I wrote this Educational Philosophy back in 2003 when I de-registered Chelsea and Joseph from their primary school. I found a copy recently and read it through. Surprisingly we have pretty much stuck to what was written and I still stand by it to this day.
I have chosen to educate Chelsea and Joseph at home as it is my belief that this is what is best for my children. As my approach to their education is largely opportunity based, child centred and flexible, it is not possible to submit a timetable or specify in advance the activities we will be undertaking.
Chelsea and Joseph will be free to learn at a pace suitable to their own age, ability and and aptitude. They will learn about things relevant to their own interests, ambitions and aspirations. I aim to facilitate their learning whilst striving to keep a balance to ensure their full educational and social needs are met.
The children will have the opportunity to use whatever resources I can make available. These will include (but will not be limited to) the local library, the internet, computer software,television and radio programmes, and books. They will also have the opportunity to request information from professional people and/or organisations. I will take the children to places that will be able to provide information and practical experience relevant to their current studies. National Curriculum supporting worksheets and books are available to both Chelsea and Joseph should they wish to use them. These will not however be forced upon them. My highest priority is to instil a love of learning and a desire and confidence to find out things for themselves. They will be encouraged to use their own initiative and make their own judgements.
I do not intend to enforce assessment tests at any level, nor do I intend to utilise any set timetable for the education of the children. I believe that life is a continual learning experience and should not be restricted in any way. Any subject in which the children find themselves interested can, if studied in depth, cover many if not all of the traditional ‘school’ subjects.
The children’s education will take place primarily at home, although this will be supplemented with regular visits to the library, along with the educational visits previously mentioned. There will also be regular country and moorland walks, visits to ponds and rivers, and outings to parks and playgrounds. We are members of Education Otherwise and attend many of the events organised around the region, both on an educational and social basis. We plan to go swimming regularly, and are currently looking into which activities in the community would be suitable for Chelsea and Joseph to join (Eg. Brownies, Boys Brigade, Woodcraft Folk, leisure centre based classes, etc).
One of my main aims is to ensure that both children are fully equipped for life in the real world. I encourage basic skills such as reading and writing, use of a computer and calculator (although mental arithmetic is encouraged), house and garden maintenance, personal safety, self-discipline, respect and care for others, financial management, and respect and compassion for animals and the environment.
This is a very basic version of the educational philosophy and is open to change at any time in the future.