“Ohana means family. Family means no-one gets left behind, or forgotten.”
If you have ever watched the Disney film ‘Lilo and Stitch’, set in Hawaii (and outer space), you will recognise the quote as the motto Lilo and Stitch have when their family – which is ‘little and broken, but still good’ – is threatened with separation.
We started out on our home education journey way back in 1999 as ‘Little Bears Family Homeschool’. Since then, our family has grown and changed shape, and my ‘little bears’ are not so little anymore.
When I started the think about changing our name, firstly I wanted to removed the word ‘homeschool’, since home education in the UK is not about ‘school’ but rather education ‘otherwise than at school’.
It took me a long time to decide upon a new name, but in the end I borrowed the suggestion from another home educator who had adopted her children. I particularly like the meaning of the name ‘ohana’.
In a sense it has a double meaning – it refers both to keeping the family together (and I believe that home education is especially helpful in regard to attachment and positive family relationships) and secondly to the education itself. I think it is the US Department of Education’s aim to ensure that ‘no child is left behind’ while of course the opposite is true. The UK’s equivalent is to ensure that there aren’t any ‘Children Missing Education’ and home educated children are often targeted by CME but again this is on the whole quite the opposite of the truth. Home educators are able to provide an individualised education suitable to the age, ability and aptitude of each child, something that school cannot possibly achieve.