The War on Girls: Education & Bloggers

I have two sons.  I am their biggest advocate when it comes to their education. As a nomadic family you have to be.  With moving frequently my eldest son at eight years old has been home educated and has gone to five different schools in three states in the US and two countries. For me as a mum the biggest challenge facing my kids and education is just making sure my kids are not being held back from their potential.  I look at the spelling lists, the math work, and the lack of homework my sons have in the UK and I see how behind it is from schools my son attended in the US. My eldest went to an accelerated learning school for first grade and was doing algebraic equations for his math level.  That school worked with kids with what level they were at individually and did not hold them back or push them forward for the group.  It opened my eyes to the potential kids at young ages have to learn.  My first grader here in England came home this week with spelling words that included: go, to, and we. I have my son reading chapter books at home and he helps in reading paragraphs aloud in Harry Potter with us as a family. Not to mention I am certain the spelling words I worked with him on in home education a year ago were much harder.  It can be really frustrating as a parent especially as in the expat life and dealing with cultural differences.  Our solution so far is to do as much home education as we can in our free time on top of everything they are learning at school.  We have talked about revisiting the plan of home education full time at home if things do not progress at school.  This is my personal story with education and raising boys. What does it mean for the girls of our world?

I am glad that we are highly involved in our boys' education and that we did not let the in-laws hostility towards home education ruin our plans to continue with it.  However not all children all over the world even have the luxury of freedom to go to school.  There are people who think girls should not get an education. Those who say 'what is the point when they are not going to get a job'. These girls face the challenges of distance, poverty, and child marriage.  Instead of families advocating for their daughters education, there are girls who are banned from going to school and beaten for attending. Girls can be harassed by the community on their way to school. Dreams of girls continuing their education become dashed when forced into child marriages where taking care of the family replace their role of a student.

There are people standing up for change.  Like Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani girl who is an activist and blogger standing up for education and women's rights. She was shot in the head and the neck a year ago 'in an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen while returning home on a school bus'.  This past friday Malala was at Harvard to accept the 2013 Peter J Gomes humanitarian reward.  You can read Malala Yousafzai's blog here.

There are also groups of people advocating for change for girls around the world. I recommend you watch the video below about Because I Am A Girl, an initiative formed by the international charity organization Plan International

In the end I believe it is all our responsibilities to make sure our younger generations get an education.  I am so inspired by all the young girls out there advocating for their peers all over the world. It truly fights against the Miss Representation post I shared last week.

To read Malala's blog:


  1. I am a teacher and I have increasingly become very worn down by the way the school I was working in was going. It was a multi-million pound business that chirrped out the fake management sound bites about 'putting the children first' and having their 'needs at the heart of all they do' - to be honest it was a load of poop! Teachers are meant to tailor things for individual learners (so your son's spelling should relfect what level he is working at - so if it doesn't do ask them, or I can give you the key words at each stage if you like) but often it becomes about ticking boxes because you get some idiot with a clip board (who has rarely spent any time teaching in the last 10 years) from the management who comes in and has a list to say 'yes they are doing this/that' and it becomes less about the children and more about the hoops you had to jump through.
    I never fitted in because I would do what my individual pupils needed, even if it meant it was frowned upon, and I did cater for the wide level range of the 30+ children in my class (some not knowing or being able to spell their name to children working at an accelerated rate). I wanted to do what was right for my students, but because I did not tow the party line, I was hounded out and left.

    So sorry to rant, Bonnie - as your post triggered something so close to my heart which is the failure of education for our children and the shame of that failure in the light of those children around the world for which education is out of reach.

  2. In the end, it's never about the children. Even though I hold that closest to my heart, I hate seeing it not be true. =(

  3. No rant any time...i think thats the best part of commenting when you can just write everything that touches you personally. I honestly was not sure if I should be so candid about what I am dealing with my boys' education but it keeps frustrating me every week. I want my kids to have friends here and really be involved in the culture. However I feel like sometimes I just want to pull them out of school. I have noticed theres are families here that home educate so I would not be alone in that endeavor. But it would be nice to be able to work and know that my kids were getting the best education while they were at school. My in-laws gave me so much grief during the time I was home educating and never listened to the progress I had with my boys (we were living with them at the time) and I just cant understand how having them be underachievers through lack of adequate work is a better alternative. I love teachers like you...even though you are never fully appreciated for your work. You are a real gem.

  4. So sad. I hate hearing or seeing things that lead that statement to be true. :(

  5. It's so sad what's happening to education. The teachers who really care about educating are being reined in and forced to teach a standardized curriculum and the ones that don't care keep progressing because they're good at just checking the block. The best teachers I ever worked with were continually in trouble with the school administration for going "off the approved curriculum." So many of my friends with children are home-schooling them because of this.

  6. This is definitely a cause near and dear to my heart!

  7. It is most definitely our responsibility! And not just for our own children, but to ensure that all children get an education. x.


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Bonnie Rose

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