Home-Schooling: One Family's Experience

Year Published:  1982  
Inactive Serial

Resource Type:  Serial Publication (Periodical)
Cx Number:  CX2407

The Hudspith family of Hamilton, Ontario decided to take their eleven year-old son out of school and provide for his education at home.

Abstract:  The Hudspith family of Hamilton, Ontario decided to take their eleven year-old son out of school and provide for his education at home. This article shares their rationale for and experience of home schooling.

Their son's public school experience was not going well. Rather than blame the child or the teacher, they saw the structure of schooling as the problem. Their reading of Ivan Illich and John Holt reinforced and articulated their concerns that teaching doesn't necessarily lead to learning, particularly if confined within school walls. They agreed with Illich that the right to learn is somehow curtailed by the obligation to attend school. They also discovered that the law allowed for the child to be educated at home.

As they struggled with their son's discontent with school, they discovered a loose alliance of home-schoolers across Canada. The group does little more than publish a newsletter and hold occasional picnics, but the sharing of experiences and support enabled them to decide to educate their son at home.

Their son had, on his own, already learned a great deal about mechanical and electrical devices. He had wired the house with alarms and created robots that were appearing everywhere. The Hudspiths developed a complimentary curriculum for home study that included math, social studies, English, and music. They relied on neighbours for help in subjects in which they were weak. After experimenting with rigid schedules, they moved to a more flexible routine with many hours spent on field trips.

Their year of home schooling has not gone without problems-quarrels, interruptions, and sibling rivalry. But, the Hudspiths feel that it has been a good experience for both parents and child. They are not certain that they will educate their four year-old daughter at home, however. That will depend on her personality and interests. For the original article, write "Vanguard" at the above address.


Barb Hudspith, "Vanguard," vol. II, no. 5

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