He must have despised us from the start
My guess is that we never stood a chance of getting any other result out of him, an establishment man through and through, of the generation that largely believes children must be whipped into learning, teachers must be whipped into teaching them and parents into facilitating that. We were never, in the six short months we had, going to entice him into a different mindset or anything remotely approaching one. Home education is an affront to someone like that; autonomous learning even more so. He was always going to turn on us, no matter how politely and attentively he feigned to listen. Agreeing with the premise of our lives would have been to disagree with his own, and he's far too old to contemplate - or even be capable of - that.
I said something along these lines back in January, though it gives me no pleasure to be so vindicated.
Forgive the repetition, but I'm going to indulge again in picking over some of his words about autonomous learning:
Or, does it present a more serious concern for a quality of education that lacks pace, rigour and direction[?]
Some of our ageing relatives still think this, even after witnessing many years of the absolute opposite in the children. They even think it while their computers are being expertly repaired by my older son and they're eagerly regaling their friends with talk of his business success, or his brother's skill with languages. They never join the dots between the two, because to do so would be too much of a mental upheaval for them.
The truth is, far from needing a 'broad and balanced' education, my older children needed - still do need - unlimited time to focus exclusively on whatever they were passionate about learning. Somehow, in and amongst all of that, they also picked up an amazing depth and range of understanding of history, geography, politics, science as well as more than adequate abilities in numeracy and literacy. And no, they haven't opted to do qualifications so far because they prefer to be free to follow their interests, and they're not worried about jobs because they want to work for themselves, or already are.
Living this way makes them happy, healthy and high-functioning - but it seems to me that the Badman report is the start of a process that's designed to prohibit those kinds of choices and to ensure that from now on, every child will grow up a prisoner of that system that Diana Johnson erroneously claimed home education was already a part of.
Well it's not good for everyone. It might not even be very good for anyone, but the system doesn't care about that: it only cares about itself.