Family Directed Education - A New Term
© Beverley Paine
My friend Nancy recently introduced me to the the term "Family Directed Education" because it covers all the many ways education can be attained.
I've met people over the years that have strongly chastised me for calling what we do 'homeschooling' because they object to the use of the word 'school'. We're not a school, we don't do school-at-home, so why call it homeschooling? However I don't mind using that term because it is well known and accepted.
Home education captures a wider audience than families teaching their children at home. It's used in the adult education industry. It has also become accepted as meaning parents teaching their children at home and is the term that seems to be preferred by educational authorities and governments around Australia.
Unschooling is an approach used by many, but doesn't capture those that use traditional educational methods and curriculum materials. It's not a generic term that can be used for all families teaching their children at home. Other terms, like child-led, delight-directed or natural learning, are useful for some families but not all.
Family-Directed Learning says it all. The emphasis is on learning as family -everyone in the family learning, and having some say over the direction and content of the educational process. This happens in all homeschool households!
Family-Directed learning is directed and controlled by the individual family, as opposed to an authoritarian and coercive government institution. The means materials and methods can be changed, combined, modified, or designed for the current needs of the learners. Using this term is inclusive of any of the vast range of opportunities for learning available: whether through using a prepared curriculum, trade books, field trips, tutors, co-op classes, apprenticeship, volunteer activities, or a specialty school.
That's why I like Nancy's suggestion to rename homeschooling Family Directed Education!
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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
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