Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Not being negative, or anything...

If you are looking for the negative aspects of home education, look here.

Of course I will not count those negative aspects of home education the anguish I feel over Tiger who now refuses to read aloud to me, even from My Secret Unicorn, so wounded is she by my cak-handed approach to teaching reading.*

Nor is it the bloody mindedness of Shark who refuses to do anything she is told, because let's face it, we all know where she gets that from.**

And it is not the way that home educated children confidently share their ideas out loud in public at every opportunity, and may include observations about your ability to teach maths, put on a wetsuit, find lions or anything else which takes their fancy, thank you very much Squirrel.

No. It is none of these. Nor the suspicious glances of the woman at number 32. She probably thinks I am condoning truancy. Everyday, duh.

Nor the fact that occasionally we meet someone who knows nothing of the home ed social whirl, and have to listen to them witter on about socialisation, despite the fact that I reply over and over again, round here? yup, it's a problem, we do too much of it.

Nor is it the self sacrifice, although there is much of that, because with kids around all day long I cannot write a blog about shopping for handbags, going to the gym, meeting girlfriends for lunch or today's hilarity in the staff canteen.***

Nope. The negative aspect of home education is not the abandonment of a career and a salary either, and all the glory and status those can accord. No. It is not that.

Nor the intrusion home education can make into a marriage, a family who do not approve, or how it can break apart friendships like Raiya, who gave me a lecture at my own kitchen table for goodness sake about how we all have to learn things we don't want to.****

And neither is it the many ordinary daily friendships that will be forever lost, abandoned and never started, because Look! Here are my kids dressed up as Tudors! If I pop round for coffee, is it alright to bring the kids? They will be on their way back from learning how to survive in the woods and can you lock up your dog?

No, the negative side of home education is this. Sitting at the side of the A6, desperate for a wee, telephoning the organiser of the painting session at the old mill because we are lost, late and running out of petrol. And Squirrel, who thinks it may be the right time to ask this question, pips up Mummy! What does that mean, in despair?

But it's not all negative. On the plus side, when I finally do arrive, Shark, Squirrel and Tiger have a very nice time doing a spot of painting and learning about old water mills.

* It could be Tiger has misinterpreted the snorting, scoffing, groaning and sudden shrieks of laughter I have to emit during a reading of this book. Shouting Is this the story where he has to bang his head against the rock? doesn't help either, quite frankly, and I should stop it.

** Dig.

*** I'm not saying I wouldn't want to write a blog like that, mind.

**** And this is the woman who didn't need a garden with children because 'they will learn everything they need to like that at school'.


HelenHaricot said...

ermm, but other than that, nothing useful to add!!

Grit said...


Kitty said...

Is the **** comment from that person fof real? :-O I am astounded.

Oh and I knew about the shewee - I'd be interested to know (a) if you get one, and (b) does it 'work'?


sharon said...

Still struggling then ;-( My younger one when aged 6 would refuse to read his school books because they were boring. When he did condescend to oblige (ie humour his anxious mother) he would put on silly voices and re-write the narrative as he went along! I could only hope he refrained from doing that in class. I found most children with knowledge to share did just that at every inconvenient or embarrassing moment possible, regardless of where or how they were educated. Hang on in there Grit. We all know you can do this, and you know, deep down, it is worth the angst.