Many school teachers have misconceptions about how much help home educators provide students and how much this impacts student authorship. This is especially the case if a student performs better than they had expected on an assignment or test. However, this should not be the case as home educators work under the same expectations of academic integrity as classroom teachers.
Additionally, there are several good reasons why students perform better on assessment when they have a home educator supporting them. The
main reason is the additional time which a home educator can spend with students in (using a literary example):
- Analysing task and criteria expectations;
- Developing a strong Controlling Idea;
- Logically sequencing arguments based on this controlling idea;
- Finding extensive evidence in support of this thesis;
- Paragraphs and both editing and proof-reading drafts.
In most cases, students can spend much longer in discussion with home educators teasing out ideas through discussion, than is possible at school. Such one-to-one discussion opportunities result in much richer understanding of both task and text requirements and greater confidence in their own ideas and abilities. For many students, working with a home educator is their first experience of having their ideas validated and encouraged. This is particularly the case with introverted students or those with specific learning needs. It is the value of the time home educators can give to the individual that provides the nurturing of ability every classroom teacher aims to provide, but which the realities of institutionalised education and large class sizes precludes. In essence, a home educator has the time to do what every classroom teacher would love to do, spend time drawing from every student the best of which they are capable.
BY SUE BURVILL-SHAW