Shoppers in Brighton were greeted by a colourful sight as children filled the streets with bubbles as part of a protest.

Boys and girls of different ages, many wearing T-shirts saying “The world is my classroom and life is my curriculum”, took part in the “flash mob” event to protest at proposals by the Department for Children, Schools and Families which would change the way they learn.

Ali Moir, 44, from Lewes, who helped to organise the event, said: “We chose bubbles because part of what the Government review is saying is we are hidden in society, so we wanted something very visual to say we are out and about in the community.

Bubbles also represent childhood and freedom.” And it is part of this freedom which parents who home educate are worried they could lose.

The Government proposals which are currently under consultation would give local councils new powers to decide which parents are allowed to educate their own children, track home educating families on a Government database and enter family homes to interview children alone.

Another issue which is worrying many parents is that they would be asked to create an education plan for their children a year in advance.

However families say this goes against the way in which their children learn.

Ms Moir, who has always home educated her eight-year-old daughter Freya, said: “What Freya learns comes very much from her.

I would say 90% of what we follow is what she is interested in and 10% comes from me saying ‘we are going to have a go at this’.

“Her interests take us forward and my role is to facilitate activities and make suggestions.

“For example Freya is currently reading an encyclopaedia and enjoys studying her atlas.

“These proposals are just going to make home education look even more difficult to people and I really worry that some kids are going to stay in school or start school who would have been much happier in home education.” Ms Moir, a freelance translator, believes Freya should shape her own future.

She said: “If she wants to take exams or go to school in the future we would always support her.” Nic Goodard, 45, also began home educating her children Davies, eight and Scarlett, six, after deciding Davies was not ready to start nursery.

She said: “We started off thinking we’d see what happened when he hit five, but by the time he was five there was no question that we would home educate him.

“Our method of learning is utterly organic, we don’t follow a curriculum or any structure.

Children, if you let them, never stop asking ‘why?’ and I love that.

“I can’t teach them everything they need to know and I am very honest about that, but I can assist them in finding out about it.

The best people to teach a subject is someone who knows all about it and is passionate about it.

For example Davies is interested in archaeology, so he has joined a club.” Mrs Goodard, who lives in Sompting, near Lancing, is also concerned about the suggestion that learning plans should be provided for the coming year.

The part-time library assistant said: “I am utterly confident I can convince anyone that in the last year I have provided a fantastic, well-rounded education and my children are living proof of that.

“But I can’t tell you what they are going to be learning in nine months or a year.” Lucy Milner-Gulland, 40, has always home educated her children Ione, 13, Cory, nine and Kit, five.

She said: “I found out about it when Ione was about two and it seemed to be something really worth doing.

“In those days it just seemed natural she should carry on living and learning as she had been doing.

“At four years old children are already learning by helping their mums with things like the cooking and looking at money.

They are learning all the time and it made sense that a five-year-old would learn in just the same way.

“We found a really good way for our children to learn and enjoy life.

I don’t think it works for everyone, but it works with our life and it’s not a difficult choice because the children are happy.” Parents use many different methods to teach their children and in Brighton and Hove there are different groups they can join.

Ms Milner-Gulland, who lives near Queens Park in Brighton, said: “We are autonomous educators so I take my lead from them.

“My daughter is in every group that is going.

Every day she has activities to go to.

She is taking her GCSE English, goes to French classes and is in a band.

She likes to learn out of the home with other kids.

“But my son doesn’t like group learning at all.

He wants to do everything himself so he reads books a lot and talks to us and asks questions.

“The nice thing about home educated kids is they get to meet a large range of different age groups and they mix really confidently with adults because they see them as mentors and friends.

“I am completely guided by my children.

One of the proposals has asked for a plan to be registered of what we are going to learn in a year.

But autonomous education doesn’t work from a curriculum.” While some parents chose to home educate their children from the start, others opt to remove children from schools as a result of situations outside of their control.

Writer Roz Barber, 45, took her sons George, 16, and Charlie, 14, out of school for different reasons.

She said: “With George it was an absolute necessity.

When he went to secondary school he was bullied relentlessly every single day.

“I withdrew him at end of Year 8 when he was 13.

“I wished afterwards that I had done it earlier but I didn’t know anything about it.

“We had left him in school because it was quite scary to withdraw him and we were ordinary parents with busy lives.

“But I believe home education saved George’s life.

He was so depressed.” George has now been offered a place at City College Brighton and Hove for an art and design course on the strength of his art portfolio.

Ms Barber’s other son Charlie also had problems at school, but his was caused by dyslexia, which although a problem was not at a level which could be supported within a school environment.

Ms Barber, who lives in Brighton, said: “He was being made to feel a failure and we found we were spending more one on one time with our school educated child than our home educated one.

“School was not an appropriate environment for either of them.” Ms Barber also home educates her five-year-old daughter Milly.

Tasha Middleton, 26, also removed her eight-year-old son Toby from school after he became increasingly unhappy.

She said: “He was really miserable in school and by his third year he hated it.

He wouldn’t want to go to school in the morning and he’d by crying as soon as we got there.

Then when he came out of school he wouldn’t want to talk to anyone for about an hour.

“He has been out of school for a year now and he is a lot happier and a lot more confident.

“He works a lot better at his own pace and he doesn’t like big groups of people.

He was popular at school and did very well academically but it just didn’t suit him.

“Now he has got back into exploring things himself.

He likes to do science experiments and really enjoys photography.

“Anything that takes his fancy we will jump on it and explore it.

“That is why the proposals of planning ahead are impossible when you are learning autonomously.

You can’t possibly tell what he’ll be interested in next week, let alone next year.” To sign a petition against the Government’s proposals visit the Number 10 petition.