Thursday, January 31, 2013

Paranoid traffic lights

It has come to my attention that, according to a well-known fellow home educator, we are all categorised as follows:

  • "Pleasantly mad but thinking and competent;
  • The Real Loonies aka two short planks;
  • The God squad (very strict religious and we barely ever talk to them or hear of them);
  • Fluffy (very autonomous but a little vague);
  • Yes sir no sir (UK homeschoolers and their ilk who do everything they are told by the LA and live in a bubble);
  • The pioneers (people like xxxxx [name deleted] who were doing it ages ago);
  • The last lot (xxxx, xxxxx, [more names deleted] etc who were us 10 years ago); and..."

This would all be quite amusing and easily dismissed as the private ravings of one who even deemed herself and friends to be "Pleasantly mad but thinking and competent," [Really? Perhaps not so very competent, to risk the leaking of this! And I'm straining to apply the word 'pleasant' to some of the above categories and descriptions..] if it didn't come from a person who represents home educators in meetings with officials and politicians on a local and national level.

AND if it wasn't for the final category:

  • "The paranoid pack."

This also listed names (3) which I've redacted in the interests of protecting people's feelings and would not have even been posting this now, if it wasn't for another piece of worrying news that has reached my ears today.

A different member of the "Pleasantly mad but thinking and competent" group has been doing some further categorising, and is quoted as having recently advised a local authority to:

"Leave 'green' light families like mine alone and you'd have more time."

Well, I have some categorising of my own to do now. The people who campaign for and about home education seem to me to fall into one of two different camps:

The first camp, beset with rampant conflicts of interest, whose members seem to be mainly seeking to further their own position and selling everyone else down the river in the process (duly invoiced, of course).

And the second, which includes everyone else. Including - and especially welcomed - the 'paranoid', without whom we'd be in a far worse situation than we are now.

Is it 'paranoid' to worry about a Local Authority applying a traffic light system in its approach to home educators? Would the 'paranoid pack' always land in the red light? Might someone displaying delusions of grandeur end up there too, or instead?

Let's face it. By the time any such system has been fed through the bureaucratic mincer and come out of the other side, any of us could. For any similarly ridiculous or arbitrary reason. Even those who think of themselves as fully bomb-proof. I'm sure I don't need to start quoting Niemöller.

And that's why I hate splitting ("Splitters!") and the negotiating away of our freedoms by people who are supposed to be on our side.

I really wish they would be more careful.


Blogger OrganisedPauper said...

I think over the course of our long home educating journey I've been in all of those categories, except the God squad, and even then I've had a toe in it once or twice. It's what it is to be human, to change, to think again, to do something a different way. I suppose that in reality we can't actually be put in a category in any useful or meaningful way because people change. People change a lot. It's this little thing called thinking. Thinking, listening, watching, trying, trying a bit more, changing it a bit, trying again, doing it better.

12:38 pm, January 31, 2013  
Blogger OrganisedPauper said...

It's also perfectly possible to be in several of those categories all at once and to overlap for a while before dropping into another category for a spell. I know a lovely person who would fit into "Pleasantly mad but thinking and competent, The God squad, Fluffy (very autonomous but a little vague) and The pioneers. It's because we're complex and we adjust our lives and thinking to suit the needs of our children. If they want simplicity they should look at Amoebas.

12:52 pm, January 31, 2013  
Blogger Gill said...

I quite agree. Well said!

Though I suspect the group in question might think amoebas are a bit more complex than the rest of us.

Which is funny! Until they're in meetings with our local authorities etc, and speaking on our behalf.

That traffic light statement looked to me like colluding, which is always the danger from those who think they know best.

1:03 pm, January 31, 2013  
Blogger OrganisedPauper said...

Fundamentally what they fail to see is that home education is about the relationship between you and your child.

1:05 pm, January 31, 2013  
Blogger Aisa Haywood said...

"Leave 'green' light families like mine alone and you'd have more time."

More time to do what? Harass the families categorised as red or amber? Will that person be helping the LA to categorise local HEers seing as how her friends seem to quite like categorising? It makes me feel rather sick to be honest. When will people learn - none of us is free until we all are.

1:55 pm, January 31, 2013  
Blogger Gill said...

"None of us is free until we all are."

Yes, absolutely.

3:08 pm, January 31, 2013  

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