Thursday, 1 September 2011

I need to remember what this is

I need to remember, grit's day is a diary which demonstrates an everyday education for kids. Call it home education or home school, I no longer care.

It is not a Hong Kong whining blog.

Because truly I want this blog to be helpful if you're debating and doubting whether you can build an alternative, non-school-education for your little Tinkertop. Wherever you live.

So the daily goss might be helpful. How any ordinary parent-mother does education without school. How she messes it up, does it wrong, plucks learning from not much, lives with kids, takes joy from sorrow, and makes pathetic weasel excuses that she hopes will get her off the hook under scrutiny.

Yes, for how to turn everyday alternative learning failure into permanent educational triumph, in grit's day you've come to the right place.

Now, here is the message for Tinkertop's success.

You can do what you like.

I suppose I should add a proviso to that. There's sure to be an EWO in an English county council peering into these home ed blogs. They'll be rubbing their hands like Wackford Squeers, convinced that non-school parents are a deservingless bunch of feckless anti-social ferals, alternatively neglecting and beating the shit out of their own kids.

Grit's statement, You can do what you like will fall neatly into their interpretation of anything mad and dangerous, thus fit perfectly an agenda of I told you they should be monitored.

I don't want to provide evidence for that control freak. So, within the law, all usual moral concerns, parental responsibilities, appropriate duties of care etc. etc. and enough goddam patience, in this learn-what-you-want, where-you-want world, you can do what you like.

You can decide on a whim to visit somewhere, take a journey, find a last-minute holiday, travel, explore, or enjoy adventure with twelve harvestmen down at the park, 10.30am Monday morning.

You don't have to ask permission nor plead your case to a headteacher. You don't have to promise to be back in time, nor spend one second being pissed off about institutions taking control over your life. You don't have to waste time getting angry with how teachers have to push you about, making demands for pointless crap, and you don't have to return the signed consent forms so Tinkertop can be marched down the library for her hour's visit once a term.

In this home ed world, i.e. the normal society one, you can decide to just go, on your own account. You can walk to the library, and take your kid with you. You can set up a meeting with other non-school people, take puppets, make an outing of it, tell your own stories, take charge, and organise it for yourselves.

Given that Tinkertop agrees, of course.

Today, Tiger wants to slam a ball about a ball court. Shark and Squirrel want to parry with their entertaining sibling wit (Why don't you kill yourself? Why don't you kill yourself first?) before settling on a trip to the beach with an Almond Magnum apiece. And I don't give a damn what I do, so long as it involves a large and frequent injection of coffee.

(Soon I might even tackle the S-word.)

But today, no one round here, at any time, had to fill in a form, ask permission, restructure our child care arrangements, nor feel anyone else was in charge of our lives when we wanted to spend our Wednesday doing what we wanted, and still calling it an education.

That might be worth remembering now that school's back and they require the usual forms returned by Thursday.

You know the ones.

Parental consent, medical contact, database consent, rules on mobile phones and dinner money, photographic caution, information about uniform, holiday permission, examination and term dates, homework requirements, school rules, your signatures for logbooks, lunchbox policy, requested information on ethnic background, contribution required for school visits, help needed on the PTA, reminder about parent-teacher contracts, and the patronising booklet, How you can help improve your child's learning.

(P.S. This term's library visit cancelled, due to staff shortage.)


sharon said...

Looks as though Tiger is a little less upset by the relocation this time - or is it too early to say that?

Nora said...

I totally understand those regular injections of coffee. I need them myself and I have no one to deal with but the dog and the cat and they are mostly very reasonable.

RuralDiversity said...

how much money will you give me if I don't thump you for making me totally jealous? I'm going through a "withdraw my children from school and live in a mud hut and I don't care if it's legal or not" phase and I want your lifestyle.