We all want our children to have a good education. But what is a good education? Nowadays so many people seems to have or want to have a degree. But is that what prospective employers want?
When you enter the world of employment, a degree in your chosen field is fairly essential. Isn’t it? Maybe not. Lectures and exams can only teach a certain amount and the majority of that teaching is theory & knowledge. But you don’t actually get the hands-on, practical experience which can be invaluable.
¹ The National Citizen Service recently surveyed business leaders and teenagers who will soon be entering the job market. 69% of the teenagers questioned thought that exam results were the most important thing when you were applying for jobs. But 63% of business leaders said that the best young employees are those who have developed skills and interests outside the classroom.
67% of the business leaders thought that younger employees came into the workplace lacking necessary skills, such as time management skills and team working abilities, and 70% of business leaders agreed that many of the skills essential for the workplace cannot be taught at school.
These leaves students with only a few alternatives. Take a gap year from university to get work experience; take on a part time job while studying or delay going to university until you have some work experience.
This is where home educated children have a distinct advantage though. Home education gives the child the chance to get both the experience and the qualifications, if that’s what they want to do. Without the constraints of school, children can do voluntary work from early teens (this varies on the profession) to get experience in their chosen career. Most volunteering can only be done from 14 upwards but there are some organisations that take families with young children as the parents will be supervising them.
In order to help me answer the question of what a good education is I looked at an online dictionary. This said: ²the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.
So reading that it seems that if my children have developed a good general knowledge, are intelligent and mature and can reason then I’ve succeeded in giving them a good education?
No, I think education is about so much more than that. It is also about creativity, problem solving, thinking critically, happiness and understanding.
In the end though the only person who can say if they had a good education is the person who received it. My parents probably thought that sending me to school was the best for me. I loved junior school and hardly missed a day, secondary though was a different matter. I hated it, I was picked on and so I did everything I could to get out of going, and as such learnt very little.
I think the best we can do as parents is listen to our children and follow their lead whenever possible. If you home educate and they want to try school let them, if they want to go to sixth form or college again let them try it. The worst that can happen is that they find it’s not for them and go back to what they are comfortable with.
¹ Taken from hrgrapevine.com