Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Dwelling on thoughts is usually a bad idea

Because I'm not giving in, and writing about my feeling today, as I march the gritlets along the street to Bedford Museum for a workshop on the siege of Bedford.

That feeling, like everyone's read those newspaper stories now. So the woman who passes me? When her eyes glance for a fraction of a moment as her brain checks out a mum and three kids trailing behind, and what comes tumbling next into her head to spread that shadow over her face and cause that flickering frown?

Huh. Another parent condoning truancy. A parent who's kept their kids from school, one of those pretending about home education. Religious nut. Warped person. Someone not like us, like normal people. How can their kids ever be normal? Look, no friends. Isolated. Locked away. It's a disgrace. Something should be done.


Wondering what other people think is probably a bad idea, because it won't make much difference to how we live, and what our values are. I'll carry on doing what we do, everyday, because I believe for me and mine, it is right. But it all just got harder to get over our ideas, free from prejudice, free from those thoughts, and those press insinuations.

We meet a group of home educators of all types up on the windy Castle hill. Some are outraged by the Badman report, angry at the attack on privacy and choice. Some shrug their shoulders and say, with resignation, it's what this society is moving to, what can we expect? Others say home educators should accept visits, should enjoy them. Another says they're leaving the country. They've had enough. A last, optimistic, says look on the bright side, says something good will come.

The education officer doesn't seem to expect anything, so we oblige. She gaily suggests the kids reenact the siege of Bedford, then hands out costumes, wooden props, and a crossbow, which she says, to everyone's disappointment, doesn't really shoot bolts, so don't try. Chuck some plasticine about instead.

We don't learn much we didn't already know. We'll come back home and read it from Wikipedia.

But it's a chance for the kids to all meet up, have fun, run about, dress up as archbishops, gate keepers, soldiers, cooks, scribes, lords and ladies. They whoop and shout, play at making grass medicine for the wounded, and send secret messages from castle walls that don't exist. The parents chat, and everything is so very ordinary, and so very normal.




4 comments:

The Green Stone Woman said...

Grit, don't go down with the ship. Keep focused on what you do well and that is educating the gritlets. You don't have to be one woman taking on the whole system. Be good to yourself and give yourself lots of credit and don't feel that you constantly have to prove your worth. There's nothing wrong with you and that is very obvious. The system is in error, but it is not on your shoulders to set it right.

Maggie May said...

Oh my..... I have had a little catch up on your latest posts.......
What has this Richard guy been suggesting! The mind boggles.
As you have three children of the same age, there is no problem about them not having friends etc. So home educating seems to be a good way to go. In any case it is entirely up to you to decide how to educate your own children.
Good to hear from you again!

Grit said...

irene, you are a wise woman. i am of the school of thought that our peace is active and we have to do something to maintain it, and part of that for me is educating people about home ed!

hi maggie may! thank you! a lot of abuse from the press is now coming right at home educators. but i am sure those opinions have not been shared by most of the public.

Allie said...

"Wondering what other people think is probably a bad idea, because it won't make much difference to how we live, and what our values are. I'll carry on doing what we do, everyday, because I believe for me and mine, it is right. But it all just got harder to get over our ideas, free from prejudice, free from those thoughts, and those press insinuations."

Yes, I don't worry too much about what people are thinking because of nonsense they read in the press. I think most people are thinking about their own lives most of the time. What they read yesterday is probably lost in the fog of what they'll be doing for their own kids' tea. I intend to keep on keeping on. Like always. As you say, we have to do what we think is right.