Are home-schooled kids miss­ing out?

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - WHAT’S ON -

or­der to thrive. A:

You used some pos­i­tive words to de­scribe th­ese chil­dren and their mother (the ed­u­ca­tor) – po­lite, en­er­getic and wellschooled in their re­li­gion and you said ‘the mother was busy look­ing after them and gives them their lessons’.

On the less pos­i­tive side you say the mother is not a reader and the chil­dren have no cu­rios­ity. It’s hard to know whether you see enough of th­ese chil­dren to make such a big state­ment and whether they’re play­ing on iPads and watch­ing movies be­cause you’re visit­ing. It’s well known that it takes a vil­lage to raise a child and I won­der if this mother could use some help?

If you are a reader, you might have skills to of­fer th­ese chil­dren. Why don’t you bring in suit­able books and set some read­ing com­pre­hen­sion ques­tions? Read­ing books stim­u­lates cu­rios­ity and the chil­dren might be­come in­ter­ested in the his­tor­i­cal fig­ures you men­tioned.

But if you’re adamant that th­ese chil­dren are not be­ing given the best ed­u­ca­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties, then I have the of­fi­cial line from the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion’s Ka­t­rina Casey, deputy sec­re­tary, sec­tor en­able­ment and sup­port. You can make a com­plaint about your rel­a­tive’s home ed­u­cat­ing stan­dards to the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion.

If theMOEis con­cerned that th­ese chil­dren are not be­ing ed­u­cated ‘‘at least as reg­u­larly and well as in a reg­is­tered school’’ then the re­gional of­fice will in­ves­ti­gate. In some in­stances, they may re­quest the Ed­u­ca­tion Re­view Of­fice con­duct a re­view. If the ERO iden­ti­fies ar­eas of con­cern it will work with the home ed­u­ca­tor to ad­dress those is­sues.

As all home ed­u­ca­tors have to file a dec­la­ra­tion form twice yearly con­firm­ing they are ed­u­cat­ing their child (to en­sure they re­ceive their su­per­vi­sion al­lowance), you can prob­a­bly be as­sured that your rel­a­tive has this mat­ter in hand.

How­ever, there are times when the ERO and the min­istry are not sat­is­fied and the ex­emp­tion cer­tifi­cate for the ed­u­ca­tor can be re­voked.

Ed­u­ca­tion styles have changed so much that you could go into any class­room in the coun­try and see chil­dren play­ing on iPads and not ap­pear­ing to learn. They are learn­ing, and my best ad­vice is for you to of­fer sup­port to this mother and get in­volved with her teach­ing meth­ods.

Mary-anne Scott has raised four boys and writ­ten three nov­els for young adults, in­clud­ing Stick­ing With Pigs which was re­leased in March 2018. (One Tree House). As one of seven sis­ters, there aren’t many par­ent­ing prob­lems she hasn’t talked over. To send her a ques­tion email­fax­me­ with Dear Mary-anne in the sub­ject line. Your anonymity is as­sured.


Ed­u­ca­tion styles have changed. Chil­dren play­ing on iPads can still be learn­ing.

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