WIN: A Home Education Notebook by Ross Mountney

I am absolutely delighted to be able to offer one copy of the latest book by online friend and highly respected blogger, author and home educator Ross Mountney. 

Ross Mountney's latest book A Home Education Notebook

To be in with a chance to win A Home Education Notebook, published by Birds Nest Books, enter via the rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post. 

Ross has kindly agreed to write a guest post for Downs Side Up for those of you who may be considering teaching your child yourself. Her advice will encourage and inspire as it did when we were looking for information about flexi-schooling Natty. You can read our review of her previous book Who's Not in School here. 

Author and home educator Ross Mountney

It’s really lovely to pop back to Hayley’s blog and talk to you about home education.

We were first in touch when Hayley wanted to know more about it and take a more flexible learning approach to Natty’s education in respect of her needs at the time.
Home education offers a wonderful opportunity to address a child’s particular needs, whatever they may be, because of its incredible flexibility.

Basically, schooling requires everyone to achieve the same thing, at the same time, through the same approach, whatever their personality, their aptitude, or their special needs. As we are all different, this can cause extreme anxiety, unhappiness and failure in some children who may not be able to perform to this rigid expectation. Add into that the influence of teasing or bullying, in some instances, and we have a recipe for misery and consequently underachievement.

Outside school, the needs of children who are different, who look different, learn differently, are gifted, or whose personality is such that they are uncomfortable in a classroom climate, become irrelevant. Children can learn at their own pace, in their own time, with an approach that suits their abilities and interests. Home education can be tailored to suit the individual and this is the best thing about it.

Take for example those children on the autistic spectrum who are particularly sensitive to noise or disruption, or those who are simply shy or nervous, or not ready for school and mature later; the classroom can feel a daunting place. 

Through home educating the parents can work on providing a climate that will enable these children to flourish. And there are many who do so. Those young people who’ve already graduated are proof that they can fit into a more mainstream approach very easily when they need too.

It is my belief that children should not be made to feel bad about themselves, whatever their preferences (perhaps for a quieter environment), or their abilities (perhaps as learner who excels at a later date), or disabilities. And whatever their special learning needs they should not inhibit their chance for achievement. Sadly in a classroom environment, where teachers are pushed to their limit with all that is required of them, this is often what happens.

Home educating can make all the difference; particular needs can be individually catered for through the flexibility it offers. Learners do not have to follow a specific curriculum, do not have to achieve certain results within certain time frames, can learn in quiet – or noise, sitting, lying on the floor, or jiggling about if they need to! There’s a multitude of approaches to learning which work, once you open your eyes to them. Parents can find a home education community to support them, to share concerns with, and information and ideas, outings and activities.

Increasing numbers of parents with children who have special needs are turning to home education as a workable and successful alternative. As the community grows, children have ample opportunity to socialise, meet and share experiences with others, learn in groups, or on outings and generally mix and muck in with an inclusive and open-minded community. But one that can offer a more intimate and accommodating opportunity to be different than the one which is on offer in some schools.

Schools work fine for many children, including some with special needs. But not for all. Home educating offers a flexible and successful alternative for those who need it.

Ross Mountney


As part of Ross Mountney's blog tour, why not pop over to Louise Walters site tomorrow for another insight into A Home Education Notebook.

To be in with a chance of winning one copy of A Home Education Handbook, enter via one or more of the options on the Rafflecopter widget below.

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