Here's a reminder about life in home educating land.
Home educated children go out and about in everyday society and interact with people. Some people say, 'I wish I'd done that' and some people do funny looking-in-the-air, and say 'I suppose there's nothing wrong with it'.
Home educated children learn through life happening all around us. Streets, parks, play areas, social spaces and the open air. Sometimes they hang around the cafe eavesdropping on the grown up talk about bladders. You'd rather they went off to play with the other home ed kids round the back of the public art.
Home educated children learn real-world, real-life skills alongside professionals, working people, crafts people, people doing ordinary jobs. They've not yet learned to be contemptuous of people who clean loos or drive buses, nor doff their caps at someone who peers at them and tells them, 'I'm an expert'. Nope, they treat you all with the same respect. They'll be interested in you if you return that respect.
Home educated children have access to online learning, tuition, resources and reference. They use libraries, computers, multi-media equipment, and know how to work the damn DVD player when it defeats me.
Home educated children can be found in museums, galleries, public lectures, exhibition spaces, concert halls, theatres, studios, cinemas and shopping malls. They sometimes make themselves obvious in those places by whining, showing they know a bucketload of stuff, bashing their sister, or refusing to move for 40 minutes while they make notes on the composition of limestone.
Home educated children can be found roving through woods, fields, hillsides, the old rec just beyond the back garden and the beach. Sometimes at 2pm! Call us innovating educators, why don't you?
Home educated children take advantage of the enormous resources their hard working and devoted parents muster (yes, I take applause now); from lessons to visits to art supplies to specialist teachers and play dates. And thank goodness Squirrel dropped the bloody ballet, that's all I'm saying.
Home educated children learn what they want, how they want, where they want. They might shout out interesting stuff about dolphins in the middle of Sainsbury's while you glow with pride. Or they point out the failings of an educational workshop in embarrassing detail and a loud voice while you look blankly around with an expression that says 'Whose children are those?'
Home educated children are very social. They play together, fall out, make up, insult each other, swing fists, run about yelling with sticks, get told to put the scissors down before they have someone's eye out, and receive great doses of ticking off.
Home educated children are told to stop rocking on your chair and eat dinner, for goodness sake go to bed, wear knickers, brush your teeth, stop slapping your sister, and don't answer back with that because you are aged 10. They're also respected, listened to, cuddled, and loved.
Home educated children have days where learning is as natural as living. They can choose to take exams or no exams, sit assessments, try school, try flexischool, explore educational provision in and out the state system, follow online courses, join lessons, attend interviews, take OU degrees and acquire PhDs having been autonomously educated for years before starting college.
Home educated children have the support of their parents.
That all means No. I'm not supporting the NSPCC this Christmas. Even if you do wear a Santa hat.
From my view, you demonstrate hatred of home educators in particular, and promote an anti-parent agenda in general.
Now, NSPCC*, I'm selling you reality. What are you selling me? Apart from the deception you say I can buy this Christmas from you, at the cost of a fiver?
Can I make it clear? NSPCC, don't contact me again.
Re: your contact to my excellent! parenting! blog! last week to suggest I could use my writing to invite readers to take part in your Christmas 2010 fundraising, where you pretend to be Santa, for a price.