What about the curriculum?

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I just found this post in my drafts – no idea why I didn’t post it sooner! I wrote it in response to some of the comments on the article I wrote for Parentdish about why we chose to home educate, but it’s always relevant since people always ask about the curriculum and/or tests.

From the comments:

“If the national curriculum has not been adhered to, how can the home-schooled child pass a test?”

“It’s pleasant and enviable, being free to go off to the beach on a nice sunny day to ‘study’ the seaside, but what if the children at school happen to be studying the industrial revolution?”

“A home-schooled child may know lots of interesting facts, taught by a parent with no formal qualifications, but when their children are tested to make sure that they have been educated to the appropriate standard, what happens if they dont have the information asked for on the test paper?”

All of these questions assume that the purpose of education is to pass tests. When did this happen? They also assume that the purpose of education is to enable children to compete with each other – what if the children at school happen to be studying the industrial revolution? I mean, really? What’s the worst that could happen? We’d end up learning about the industrial revolution some other time. Perhaps as part of a visit to a museum or as follow up to a question asked by one of the children. Why on earth would it be necessary for all children to learn exactly the same things at exactly the same time?

Education isn’t supposed to be a production line.

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