad I didn't, as I think I got as much out of our meeting as this lady did. In the end I came away with some good website links and project ideas, and Local Authority Lady went away with enough information to satisfy her curiosity until this time next year. It's actually a nice feeling to have someone say 'good job', to know that what we have done so far has not been wildly off target, and that we are free to carry on as we are. Not that I should be so desperate for the approval of others, but there you have it.

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