Once I refused to participate in Facebook, I noticed that as my online friends gravitated more and more to FB and less socializing on any other platforms, nor through phone calls any longer, I lost touch with most of them and couple friends from the across the pond I still have, don't have young children and the topic of schooling verses homeschooling has never come up.
Unlike my friends in the United States, in which the topic started to come up 20 years ago and it's only gotten to be bigger (and better) since then.
The first friend I ever knew to homeschool was a friend whose son went to preschool with my daughter. We moved away just as the kids were starting kindergarten, which was in part by choice because we wanted to move to a state with a better public school system. As it was, our friends enrolled their son in a strict Southern Baptist Christian School but found it to be a really bad 'fit' with their child. Kindergarten went fine but when first grade started, it went downhill from there. The little boy was a very good little boy, but he was a chatter-box! And this teacher grew tired of the little chatter-box and decided to make him stand in front of the class and shamed him and berated him in front of everyone. It was the icing on the cake of a very rough year and at that point, she took him out of school and decided to homeschool.
I had never known anyone to homeschool before, and it seemed so... strange, unorthodox and shocking. And you know what? For the 1990's... it was.
By the year 2000 I had another friend who decided to homeschool her two children. Her mother was shocked and upset and wanted so badly for the kids to stay enrolled in school that she offered to pay the tuition for a private school of their choice... no matter the amount. But my friend said no. She had done her due diligence and decided to homeschool.
After that? It seemed I knew more parents homeschooling than I did with kids enrolled in public or private schools!
As the school systems in the US got worse in too many ways to count, and nothing positive was coming on the horizon, it's only grown and grown in popularity and homeschooling is almost the norm now....
But in all this, I had NO IDEA homeschooling was a thing in the UK as well.
As a matter of fact, I didn't know that anyone in the UK homeschooled and honestly, had never thought about it, since the topic had never, not once, come up with friends and I'd never seen anything about homeschooling in Great Britain in the news... until today.
Not the news though. I stumbled upon an old blog, which led to a list of her friends... and as I clicked through to see if there were any of interest to me, I found myself surrounded with a ton of UK blogs that were all homeschoolers!
I had no idea! But apparently it's getting quite popular overseas as well as parents grow frustrated and let down by the schools and the school teachers.
I even found a UK government publication about homeschooling... so interesting! I guess the education system is getting pretty lousy all over....
The UK's government pdf on home education - http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/e/guidelines%20for%20las%20on%20elective%20home%20educationsecondrevisev2%200.pdf
The Brave Learner: Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning, and Life