Monday, March 16, 2009

Support, strings, other stuff and seeds

The third and final part of our NSPCC series has been postponed for Tech to finish off some research, so I'm just posting a general update with a few thoughts today.

I understand Mr Badman is attending another home ed meeting on Thursday morning of this week. There has been some debate on Carlotta's blog about whether we should take him up on his suggestion to ask for some form of support, or 'Why aren’t we arguing for our “share” of our tax money?' as it was reported on the Facebook thread. I think Mr Badman is trying to establish a bargaining position and that it's not in our interests to help him to do so. He talked at the Kent meeting about "wanting to 'stop the battle' and come up with a solution that stops these continued consultations," but if repeated consultations are the worst threat we're facing, I'd opt for that rather than any kind of compulsory NotSchool-type daily log-in process. At least the consultations don't negatively affect our children's learning, as official forms of monitoring would. (Mr Badman was apparently told that this was the case, and he said he didn't agree! I fail to see how he can possibly know, unless he's actually lived with autonomously educated children who have been subjected to Local Authority monitoring.)

Carlotta has also written very eloquently about autonomous learning, including the following observation:

"Often one of the biggest problems people have with autonomous education is that they simply don't believe that children have a natural curiosity. All they see is children in school who have had their curiosity ruined by compulsory education. They're thinking: how can autonomous education possibly work if children need to be coerced, either by punishments or rewards, into learning (ie. memorising) things?"

Firebird is writing about a 'typical' week this week:

"As an antidote to the depressing battle against the DCSF and its evil minions I’ve decided to address the often asked question “what’s a typical day like?” by recording what we do for the next week."

Seems similar to Clare's huge undertaking of a couple of months ago, though I think Clare wasn't so kind to herself as to set a time limit!

And I've opened Tom's business blog to general readership, having kept it as a private thing - at his request - while the business got off the ground. It's his business, but my blog. Also, the children and I have been planting seeds. We have photos and will blog them somewhere when time allows.

11 Comments:

Blogger Ruth said...

I must admit I had a bit of a hissy fit over the support blog post. I agree we should not let him establish a bargaining position. I also would rather continue to do consultation after consultation rather then concede to what they want. I find his views very bigoted as he has no idea about he things he talks about. Autonomous HE seems to be in the firing line but structured HE should realise if they want freedom to HE how they want it will effect them too. I might blog a typical week to cheer myself up. Oh and thanks for all the effort and hours you are putting in our our behalfs. xx

8:51 pm, March 16, 2009  
Blogger Allie said...

I don't think they'll be offering anything worth having. As far as exams go, I have always thought it ridiculous that there is not just an open exam centre in every town (at a council building) where anyone can sit public exams. But I can't see them offering that. The heart of the matter is compulsion. If they want a universal system of registration and monitoring then it can't be voluntary. So it doesn't matter what sweeties are on offer because they will never get hold of *everyone* that way and they want everyone.

10:49 pm, March 16, 2009  
Blogger Elaine said...

I think they should stop now whilst they still have credence in the eyes of the general populace.

2:12 am, March 17, 2009  
Blogger Riaz said...

I have never understood why there aren't open exam centres in every town. A cynical theory I have is because the government knows that children are quite capable of passing GCSEs long before they are 16. If we had open exam centres then a 10 year old could get 5 GCSEs and say they don't need to go to school. If lots of people of a similar age did the same then schools will close down because they won't be needed.

I was home educated from 1989 to 1990 and tried in vain to find an exam centre for GCSEs. I asked at libraries, colleges, citizen's advice bureaux, and a group for gifted and talented children that I was a member of, but nobody knew of any. If I had found an exam centre then it could have spared me the indignity of 3 years at a rather unpleasant residential school run under a system of coercion and victimisation for noncompliance.

10:40 am, March 17, 2009  
Blogger Leo said...

"they simply don't believe that children have a natural curiosity"

Children are not naturally curious for the things they consider important, like the national curriculum as they program it.

1:23 pm, March 17, 2009  
Blogger mamacrow said...

btw, I record our day as part of my EHE records, and have done since september. Now, I'd discribe us as semi structured rather than fully autominous, but if it could be in anyway useful Gill, let me know.

1:54 pm, March 17, 2009  
OpenID mum6kids said...

Support=control probably. I would LOVE to believe support meant...support. You know, free books like schools get; exam centres and free exams (like school) subsidised dance and music classes or some such-but none of this would happen and if it did oh the hoops we would have to jump through.

2:55 pm, March 18, 2009  
OpenID mum6kids said...

BTW how does a home ed family go about contacting Mr Badman? Do we do it via Becta?

3:02 pm, March 18, 2009  
Anonymous Lanna said...

It's an interesting state of affairs when playing in soil is a great way of de-dirtying yourself from protracted periods of dealing with government malarchy, eh? :)

1:45 am, March 19, 2009  
Blogger Gill said...

I still just can't believe, Ruth, that they've put someone in charge of a home ed review who appears to know next to nothing about the issue! That "I don't agree" response to Ann's Schrödinger's Cat analogy spoke volumes, didn't it? And I'd say it's *the* crucial point that we need to convey.

Allie, yes I agree wholeheartedly with what you've said there.

Elaine, good thinking.

Riaz, that's a very plausible theory IMO. Me, I lament the need for qualifications in our culture at all. Why should we need pieces of paper to say who we are and what we can do? Our Tom's managing fine without so far: he thinks he might be able to pay me some board money this week!

Leo, that's very true.

Mamacrow, it's all useful I think, don't you?

Mum6kids - sadly, I agree. The only way I know of to contact Mr Badman is through his assistant Elizabeth Green and I think her email address is elizabeth.green@dcsf.gov.uk but am not 100% sure.

Lanna, LOL! What a brilliant observation :-)

4:14 am, March 19, 2009  
Anonymous Firebird said...

Finished our 'typical' week today, and oh dear I don't think your typical LA inspector would be happy ;-) No maths, no reading and the only writing all week were the letters C - G for identifying musical notes.

10:01 pm, March 20, 2009  

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