Sunday, 11 December 2011

Can you trust the children?

Term end approaching!

It is inevitable, isn't it? The piteous infant mewling. The forlorn cries expressed from some of the miniature offspring, their wails now only of exhaustion, relief, and gratitude, so glad school is over.

Come return in January, so despairing will be the sighs from some of them, they will cause a minor typhoon in the tropics.

Inevitable then, how you flirt with the idea of making school stop for a time in 2012. Who wouldn't? But because the school closes its doors to your fantastic idea of flexi-schooling (more fool them) you might wonder about the fearful route of home education.

But I am here to help! Even if this post is only for the two of you. One day I shall change the idea of primary education in England for a generation. I will have children led by artists, geologists, scientists, archaeologists, musicians, foresters, old lady lace makers, philosophers, librarians, poets and dancers. All kids will be equipped with fields, woods, all outdoors, and I will have them playing, creating, making stories, music, art, staring at the sky, and bloody well being left alone to climb trees and build their own social system.

That caters for the up to age 7s nicely. And I will ban anyone with a clipboard within 200 miles of them. Yes, that too. I have a magic wand somewhere. When I find it, I will use it.

Until then, bad luck. If you really do choose home ed in 2012, then alongside your must-have character list of bloody-mindedness, teeth-grinding determination, and the hahaha of false confidence, you will need strategies to deal with insecurities, fears and the neighbours.

Join the club. If you have any words of wisdom about my favourite fears in the land of home education, then let's have them. We have a lot of fear swilling about and we could do with some suggestions:

1. Fear what we're told will happen to Tinkertop if she is removed from school will all come true.
2. Fear that Tinkertop will end her days sleeping on a park bench. Illiterate, unemployed, alcoholic, pregnant, on drugs, crazy. All by next Thursday and it is YOUR FAULT.
3. Fear of social exclusion. Whatever that is.
4. Fear that your family, relatives and friends will never speak to you again, never help you, and never lend you money. Ever again.
5. Fear of not being able to do it. And when you do it, that it is the wrong it.
6. Fear of being with your own kids. Locked in the house. All day long. And they have scissors.
7. More fear, of generally disabling variety, about life. Things like never being able to buy shoes or have sex ever again. (True. At least round here.)
8. Fear of the weird people in home ed. You know, the ones who knit their own hair because they don't believe in commercially grown cotton.
9. Fear of the Ed Psych, Social Services, EWO, the LA, the PCSO, truancy patrol, all schools, forced adoption services, family law courts, the headteacher you don't even fancy, in fact everyone in any remote position of authority, including the parking attendant who works at Netto and Miss Timms the ballet teacher you have previously despised.
10. Fear of missing out, but not sure what constitutes out.
11. Fear that after one week Tinkertop will come to the crushing conclusion that any school is better than your attempt at reading a book aloud with all the voices.
12. Fear that you won't like the person you have to become to do it. And Tinkertop won't either.

So I can address all of those issues.

Just not today, that's all. Because today I am busy. A large group of us home ed mummies and daddies must get together in a dark room to watch a panto.

This panto is put on by our kids, aged 6-15. They found a script on the Internet, then sorted the whole drama themselves; beginning to end, costumes, props, learning the lines, rehearsals, direction, dramatic action, who controls the light switch and what to do about yeaughh! - the kiss - when NO WAY are you kissing him, no matter how good looking he is.

Thus we have Beauty is a Beast. A total and complete cross-cultural, mixed-age, mixed-sex group, call-it-education SUCCESS. Not one parent did DIDDLYSQUAT for this over the last three months, except one who booked a rehearsal room on a weekly basis, made tea for the parents of the panto stars, and sat in on rehearsals for 30 minutes in case two siblings punched each other. (NOT MINE.)

Well, we proud parents photographed each other,
waiting for the final show. We did that.

So yes, I can address all those fears you might have if you are considering home ed in 2012. But as you can see, the children can do it so much better.

All you got to do, is trust them.


KP Nuts said...

Are you selling tickets?

Nora said...

Sometimes, the children are the only people you can trust. They have not been corrupted yet if they are under a certain age. XOX