Last night I went to drop off the chocolate cake Small and I had made for the Beaver cake stall. When I got there, Brown Beaver was in conversation with two ppl she introduced as Akela and Jill, who run the cub group next in the heirarchy. I’d seen him arriving during Beavers, and was quite pleased to get to talk to him.
Anyway, we chatted about this and that – CRBs as I talked about helping out with Beavers, though not regularly given personal circumstances (all I need to do now is smooth my jumper down and ppl understand immediately, so much easier!) which led on to government paperwork and bureacracy, which was a gentle in for me to raise my status as a home educator and mention what the government is saying about us in the home education review.
And that was all I needed to say. All three were off at once, seen something in the paper, seen something on Sky News, and so on. But the thing was, they’d picked up an undercurrent of HE as a form of abuse because it could be hothousing, or it could be abusive to keep children away from other children. They hadn’t picked up on what it all actually means – that normal, ordinary ppl like me and Small (yes, I can look normal and ordinary, I even converse quite well if I try hard – Small needs a few more years practice I think) will be assumed to be at risk of abusing our offspring to the extent that LA officials will have right of entry to our homes and our children will be interviewed without our presence.
Put like that they were all taken aback. We talked a little more about it, but I hope I’ve got three more ppl thinking. It was the second time in a week I’ve had this type of conversation, and while I agree that regulations wise we need to worry about what is coming in terms of education standards monitoring, it’s the abuse charge that is sticking in ppl’s minds.
I’m considering some kind of little flyer/ leaflet I can hand out that explains the current situation on one side, and the allegations and our response on the other. It needs to be informative but calm and factual, and I think that the best thing we can do for our cause in the eye of the public generally is make sure that ppl know it *is* ppl like them who home educate. We’re not that weird, honest.