September 3, 2015


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Emma Thompson and husband decide to educate daughter Gaia at home

Gaia - pictured here with her famous parents Emma Thompson and Greg Wise - has decided main stream education isn't for her

Gaia – pictured here with her famous parents Emma Thompson and Greg Wise – has decided main stream education isn’t for her

Emma Thompson and her husband Greg Wise have withdrawn their 15-year-old daughter from school and begun educating her at home.

Mr Wise, who starred in Sense and Sensibility, said their daughter Gaia had decided shortly before her GCSEs that school “wasn’t for her”.

He said: “She loves learning and she’s terribly focused and hardworking, but she didn’t like the sausage factory of formal education. I’ve no argument with that.”

Mr Wise and Ms Thompson have built a school room at the end of their garden in West Hampstead, north London, where tutors will teach Gaia.

He said: “Although I won’t be teaching her. We’ve got tutors and I’ve built her a school room in the garden.”

But the couple admit they have not yet decided what will be on their daughter’s home curriculum, with Mr Wise – who recently starred in Effie Gray – the story of Victorian critic John Ruskin’s teenage bride – joking: “I think we should just teach Latin and free-form dance. Really.”

He said home schooling made sense in a world where the nature of jobs and careers is changing at a rapid pace – requiring a more flexible approach to educating children.

“I read a fascinating statistic recently that said 60 per cent of the kids at school will go on to do jobs that haven’t yet been invented,” he said.

Although by law children have to receive full time education until the age of 17, this does not have to be at school and can be done legally at home.

‘Home educating’ families do not have to follow the National Curriculum, making the idea attractive to parents with children who find it hard to ‘fit in’; children with special needs or who have been severely bullied; and children for whom the school classroom does not suit their particular way of learning.

It is estimated that up to 60,000 children are being home educated in England and Wales at any one time.

Edwina Theunissen, of Education Otherwise, said: “School doesn’t suit everyone and it’s great that there’s a safety net like home education. Many children suffer from anxiety at school, or are finding it increasingly hard to cope with the pressure of the exam system. In other cases they are bored with what is being taught and children can gain a great deal following their own interests.

Mr Wise, 48, said parents had to be careful not to regard themselves as irreplaceable or responsible for everything that happens in their children’s lives.

“As a parent, it is easy to make yourself feel responsible for things that are out of your control, but it comes from a need to feel needed and to shape our lives,” he said.

In an interview in The Times magazine, Mr Wise, who first came to public prominence with his appearance as Mr Willoughby in the 1995 film version of Sense and Sensibility, which also starred Ms Thompson and Kate Winslet, said his daughter – who has recently been photographed with her mother at a number of film premieres – refuses to watch anything in which he appears.

He said: “This is the big argument we’re having at the moment. Gaia is OK watching her mum, though. She knows her mum’s an actress and a film star and she gets stopped in the street all the time. But Dad’s Dad. I’m a piece of furniture – we hang out and do stuFF.”

Read the rest of the article here: Emma Thompson and husband decide to educate daughter Gaia at home

Earlier stories:

1. Emma Thompson decides to educate her daughter at home after girl says school ‘wasn’t for her’ 

- Emma Thompson’s daughter has been withdrawn from her £6,000-a-term school so she can be taught in her back garden after deciding main-stream learning ‘wasn’t for her’.

- Father Greg Wise revealed ‘sausage factory’ education wasn’t for her

2. Emma Thompson: I would take daughter out of school for a year

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Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading

Red Tape Cluster Buster Meetings and the Scoping Survey: http://hef.org.nz/2014/next-steps-deadline-8-december-2014/

 

 

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Home-based education multiplies with interest, technology

Like many home-schoolers, local student Micah Ross enjoys the freedom to pursue topics that catch his attention beyond the limited time he might get in a public school classroom. So when he recently became interested in microbiology, he had plenty of time to peruse YouTube videos on B-cells and T-cells and even examine cells under a borrowed microscope.

There’s one other difference between Micah’s interest and that of the average public school student: he’s 4 years old.

Micah’s no prodigy, according to his mother, Corinna Ross — who was home-schooled herself — which is not to say he’s any slouch, either. But when he recently suffered from the croup and started asking questions about why he was coughing, his interest in her answers about viruses — combined with digital resources, time and a home designed to incorporate education into everything — took on a life of its own.

Read the rest of the article here: http://www.newsadvance.com/news/local/home-based-education-multiplies-with-interest-technology/article_da973fa4-9ebb-11e4-9278-4b814573d362.html

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Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading

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Pennsylvania Loosens Homeschool Restrictions, States to Follow

http://www.newsmax.com/US/homeschool-restrictions-education-local/2015/01/06/id/616839/

In the wake of loosened restrictions on homeschoolers in Pennsylvania, which had one of the strictest homeschool laws in the nation, lawmakers in at least three other states are ready to ease regulations, a lawyer for a homeschool advocacy group says.

“It has been a trend to remove unnecessary burdens from homeschoolers,” Mike Donnelly, a lawyer for the Home School Legal Defense Association told The Blaze.

“A dozen or so states have updated their laws in the last 10 or 15 years. Most of the regulations were drafted 35 to 40 years ago when homeschooling was an unknown. Today we know that homeschooling works well and that some regulations are unnecessary and burdensome.”

According to the Blaze, the number of children being homeschooled rose to 1.8 million in the 2011-2012 school year, up from 1.5 million five years earlier, with the highest concentration in the South and West.

In West Virginia, lawmakers are planning a legislative package on homeschooling, the Blaze reports, but Donnelly wouldn’t name other states mulling an ease to restrictions, and insisted no state is considering tightening regulations.

The New York Times reports that in October Pennsylvania relaxed some ruless, which had required student portfolios and results of standardized testing in third, fifth and eighth grade be submitted to the local school district superintendent.

Now, Pennsylvania allows parents need only certify their children completed high school graduation requirements.

“Here we are loosening standards for a subset of students while at the same time giving them the same credential as all other students,” Jim Buckheit, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators, complained to The Times.

The Times reports 11 states don’t require families to register with a state or local government agency, while 14 states don’t specify required subjects. In about half the states, homeschooled children don’t have to take a standardized test.

Last year, Utah lawmakers passed a law lifting requirements that homeschoolers file affidavits once per year with the school district.

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Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading

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Return Domenic Johansson to His Parents – putting pressure in Sweden

To create some more pressure in Sweden…

It say’s something like,

If the CPS didn’t exist, I would still be able to smile for real, and be able to say mom and dad for real, and I would live in a real family.

I am one of thousand children in Sweden who are living in a state of emotional torture, because of severe corruption within the CPS system.

The last thing I said to my father was, “What I fear the most is to go back to the foster family”, that was November 2010, now the connection between us is totally broken..

Plz share, and if possible, translate and copy, perhaps fix the grammar a bit.

All the best and so much more!

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

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Growing Movement Hit by Statist Backlash – except NZ

Michael Donnelly
HSLDA Director for Global Outreach

The Wunderlich family

MIKE DONNELLY PHOTO

The Wunderlich family is determined to stay in Germany and continue fighting for homeschool freedom. Their case exemplifies the way many foreign governments are attempting to restrict a growing movement.

HSLDA’s director for global outreach reflects on the tragic stories of families bearing the brunt of government hostility towards homeschooling. He argues that such repression cannot be tolerated in free societies and cannot solve what some authorities view as the “problem” of parents seeking educational freedom. Such hostility only reveals a dangerous totalitarian philosophy whereas new research shows that home education produces an important social benefit that critics argue is impossible—greater tolerance.

• • •

As the homeschool movement continues to grow rapidly in the United States, and even more rapidly abroad, some families who choose this non-traditional path of education have sometimes faced overwhelming resistance from state power. In Europe particularly, but not exclusively, statist forces are exerting greater control over families—and not just in education.

For homeschooling families however, the effects of state interference can be intense. Some have been forced into exile; children have been taken. A few parents have even been jailed over conscientious objection to government control over the education of their children. In free societies such a forceful reaction to home education reveals a totalitarian desire to control society and disdain for basic freedoms.

However, brave families facing such consequences have shown that force will not prevent them from doing what they think is best for their children. Their example and experience is a lesson for all parents—whether or not they homeschool.

Families Under Fire

Read more about these families in this link…

In Germany, the Wunderlich family – click here

Finland…Jonas Himmelstrand – click here

In Northern Ireland…Monica O’Connor – click here

New South Wales, Australia - click here

In the United States - click here

Meanwhile in New Zealand (not included in the link above) we have had the Red Tape Cluster Buster Meetings with Support Groups and the Problem Solving Survey which all home educators have been invited to fill in (deadline closed at 9:00am today). It would seem that the MoE is interested in home education in New Zealand in a good way. They have been asking us what is working well between the MoE and home educators, what is not working and how can they change in the future.

Home Education Foundation’s Problem Scoping Survey

Barbara Smith’s Problem Scoping Survey

From the MoE: “After 3 October 2014, we will be collating all the feedback from the home schooling sector and organisations involved in home schooling.  We will summarise what is working well and anything that people would like to see changed. A copy of all the feedback and the summary of this collated feedback will be provided to the home schooling sector by the end of November 2014.  We will seek feedback from the sector on this document to ensure we have accurately captured what is working well and what people would like to see changed.  The feedback we receive from the home schooling sector will inform us of the next steps.  Any proposed next steps will be provided to the home schooling sector for comment also by the end of November 2014.”

We look forward to seeing feedback and the summary of the collated feedback and the next steps at the end of November 2014. We are anticipating having an even better environment for home educating in New Zealand as opposed to the Countries mentioned above.

Does Democracy Demand Standardization?

Although the vast majority of research continues to show that homeschooling is an effective means of educating children and yields positive academic, social and civic results, some of the most vocal critics of home education still assert that children can only be socialized in government-controlled education systems. These critics, which includes the German Supreme Court, argue that more control over home and private education is necessary to force the general population into exposure with others, ostensibly so that children can be taught to get along with those who may look, talk, act or think differently. Somehow, apparently, if we can make everyone get together we can make everyone get along.

Some suggest that pluralism and democracy require total state control over education in order to ensure democracy’s survival. Such a view embraces the idea that children are the mere creature of the state, an idea the United States Supreme Court rejected nearly a century ago. Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion on the matter, parental rights remain threatened by overreaching bureaucracies motivated by the desire for more control.

But, looking at it from another angle, what if minorities do not want to “integrate” (the Amish, for example)? And what exactly is meant by “integration?” Is it the state’s role to force people to relinquish distinctive attributes like language, culture, religion, or philosophy that are important to them? That is not to say that a democracy should have to sacrifice equal protection of the laws (such as in requiring the equal treatment of women) or that a common language be used (like English) or even a common culture (whatever that may look like). As our American experience with pluralism unfolds, it is not without great controversy in some areas.

Nevertheless, in a free and democratic society the state oversteps its legitimate boundaries when it commandeers the education system as a means of “integrating minorities” into the “mainstream” and only allows for the teaching of state-approved standards, values or curriculum, e.g. the Common Core.

Private education is an important check on the development of totalitarian tendencies, and democracies should foster private education, not repress it. In the United States an innovative form of private education is home education, which has grown dramatically from virtually zero children in the 1970s to over 2 million in 2014.

As it has grown, proponents of public education bemoan the growing population of children who are not “integrated.” They argue that such a trend is a foreboding portent of the demise of our pluralistic democracy. But if there is any evidence to support the claim, they don’t point to any.

Homeschooling Promotes Tolerance

On the contrary, thanks to the work of educational doctoral student (and public school graduate) Albert Cheng, there is now important evidence that counters these claims. In fact, Cheng’s study, “Does Homeschooling or Private Schooling Promote Political Intolerance? Evidence from a Christian University,” suggests that home education is actually a force that yields more, not less tolerance.

It appears that the impact of parental involvement in education also plays a role in contributing to a healthy view of pluralism that our Founders envisioned.

Cheng evaluated hundreds of students at an evangelical Christian university and grouped students by their exposure to home education. Using an accepted definition of political tolerance, which is the willingness to extend civil liberties to those with whom you disagree, Cheng found that the more exposure a student had to homeschooling, the more politically tolerant he was likely to be. The study was small, but significant, and is the first scientific research showing that not only are the critics wrong, but that the reverse may be true.

Cheng’s research points to a potential connection between a child’s educational environment and his or her likelihood to exhibit tolerance for difference. Educational research has long shown the important role parents play in their children’s education. It appears that the impact of parental involvement in education also plays a role in contributing to a healthy view of pluralism that our Founders envisioned. Read a review by Dr. Brian Ray, a leading home education researcher.

Cheng’s small study will undoubtedly be subject to more scrutiny, but these early results show what many intuitively know: the family is a safe and nurturing place where children can learn and grow with confidence. When children learn and grow with confidence they are more likely to be sure of themselves and comfortable in tolerating difference. At the end of the day, no society founded on pluralism and self-government should tolerate hostility to private education or home education. Especially when common sense, now proven, even if in a small study, reveals homeschooling delivers a foundational element required for peaceful self-governance—true political tolerance.

Pluralism worth protecting appreciates that different people have different views but can still live together and self-govern peacefully. A system that represses educational freedom and denies that parents, not the government, know and act on a child’s best interest is a far graver threat to republican form of self-government. Policies in countries like Germany, Sweden and others that do not tolerate home education reveal a statist mindset that undermines their status as truly free societies; such policies should be changed. And those who criticize home education as creating intolerant, narrow-minded graduates should look at the evidence and re-evaluate their own narrow, and often overly politically motivated perspectives.

• • •

Protect Your Family

We greatly value you and your support—it is a privilege to serve you! If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support enables us to defend individual families threatened by government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>

To read the whole article click here…

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

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