”It is completely understandable that parents are frustrated when they feel the school can’t help,” Mr Battley says. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
”It is completely understandable that parents are frustrated when they feel the school can’t help,” Mr Battley says. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

Homeschooling a ‘default setting’ for frustrated parents

A Gold Coast clinical psychologist claims home schooling has become a "default setting" for parents are at their wits' end over their child's school anxiety.

"The problem is huge. I am working with a few parents at the moment who are moving to home education, which is tough because it is a social disconnection for the child and at times from qualified educators," he said.

Registered Clinical Psychologist Cliff Battley.
Registered Clinical Psychologist Cliff Battley.

"I would certainly say there is a trend towards it here (home schooling and distance education)."

Dr Battley, who has worked in the field of child psychology for more than 20 years, said he believed bullying and a lack of self esteem were behind much of the school anxiety found in students today.

"What I see when I have parents coming to me about home schooling is parents who feel like they don't have options," he said.

Gold Coasters Natasha Correia with students Cristien Correia (11), Louella Evans (11), Channelle Correia (7), Raquelle Correia (5) and Vivian Macedo (4), who are all being homeschooled.
Gold Coasters Natasha Correia with students Cristien Correia (11), Louella Evans (11), Channelle Correia (7), Raquelle Correia (5) and Vivian Macedo (4), who are all being homeschooled.

"It is completely understandable that parents are frustrated when they feel the school can't help.

"The question is what happens when you remove other things involved in schooling like social hierarchy, social norms, school sports teams, debating teams - this is where children learn to be great.

"Let's face it, greatness does not always come from academia, it is from an ability to win at different aspects of social life, but if you take that out you may lose that ability to achieve.

"But home schooling is almost a default setting now.

"Ultimately it might not teach our kids resilience.

"I am not saying throw them to the lions, I am saying parents have hope, parents are more powerful than they think.

"I'm not saying never home school. What I am saying is there are other costs associated with taking that path … everything should be considered."


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