Home Education: The Power of Trust


  • Leslie Safran Independent scholar


trust, home education, learning, self-motivation, children, parents


Research into the effects of long term home educating on the parents suggests that a common educational approach involves parents trusting their children to learn on their own and also trusting their children’s competence to contribute to the design of their educational programme. This involves sharing control of educating decisions with the children, expecting a degree of competence in their ability to decide, maintaining confidence in them and being willing to take some risks. Together, children and parents negotiate the meaning of education for themselves in an active creation of an educational style that suits them, changing the style in accord with their development. If the outcome is successful, further trust is elicited from the parents. Such a relationship with learning encourages children to be self-motivated, active in determining what interests them and at ease with the practice of acting on their decisions. The style of education which typically emerges will be examined in detail. Trusting children to make decisions about their education furthers a relationship to learning that both serves the child, encouraging self-determination, and, as an unexpected consequence, serves the parents who can develop the tools and the appetite for life-long learning.


Author Biography

Leslie Safran, Independent scholar

Leslie Safran is an international author and lecturer on home education and children’s rights.

She is a mother of two young adults who have never been to school. She received her PhD thesis in June 2008 which centres on how the experience of home education can affect the parents. She founded in 1993 and continues to run The Otherwise Club, a community centre for families choosing to educate their children out of school, in NW London. She organises an annual home education conference at Hes Fes (see hesfes.co.uk ), oversees a small independent home education magazine, Choice in Education and runs an annual Home Education Fair in central London in September. She also speaks widely about home education and The Otherwise Club.


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Invited papers