Home education may be just what we need

14th September 2001 at 01:00
As the new school year starts with a dearth of suitably qualified teachers we should, perhaps, spare a thought for the growing number of families who choose to educate their children at home. It is worth recording that if these families sent their youngsters to school we would need around 2,000 to 3,000 more teachers. As it is, they do extremely well under the tutelage of their parents - a US study shows that many home-schooled children are as much as two years ahead of their contemporaries - and seem not to need the attentions of traditional class teachers.

Perhaps what education needs is not more class supervisors struggling to meet the needs of curious, active young people in the rigid context of a school, but a much wider variety of educational resources, including informal, home-based and child-centred learning environments, which can enable all children, not just the academically gifted, to thrive and grow into dynamic and sociable adults.

C R Shute, Polesworth, Staffs

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