Monday, 23 October 2017

Feral plays with Fire

We're in the grip of a national shocker. Did you know? We are outraged.

I hear how some parents are feckless. They pull their children out of school! WHO KNEW? Have you seen these so-called 'home schooled kids'? They play with KNIVES. They run WILD. PANIC is hitting the streets, and this is because some kids are NOT AT SCHOOL. These kids have gone beyond bringing down house prices. Now they are undermining your banking system, and infiltrating capitalism. See that 8-year old? He is a fifth columnist.

I hold up my hand. I confess my crimes. I am guilty. I gave my kids knives one year for Christmas in the manner of Captain Fantastic distributing weaponry. In my defence, I thought all kids needed to carry blades. How else can they whittle wood?

But this is half-term week. All popular culture must tell the same. Like, any normal parent is at their wit's end. Stressed out, we yearn for back-to-school. All kids are bored at home. Life is miserable. School is a joy.

Er... this week's crop of media horror stories couldn't be background work for the Soley Bill, could they?

For this Bill to have any traction, the demos should be properly foaming at the mouth. (Cue anti-home ed articles, enter, stage left.) See Horror Parents in Action! See Toddlers Play with KNIVES!

Having created froth in the suburbs, along comes a solution! Lord Soley, Saviour of the Little'uns, has a registration and monitoring system to Save the Nation!

Except the Soley Bill is uncommonly poor from back-to-front. It follows no philosophy of education that I can recognise.

In fact, let's take that further. The bill is not interested in education. It is interested in getting at any child to 'monitor' their 'educational, physical and emotional development'.

What does that mean then?

Educational? Um... can your child read by the prescribed age 5? (WE would have FAILED. Ours were aged 8 before they were arsed to read I am a Dolphin).

Does your child attain the prescribed physical development? (Eh? Does someone want to take photos of my child without their top? Can't see any problem there.)

Is your child reaching the state approved emotional development milestone? Look here Soley, if you had wanted Shark, Squirrel and Tiger to show you some Real Girl Emotion with a hammer, shovel, and bicycle helmet, we could have been your family of choice.

One problem with the Soley Solution: it uses words - educational, physical and emotional - as if we have consensus about their meaning, when there clearly is none at all. We can debate for bleeding hours about those words. I'm having William Blake and Fatboy Aristotle on my side.

The upshot here is that this week, the media is doing the government's work, prepping the masses.

You school-choosers will be duly rewarded with pics of knives, hammers, etc; kids not going to bed at midnight; kids not eating a meal at a table; kids running about fields and howling, like kids do when they're being, um, and doing that thing wot kids do: growing up.

Which is sort of the point of home ed. The free-range, autonomous, unschooling wing gives your rugrats a chance to grow up on their terms, in their ways. How is keeping them on a register and monitoring them going to help anyone?

But what does the Soley solution really offer? Another nail in the coffin to parental choice; the replacement of a family's interests with that of the state (and we all know how successful the state can be, looking after the interests of children); another expenditure for your local authority to meet (when they have so much money to play with); and a nice, fat, juicy contract for Capita.

Here, have a photo of an autonomous-educated child wielding a hammer. Fire included.

Tiger, never bin to skool, on a traditional crafts blacksmithing course. (Takes Latin A-Level in her time off.)

Huh. Feral kid, gone wild.

 Sensible comments over here, under article from trade magazine from July.

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