The World Is My Classroom

Educational Philosophy:

In respect of XXXXX D.O.B. XXXXXXX

I believe that a child cannot sufficiently learn to the best of his/her ability unless that child is happy and secure. This is particularly important with a child like XXXXXXX who has a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome and has a need for more security in his life than most children.

Although I am not anti-school, I do feel where some children are concerned that an alternative approach to Mainstream Education (including Home Based Education) is a better method of Education for that particular child.

I believe that all parents should be given the choice as to which method suits that child and that Education Authorities and other professional bodies should fully support the decision of the parent/s. The law clearly gives responsibility for the child to the parent/s.

The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable to his age, ability and aptitude and to any special educational needs he may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.

I firmly believe that at this present moment and for the foreseeable future, XXXXXXX’s needs are best met by his education being home based with me, his mother, as facilitator to his learning.

Following philosophies based on the educational teachings of Rudolf Steiner, Charlotte Mason, John Holt, John Gatto, Maria Montessori and, Jean Jacques Rousseau, I have tailor made an educational approach to uniquely suit XXXXXXX and his specific needs.

XXXXXXX follows an autonomous, child-centred, holistic style of learning. Educational resources are provided continuously for XXXXXXX but are introduced in a non-confrontational way. From XXXXXXX’s perspective he is ‘playing’ and ‘having fun’ whereas in reality his education is taking place all the time.

XXXXXXX has complete freedom to choose which subjects he studies and which resource he uses for study (ie…computer, books, television etc) Therefore XXXXXXX follows his own interests maintaining a high level of enthusiasm towards life and learning at all times. XXXXXXX develops obsessions which are quite normal given his diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome and I use these obsessions in a positive way to reinforce learning.

Recently XXXXXXX developed an obsession for birds. I then provided books, video tapes and other resources concerning birds. We had conversations about birds, went outdoors to see birds, fed the birds etc. XXXXXXX drew pictures of birds and I found several educational websites on the internet concerning birds of all kinds.

By following XXXXXXX’s obsessions and interests as a basis for his education, all curricular subjects are followed in a non-linear but very comprehensive way. XXXXXXX is free to study at his own pace the subjects he enjoys. XXXXXXX’s learning is always fun and he is fully absorbed with the interests he has, therefore retaining the knowledge he has learned, which is so often forgotten in children where their curriculum has been enforced.

Following this philosophy XXXXXXX is not viewed as a child who needs to be filled with knowledge from an outside source as quickly as possible but as an active participant in his own learning. He already has all the skills he needs in which to learn about everything around him. I believe this innate desire to learn is present from birth in every child. XXXXXXX’s thinking and perception is different from most children due to his special needs but his desire to learn and his wonder as he discovers something new is as strong as any other child.

My aim, as parent and educator, is for XXXXXXX to be able to live a full and happy life. I would desire him to reach adulthood with confidence, equipped with the skills he needs in order for him to take his rightful place in society and live an independent a life as possible. I aim for XXXXXXX to reach his full potential and believe that following this child-led approach to learning is the way to achieve this goal.

My role is that of facilitator not of ‘teacher’. I provide necessary resources and life experiences in line with XXXXXXX’s needs and interests. This role requires a parent to be sensitive to the child’s thought processes and emotions and in the case of XXXXXXX, requires a well researched understanding of Autistic Spectrum Disorders and specifically Asperger’s Syndrome and how this particular condition affects the individual child. As his mother I have this sensitivity and understanding and have researched Autism and its related conditions since his diagnosis in 1998. Due to these facts I feel I am the best person to be able to provide the skills XXXXXXX needs concerning his Education.