Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Apart from this, we had a workshop at Verulamium Roman Museum in St Albans

Gawd blimey. Today I read a private tutor who blows the gaff. In the Independent letters she claims fundamentalist Christianity is psychological abuse - but only if you're home educating.


For Grit, any type of organised religion is a means of psychological abuse. OK. I accept that following a religious faith is an important ingredient for some folks, and probably helps get through intense pain and emotional distress, whereas for Grit there is only vodka. But I challenge anyone on this planet to convert me to worshipping a deity for the rest of my life. Try persuading me to jump out a burning building first.

But it's not the fundamental Christianity which worries today's Independent letter writer. No. It's the faith AND the home education.

Mention home ed? Now we are really talking. Howabout 'seclusion', 'in a bubble on the fringes of society' children who are 'denied exposure'. You see? Common sense tells us that in the home ed world, there is only the opportunity for extreme, manic, neurotic, mad zealots who go by the name of parents to indulge in 'dangerous brainwashing' of their own children.

I guess I need to say to this letter writer out of all the home ed families I have met - that motley assortment of Protestant, Catholic, Pagan, Buddhists, Jewish, Humanist, Atheist, Flying spaghetti monster - I have never yet met one family who brainwashes their kids, keeps them secluded, or considers themselves on the fringes of society.

In fact, I'd stick my neck out so far as to say home educators consider themselves at the heart of society. We are dumped in it daily. And we don't lock kids away in institutions. In fact we probably find it weird that you can walk down a high street on a sunny Wednesday morning and can't see a kid on it.

Letter writer, some folks I know might in fact suggest that is a form of psychological abuse.


Elizabeth said...

Sometimes I feel that home educators are the only ones in society who feel it's a shame that only the under 4's and the over 65's in our society can enjoy the great outdoors and local attractions during the daytime mid-week. I never realized how real the child-catcher in Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang was till I started down this path.

Rubberbacon said...

The women who wrote that piece in Letters is completely ignorant. The piece seems to assume that children of Christians are robots with no functional thought process of their own. I can tell you from personal experience of growing up in a very strict Christian home where we were not allowed to have a TV, wore skirts, women didn't cut their hair, didn't wear jewelry, didn't believe in Santa Clause, told not to practice witchcraft or magic and blathery blah blah blah and BELIEVE ME we found plenty of ways to discover the outside world. It's not possible to raise children in a bubble unless you move them to an island with no outside influence.

And what did Humpty Dumpty & Man on the Moon ever do to anyone??? I've never heard of anyone adding these to the banned list of Christian reading. Does Helena Cox really expect to be taken seriously with this bit?

mamacrow said...

I like to sheild my children from programmes, films, games and adverts I feel are inapropriate for their age, or comletely contraviene our principles of peace and joy (maaan).

That doesn't mean I'm 100% successful (or want to be) or that we don't discuss these types of issues and behavours on a regular basis.

I'm not sure that makes me a brainwasher any more than any parent or institution (like a school for example) that is trying to pass on a set of principles or standards to children.

If you think about it, societies work on brainwashing. People who refuse or are unable to behave in the prescibed way end up as criminals, detained patients, etc etc. Or, in the good old days, were shipped off to Australia.

And I couldn't agree more Grit, about school children being issolated away.