However, having read her article in The Sun earlier this week about her decision to home educate her two children, I have nothing but admiration for her. The article was packed with honesty, kindness, humility and a total lack of moralising or sermonising. Nowhere does she say, “You should do as I do”, From her opening comment “Last September, the boys and I decided that we were going to try homeschooling” through to her concluding remarks that “… parents have to make their own decisions. No-one should judge them…” Ms Solomon makes it clear that this is a decision that she and her boys have taken for them.
I have always argued that removing children from school is a far more courageous step than actually never putting them ‘in’ in the first place. Removing children from school and deciding to homeschool invariably involved a radical change of lifestyle – by and large, this change does not happen for those who never put their children ‘in’ in the first place. This is in no way belittling those who home educate from the beginning – my wife and I did exactly this. It is simply to acknowledge the courage of those who – for a whole host of reasons – withdraw their children from school and begin the adventure that is home-based learning.
Parents withdraw children from school for a lots of reasons – from physical and mental health issues to bullying, from poor teaching to the testing-obsessed methodology that passes for modern day curriculum. The point is that when parents withdraw their children it always involves an enormous amount of bravery and courage. Stacey Solomon’s public declaration that she is one of these courageous mums hopefully will make life just a little bit easier for all of the others!