You know how home ed goes, right? Sweat, tears, panic, fear, sleepless nights, and that piece of paper you ironed. The one when Tinkertop proved she could write. The one you keep as the Almighty Evidence, just in case the EWO calls round again.
But in dark moments of confusion and chaos, you might seek solace from your local group.
Fine. If you don't live in the exact area of the dysfunctional split where the grudge match is played out between the philosophical free rangers, the tutors-for-profit educational support services, the Evangelical Christians, the feral hippies in the wood, and the home schoolers who came up with the great idea for the timetable and the uniform.
But there's always online! Blogs, lists, forums, and email chat.
But the online world mirrors your face-to-face local group. Where you realise just how wide blown apart is the spectrum of home education. Cross-sectioned with dozens of learning approaches, a pile of different philosophies, thousands of uniquely strange kids, and all blasted with the prejudices, opinions, weaknesses and bizarre beliefs that you've come to expect from humanity.
If it didn't get mind-blowing enough, add the government's eternally changing statements, guidances, legislations, amendments, committee reports with the legal challenges, court cases, media reporting, comedic nonsense trotted out by the TES, and the opinion of your cousin Valerie who says now your kids won't ever learn how to socialise.
Home education? I bet you recognise it.
So the fact that sometimes you can just be given a bit of news straightforwardly comes somewhat as a relief.
Like for jaded old Grit, keen to hear the present situation on colleges for September 2013. Yes, despite what I may have heard, colleges can still accept home educated 14-16-year olds, the courses can be funded by a local education department, and the college does not need to act as if they were a school. The national pattern remains scattered, and if Tinkertop wants to poke her face in on a college course, you may have to educate your local admissions tutor who may be confused about their college responsibilities.
It's for updates like that I go to the HesFes talks. Without the HesFes talks, you could always go to places like here.
And don't start any arguments, now.