Author Topic: Home Schooling  (Read 1180 times)

Offline Mince

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Re: Home Schooling
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2019, 11:20:49 AM »
I'm saying inspections can and do play vital roles sometimes, and when we're dealing with the welfare and wellbeing of children, there is probably no greater importance.

So you're okay with similar visits for all children under four who are therefore also not at school?

Offline Tarquin Thunderthighs lll

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Re: Home Schooling
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2019, 11:22:20 AM »
As for your two examples, if I could have inspected the offices and studios of the Danish cartoonists and prohibited them from drawing their gratuitously offensive and entirely misdirected cartoons of Mohammed, I'd have done so in a heartbeat. Their arrogance (along with that of their publishers) and their actions led to many deaths. I've never defended them, and never will. Idiots, all.

Short of having the ability to see into the future, the only way that this could be achieved is to regularly inspect the offices of ALL innocent cartoonists? Is this what you're suggesting the government should do, and if so, do you think it would work?

I'm hoping that all, or at least most cartoonists will have learned from the folly of those that went before them. Sadly, this will not be the case. What they did was perfectly legal, and I defend their right to free expression, so long as they defend my right to call them the arrogant, dangerous arseholes they were back then. But again, this thread isn't about the potentially criminal or life-threatening issues, hugely important as those are - it's about ensuring the standards of a child's right to a proper education (no, I'm not qualified to decide exactly what that is - I learned a lot from my schooling...some of it even relating to education).
I apologise, in advance.

Offline Tarquin Thunderthighs lll

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Re: Home Schooling
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2019, 11:23:18 AM »
I'm saying inspections can and do play vital roles sometimes, and when we're dealing with the welfare and wellbeing of children, there is probably no greater importance.

So you're okay with similar visits for all children under four who are therefore also not at school?

If it prevented one child from being abused, yes.
I apologise, in advance.

Offline Tarquin Thunderthighs lll

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Re: Home Schooling
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2019, 11:35:16 AM »
Because education is actually a good thing that not everyone is skilled in imparting, and children deserve a decent education. Schools are inspected too.

Why is 'good education' beyond what the parents know a good thing? And even if it is, why do you assume others need to 'impart' anything for children to get a good education?


Schools are inspected too.

But we're talking about private homes, not public institutions. There is a difference.

Not every child is fortunate enough to have parents skilled as educators or even communicators, and some children of those parents may well be gifted way beyond the skills of those parents to satisfy or even cope with the demands of those children. The education system is (or should be) geared to provide for those children. It certainly is better qualified to even identify them in the first place.

Private homes that take on the role of public institutions are arguably in more need of inspection than those public institutions, to ensure that everything is being done in the best interest of the child. Failings will be more easily and widely identifiable in public institutions by their very nature, and possibly even more so than by the inspectors who have to be able to see through the extra efforts being made during their visits. Children are more likely to speak up about bad teaching in a public arena than bad parenting (and again, I'm not specifically referring to abusive situations here - it applies to the nurturing and educational skills of some parents - unless you think home-educators are a consistent and special breed?) behind closed doors.
I apologise, in advance.

Offline Tarquin Thunderthighs lll

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Re: Home Schooling
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2019, 11:35:36 AM »
Right - I need to do some housework...
I apologise, in advance.

Offline Mince

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Re: Home Schooling
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2019, 01:24:21 PM »
You seem to be in favour of a nanny state. You ought to campaign for a change in the law then.

In Germany, it's illegal not to send your child to school. If I was a parent there, I would raise my children to cause a riot there every day.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2019, 01:28:29 PM by Mince »

Offline Tarquin Thunderthighs lll

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Re: Home Schooling
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2019, 02:47:15 PM »
I think I'd prefer to campaign against putting words in other people's mouths.

I'm actually pretty ambivalent to nannystatedom, since that accusation is always hurled by those who have a particular beef against whatever new law comes in that they don't like, usually on the grounds of a breach of civil liberties, even when there may be good reasons to apply such laws that don't necessarily concern the naysayers. I can think of no better motivation for laws than that which seeks to protect the interests of children.

I can also think of many examples of people I've encountered to whom I'd be aghast at the prospect of them ever home-schooling their progeny. Many of them were at the football match I attended on Saturday. I may be doing some of them a complete disservice of course, but not all. But I'd rest a little easier on that score if I knew that they'd occasionally be visited by professionals charged with the best interests of their children.

I'm no expert in how to teach kids, despite being a father of four. But I have a pretty good idea of how racism, xenophobia. and bigotry is instilled into young minds, and that is more often through their home life than their schooling. Perhaps a big part of the problem here isn't what might be omitted from the home-schooling curriculum, but what might be included.

I'm perfectly happy to accept that many or most home-schooling parents do a fine job (my concerns have always been more about the social aspects, as you know). But you can't make that a blanket statement about them all, just because it's the route you wish to take. I see nothing wrong with the occasional inspection in the interest of the children.

These days, you can't even adopt a puppy from a responsible breeder without proving you're worthy of the task.

I apologise, in advance.

Offline Tarquin Thunderthighs lll

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Re: Home Schooling
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2019, 02:49:10 PM »
In Germany, it's illegal not to send your child to school. If I was a parent there, I would raise my children to cause a riot there every day.

Do your own dirty work.
I apologise, in advance.

Offline Mince

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Re: Home Schooling
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2019, 04:15:40 PM »
I can also think of many examples of people I've encountered to whom I'd be aghast at the prospect of them ever home-schooling their progeny.

And yet, provided they are not breaking any laws, I would defend their right to do so, just as I would defend their right to be parents in the first place.


But I'd rest a little easier on that score if I knew that they'd occasionally be visited by professionals charged with the best interests of their children.

I love how you still believe in these mythical people you call 'professionals', but the truth is that homeschooling parents will just be visited by undertrained, overworked and overzealous box tickers, just as our schools are. If you don't believe me, read what teachers themselves have to say about the morons who 'inspect' them.


But I have a pretty good idea of how racism, xenophobia. and bigotry is instilled into young minds, and that is more often through their home life than their schooling. Perhaps a big part of the problem here isn't what might be omitted from the home-schooling curriculum, but what might be included.

If a parent wishes their child to become racist, xenophobic and bigoted, they will achieve this whether the child attends school or not. You don't need to homeschool to do this.


But you can't make that a blanket statement about them all, just because it's the route you wish to take.

I never did.


I see nothing wrong with the occasional inspection in the interest of the children.

This is where I and the current law of the UK disagree with you.

Offline peter

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Re: Home Schooling
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2019, 04:48:19 PM »
we also have to think about how qualified the inspector is
we have all read stories about children dying because the so called teacher or social worker has not picked up on the signs of abuse early enough to stop it
so the problem is whom do we trust to inspect the said children and what  experience do they have to see  the problems
Spelling is my bestest subject followed by maffs and riting

Offline Tarquin Thunderthighs lll

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Re: Home Schooling
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2019, 05:40:17 PM »
Peter, even an incompetent inspector is more lilely to detect problems than no inspector at all.

Mince, I can't be bothered to cut and paste any more, so, in order to your responses above:

1) I defend that right also. I just don't think checking up that all is well from time to time is an unreasonable intrusion, and may even be helpful, especially if someone is out of their depth. Everyone has a right to be a parent. But that can be taken away by current law if a child is at risk. These things happen.

2)  Then get better professionals if that is true. I don't believe it will be true of them all.

3)  Agreed. My point is that there are bad parents. You would let them home school their children. I'd rather they did not. The child of a bigot is more likely to escape that mindset if it gets to spend time away from that parent, and with other mindsets.

4)  You talk about home schooling as a generality. The point is that every parent is different, and not all are equipped to be home-schooling. The principle is fine (although my own preference is for schools), but each case is different. Inspection would be about helping get the best for the child, not nannying every parent who chose that option. Some would benefit, others wouldn't need it.

5)  So, are the rights of the parent more important than the welfare of the child?

« Last Edit: February 25, 2019, 05:43:22 PM by Tarquin Thunderthighs lll »
I apologise, in advance.

Offline Mince

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Re: Home Schooling
« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2019, 10:00:41 PM »
Peter, even an incompetent inspector is more lilely to detect problems than no inspector at all.

That is dangerously untrue. Firstly, incompetent inspectors might incorrectly flag a home as non-abusive, resulting in later concerns from neighbours being dismissed; secondly, incompetent inspectors might wrongly flag a home as abusive, resulting in children being wrongly referred to an already over-burdened social services, drawing away those services from someone who needs them.


I defend that right also. I just don't think checking up that all is well from time to time is an unreasonable intrusion, and may even be helpful, especially if someone is out of their depth. Everyone has a right to be a parent. But that can be taken away by current law if a child is at risk. These things happen.

The phrase "out of their depth" suggests education, but "risk" suggests "abuse". Which are you talking about here?


Then get better professionals if that is true. I don't believe it will be true of them all.

The government cannot even find the money for the NHS or schools. Do you really think they will "get better professionals"?

Even inspectors who are competent and are 99% accurate at detecting abuse are going to unnecessarily flag up false positives. In statistics this is a base-rate fallacy called the false-positive paradox. The chances of abuse are very low, so most positives ('abuse being suspected') are going to be the result of the inspector wrongly seeing abuse where there is none.

Imagine that the chances of a family being abusive is 1 in 100,000. Imagine that the inspectors are 99% accurate. Here are the results for 1,000,000 families inspected (of whom 10 are abusive and 999,990 are not), all rounded to the nearest 1.

99% of the 999,990 non-abusive families are correctly reported to be non-abusive = 989,990 true negatives
1% of the 999,990 non-abusive families are incorrectly reported to be abusive = 10,000 false positives
99% of the 10 abusive families are correctly reported to be abusive = 10 true positives
1% of the 999,990 non-abusive families are incorrectly reported to be non-abusive = 0 false negatives

So for every 1,000,000 families, 10,010 are flagged as abusive when in fact only 10 of them really are, so for someone who is 99% accurate, he is right only 1 in a 1000 times. Can you imagine if he were not 99% accurate?


The child of a bigot is more likely to escape that mindset if it gets to spend time away from that parent, and with other mindsets.

I agree. But that does not mean we are both right. Making school compulsory on the off-chance that it might help a small number of bigots, or indeed any at all, is overkill.


The point is that every parent is different, and not all are equipped to be home-schooling.

How do you know this? What research are you referring to?


Inspection would be about helping get the best for the child, not nannying every parent who chose that option. Some would benefit, others wouldn't need it.

What kind of help would they get? Are these inspectors going to offer tuition? Or are they just going to offer a map showing where the library is? I'm seriously curious what the home educators can expect beyond a few "tut tut"s.


So, are the rights of the parent more important than the welfare of the child?

No, but there are proper channels to go through when suspicions of child abuse are raised, and these channels are the same for all children, whether home-schooled or not. To send inspectors to the homes of the home educated in the belief that their kids are on average more likely to be abused is as wrong as to randomly search black people in the belief that they are more likely to be carrying a knife.

Offline Tarquin Thunderthighs lll

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Re: Home Schooling
« Reply #27 on: February 25, 2019, 11:04:04 PM »
I give up. Pointless.
I apologise, in advance.

Offline Mince

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Re: Home Schooling
« Reply #28 on: February 25, 2019, 11:36:45 PM »
We don't disagree that something needs to be done about abusive parents using home-schooling as a cover for child abuse. What we disagree on is whether intrusive and potentially damaging yearly home inspections of all home educators, the majority of whom are good parents, will even achieve what we want it to achieve.

Your argument reminds me of the politician's fallacy: We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this.

The disaster of the American No Child Left Behind is an example of well meaning but ultimately damaging reforms.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to think through more the stance I take on home inspections.

Offline Tarquin Thunderthighs lll

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Re: Home Schooling
« Reply #29 on: February 26, 2019, 08:42:21 AM »
Not quite. I genuinely believe that although you’re probably right that the large majority of parents who opt to home school are well intentioned, responsible and up to the task, when you’re dealing with the potential disaster that could arise through those that are not, from inadequate teaching to abuse, inspection by professional agencies is essential. In fact, I’m astonished to hear it isn’t already in place. And not a little worried.
I apologise, in advance.