School people often nod along with so many of the things we home educators talk about – catering to individual interests, child-led learning, play-based learning, experiential learning. They actually agree that all these things are desirable and are beginning to adopt some of our language as buzz words. At some stage in the conversation they say, ‘But of course we’re doing a lot of that these days in schools.’
I’m sorry, maybe they think they are, but it is just not possible to consistently create that kind of learning environment for a large group of children, and that’s before you even consider the constraints of school policy and curriculum requirements.
In my experience, there are a number of areas that really set home education apart, making it superior to classroom learning:
1. The increased opportunity for one-on-one attention;
2. A greater flexibility to take advantage of incidental learning;
3. Opportunities for cross-age learning; and, perhaps most importantly,
4. Close relationships.
These advantages hold true regardless of the home education style and empower children not only to master academics but to grow into mature and responsible young adults.