Wednesday 3 November 2010

NSPCC, you want my answer?


Here's a reminder about life in home educating land.

Home educated children go out and about in everyday society and interact with people. Some people say, 'I wish I'd done that' and some people do funny looking-in-the-air, and say 'I suppose there's nothing wrong with it'.

Home educated children learn through life happening all around us. Streets, parks, play areas, social spaces and the open air. Sometimes they hang around the cafe eavesdropping on the grown up talk about bladders. You'd rather they went off to play with the other home ed kids round the back of the public art.

Home educated children learn real-world, real-life skills alongside professionals, working people, crafts people, people doing ordinary jobs. They've not yet learned to be contemptuous of people who clean loos or drive buses, nor doff their caps at someone who peers at them and tells them, 'I'm an expert'. Nope, they treat you all with the same respect. They'll be interested in you if you return that respect.

Home educated children have access to online learning, tuition, resources and reference. They use libraries, computers, multi-media equipment, and know how to work the damn DVD player when it defeats me.

Home educated children can be found in museums, galleries, public lectures, exhibition spaces, concert halls, theatres, studios, cinemas and shopping malls. They sometimes make themselves obvious in those places by whining, showing they know a bucketload of stuff, bashing their sister, or refusing to move for 40 minutes while they make notes on the composition of limestone.

Home educated children can be found roving through woods, fields, hillsides, the old rec just beyond the back garden and the beach. Sometimes at 2pm! Call us innovating educators, why don't you?

Home educated children take advantage of the enormous resources their hard working and devoted parents muster (yes, I take applause now); from lessons to visits to art supplies to specialist teachers and play dates. And thank goodness Squirrel dropped the bloody ballet, that's all I'm saying.

Home educated children learn what they want, how they want, where they want. They might shout out interesting stuff about dolphins in the middle of Sainsbury's while you glow with pride. Or they point out the failings of an educational workshop in embarrassing detail and a loud voice while you look blankly around with an expression that says 'Whose children are those?'

Home educated children are very social. They play together, fall out, make up, insult each other, swing fists, run about yelling with sticks, get told to put the scissors down before they have someone's eye out, and receive great doses of ticking off.

Home educated children are told to stop rocking on your chair and eat dinner, for goodness sake go to bed, wear knickers, brush your teeth, stop slapping your sister, and don't answer back with that because you are aged 10. They're also respected, listened to, cuddled, and loved.

Home educated children have days where learning is as natural as living. They can choose to take exams or no exams, sit assessments, try school, try flexischool, explore educational provision in and out the state system, follow online courses, join lessons, attend interviews, take OU degrees and acquire PhDs having been autonomously educated for years before starting college.

Home educated children have the support of their parents.

That all means No. I'm not supporting the NSPCC this Christmas. Even if you do wear a Santa hat.

From my view, you demonstrate hatred of home educators in particular, and promote an anti-parent agenda in general.

Now, NSPCC*, I'm selling you reality. What are you selling me? Apart from the deception you say I can buy this Christmas from you, at the cost of a fiver?

Can I make it clear? NSPCC, don't contact me again.

Re: your contact to my excellent! parenting! blog! last week to suggest I could use my writing to invite readers to take part in your Christmas 2010 fundraising, where you pretend to be Santa, for a price.


Toni said...

That's it, Grit. You obviously haven't read what the NSPCC said, or if you have, you've focused only on the negative. BTW this was in 2009, but you're only getting angry now?

In a nutshell, they're recommending:
1. Every child who is being home educated be registered as such - given that at the moment only kids who are taken out of school are registered, thus kids who never go don't exist.
2. An annual visit by a home education authority person.
3. Giving children who are being home educated the resources to know that if they have a problem, there are services like ChildLine who may be able to help.
4. More input from home educators to government on what can be done to support them - because they've been hard done by.

What about this do you find so objectionable?

Grit said...

too much to discuss in a comment box.

Elaine said...

What a great reminder to people that the nspcc are a thriving business who have a vested interest in portraying parents as abusive monsters at worst and pathetic failures at best.
Families are the backbone of Britain and do not need their confidence and respectability undermining in the public eye by the toxic nspcc.

Tech said...

Hear hear Grit! That charity may have started out with good intentions, but they have morphed into something evil over the years, and having borne the brunt of their hatred we are better placed to see them for what they really are.

Maire said...

Use their bags as rubbish bags preferably for cat or dog shit and as the suggestion that Grit hasn't read something properly cue hysterical laughter!

Oh it's Maire by the way, blogger is messing with my identity, must find the time to sort is out soon!

Barry the Jackal said...

Toni, to answer your question fully would, as Tech says, take too long in a post... First, as another friend of mine pointed out, the NSPCC receive large amounts of money from gov't (in other words, money extracted from the general public), and then influence policy without financial or policy accountability to the people (us) who fund them. That in itself should raise concerns.

I don't know you or know how aware you are of all the hassle home educators had last year with the Badman review, but your questions touch on this whole can of worms and the ongoing issues.

To skim the surface (if skimming the surface of a can of worms isn't too odd a mixed metaphor?!), the responsibility for a child's education rests with the parents, even if they choose to delegate this to a school. Register with whom, and why? If you simply tell 'them', and nothing more happens, what's the point, and if they do something, what? Who is answering to who, and given that the only logical drive of this would be to be able to 'allow' some and 'not allow' others, what are the criteria? Etc etc etc...

Children who don't go to school do exist, I've seen them.

The annual visit... Quite often the 'authority person' is from the world of schools and sees learning, and children, in that way. They're unlikely to understand autonomous learning and certainly are not going to have the accumulated knowledge of the parents on the nature of the learning in that household. What will a visit do? Inspecting good families to see if they abuse their children, what sort of signal does that send to the children, that their parents need to be checked up on?

As a home educator, I don't want support from the gov't. I am not hard done by other than that they keep slandering HE and I'd prefer them to stop it.

Michelle, Nottingham said...

Toni says, "Children who never go to school don't exist."

Don't exist to whom?
A school?
Their parents?
Their doctor?
Their dentist?
Their optician?
Their neighbours?
Their friends and relatives?

I'm not sure what Home Education is like in Australia, but this country's comparatively small and our children are known to lots of people and they definitely do exist.

They'd tell you themselves, but they're too busy learning through living and having fun!

Elizabeth (My Reading World) said...

I had assumed Toni was being sarcastic!

We will always boycott the NSPCC! I can't believe they actually contacted you!

MadameSmokinGun said...

Just switched on again after another computer-access drought and POW!

I am STILL waiting for an apology from the NSPCC.

Still waiting........

I may have been slandered way back in 2009 but am I supposed to just forget and just say 'aah' when they show me a sad picture? Oh no. I may forget my shopping list and where I put my keys but I never forget an insult. Certainly not one on that scale or that public thank you.

Still waiting......