Shark arranged for an after-school-hours-tour of a local sixth form. We parents tagged along.
I couldn't help but notice, after the land of home ed, where the wide, wide world is your classroom, how confined the whole place is.
We drove to this building that Dig said looked like it had been designed by a hospital architect. There are walls everywhere! And card-key passes. And doors. And signs that read NO STUDENTS NO BALL GAMES NO FOOD NO DRINK NO ENTRY.
And the greeting was a little We don't care if you come here or not, we're oversubscribed. And I don't care if you're a girl who wants to be a marine engineer and to you, fat-arsed mama, I'm not going to smile at your joke about the nun.
The sixth-form head showed us round, jangling keys like a prison warder and speaking into a walkie-talkie about other things he had to do. Okay, so I did get a little arsey, and Dig started making faces at me when I launched into the philosophical explanation as Home EDUCATORS for what we do, but he started it.
He committed two crimes, and the first was to say Home SCHOOLING.
I had already said Home EDUCATING, dammit!
Then he commits crime number two which was to turn to a colleague and say how dd1 'has no experience of ...' So of course I had to pin him to the ground, smack him round the head, strap his mouth shut with duct tape and give him a lecture on Experiential Education.
Someone pulled me off him before I got to Paulo Freire.*
But my little girl wants to go there. She wants stuff like Physics, Maths, Engineering, Environmental Management, Design and Technology, Marine Science, and How to Build Ships. She's submitting an application, and yes, their design department is a fully-functioning Engineering workshop floor, for which I give due acknowledgement of someone's vision.
Then Dig says to me, as we climb into the car to come home, Fat-arsed mama, this is the point you just have to shut your mouth, and let her go.
*To their credit, Pedagogy of the Oppressed was on the reading list for my 1989 PGCE course.