Wednesday, 23 January 2013

And tell me what is wrong with modesty and courtesy

Doubletake Film Club today, plus an Art session with a home educating artist.

Latin? The tutor cancelled, due to icy roads.

I said Snow? Ice? No excuse. Spend time on Ten Ticks maths website instead then go out and scrape together an ice dolphin. Someone can help me prepare dinner and we'll watch Alec Guinness in The Ladykillers.

See, education officer slumped over your desk at the local council, helpless in the face of this week's snow closures?

Pft. We don't have to wait for the grounds to be gritted. Everyday is a gritty learning experience round here. I expect Shark, Squirrel and Tiger to bust into life and carry on with their activities through the blizzards, even when everyone else gives up.

Which brings me to my point about this.

Broadly, I agree. Except about the control over the 'secret garden, strip-tease culture'.

The culture is most certainly not out of my control, thank you very much. Culture is very much in my control. The responsibility is mine, and I am in charge of teaching it to three future citizens. I am not letting them grow up to blindly consume the tripe from the lowest common denominator or passively consume the dross without question. And the rules for behaviour are ultimately set by me, not by Jessie of 3G.

Say no to the sexualised imagery and land punches on the superficial garbage dressed up as freedom of expression that washes daily across the nation's television screens, monitors, phones, games and toys.

Do not adopt a helpless stance and sod off with the victim of corporate power. Take the power back. Boot out a school that's failing them and open a book instead. Turn off the TV, don't buy the games, restrict the phone use, keep tabs on the internet access, choose the friends wisely, and eat together - or as much as the family as you can muster - where you can argue out the 3Rs - Respect, Responsibility and Resourcefulness - then use the damn RRR to hammer out a few non-negotiable ground rules, and find out which ones the kids can't agree with.

As a last resort, get the offspring in the car, lock all the doors, drive them to the woods while delivering a moral assembly, then tip them out and put into action some values of mutual support and cooperation in finding the way home.

I have one final card up my sleeve, and it is to be utterly, totally, fearless when talking about anything and everything. Being open and receptive to any question means the children know to trust you, parent, to ask, at their own pace, to wonder at their own speed, and to learn by their own instigation.

Parent. Not state, school, government representative, local council officer, Lady Gaga, Mr Spooky from the corner, the NSPCC, Hot TV, Femail, website XXX, or Jessie of 3G.

And this, to me, is taking control of culture.

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