Saturday, 22 September 2012

Gird, loins, that sort of thing

It is with foreboding I come out of Wales, I can't deny it.

Even though the landscape is beautiful and makes us all want to run about in hiking boots declaring poetry

... and we all vote the sheep the prettiest in the world. In fact we speculate they are fairy sheep in disguise

... and, after meeting the gentleman slate splitter, I find myself surprisingly fallen in love with Wales, all things Welsh, and gentlemen slate splitters.

But I still carry a foreboding. There they are. The Welsh Government. Creeping behind me. I can see them if I look over my shoulder. They have plans. Like, 'compulsory registration and monitoring for children who are home educated'. Who doesn't believe it's a scheme tested in Wales? Or, if they're successful, that the ptb will aim to up and run the same system in England before I can unfurl my Badman banners?

I don't doubt the route planned. We seem to be entering a linguistic landscape for the 'accountability of the individual'. Handy, if by that means I am drawn into a system where I'm coerced into participating in pre-set packages and fined if I don't. And will I get any sympathy? Pah. Joe and Joanna of the general public probably think registration and monitoring is a great idea! Maybe they're surprised that maverick home educators aren't inspected already, don't have to be teachers, or aren't made to hoick our non-compliant arses up to a school supervisor who inspects the children for bruising then tests us on our annual timetables.

I shall adopt my usual strategy. Go about the world noisily with my big home educating smile, pointing out the arguments as I can, telling anyone who listens that home education isn't scary and unknown. It isn't school-bashing, it isn't nirvana, it doesn't suit everybody, it doesn't turn the practitioner into mother superior. It is a legal option, you get to enjoy creating a principled and thoughtful way of life, and home educators are just like everyone else. They are not, in my experience, coordinating a clandestine network of child abusers, mind demons and maniacs, but are often disappointingly normal. People who itch, bleed, sorrow, joy, cry, and laugh.

And the other thing I did today was buy a bed.

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