Thursday, 12 April 2018

Meaningful Engagement.

We don't do science. We don't do maths. We don't do music. We don't do geography. We don't do ICT. We don't do drama. We don't do PE. We don't do art.

But of course, we learn about all of these broad categories continuously, in one way or another. To try and quantify a genuine life/education (synonymous imho) is not possible! That would diminish the very experience itself. We could not measure it in and of itself because then it would cease to exist.

Learning is fluid. In order to be truly valuable the learning has to be able to bend and change at will.

For example, I cannot say anything about tomorrow other than that we will get up, get ready, eat, walk the dog, play, read, cook and then go to bed.

If you had asked me this morning whether or not Lily would grasp fractions whilst talking about the time, I could not have predicted that. But she did.

If you had asked me this morning whether or not Dominik would run around the house this evening examining literally everything there is under a black light, I could not have predicted that. But he did.

If you had asked me whether or not Dominik was going to learn how to combine probabilities today, I could not have predicted that. But he did.

If you had asked me whether or not Harriet was going to show me a perfect bow and a cute courtesy today, I could nto have predicted that. But she did.

If you had asked me this morning whether or not Hannon would go to the shop for me...well, you get the idea!

On another note, I also read the draft for the soon to be updated EHE Guidelines today because it is out for consultation until June 2nd 2018. The new guidelines would attempt to destroy our way of life (an example of which I have highlighted above). Our privacy would be brutally invaded against out wishes (right of entry to our home or else risk sanctions). Our family life would be placed under a microscope by an unqualified and unknown stranger (or risk sanctions).

When did we decide that this was ok? I did not think I was living in this kind of country!

I am also so frustrated that people don't seem to understand that the measures that are currently in place are powerful enough to deal with any safeguarding issues that arise when implemented competently.

As a conscious and gentle parent, I care enormously about children being kept safe. What is being proposed in the new guidelines will not enhance the measures currently available. It will easily supersede them. As a home educator I will come instantly under suspicion and scrutiny.  I am a 'red flag'. What the hell does that mean? How dare they! People in glass houses should not be throwing stones.

As a result of the above, my children have talked with me extensively about their rights and how they could be affected by these potential changes.

But of course they have! We practice consensual living! We consult and discuss and compromise with one another all the time so they are used to talking about their rights and their responsibilities. (Another example of something we don't 'do' - explore British Values! Or are these still British values? I'm not sure anymore.)

If you had asked me this morning whether or not the children and I would discuss their rights as citizens, I could not have predicted that. But we did.

I also caught sight of the news about Syria and I find that once again, as above, I am completely insulted by everything going on right now that is being directed by governments!

The public are once again outraged at the thought of dropping yet more bombs on innocent people and still, the government are going to forge ahead anyway! Sound familiar? Anyone remember Iraq? (Apologies for the sarcasm.)

If you had asked me this morning whether or not my family would discuss history and war and democracy on an even grander scale, I could not have predicted that. But we did.

You see, learning has no boundaries. It cannot be meaningfully measured as it is a constant and continuing process, so much so that once it is interrupted, it automatically becomes 'less'.

The more stringent the guidelines are (any guidelines) and the more rules that are put in place, the more the authenticity and the meaningful engagements are kept from us. You cannot be happy and peaceful when you are in chains.

I will not sit back and say nothing about the state of the world. If I won't stand up for my children and their right to be safe, happy and self determining, who will? Just because the government treats me like an incompetent child who knows no better, it does not follow that I will repeat that mistake. My children would not stand to be bullied by anyone, least of all me. I have not raised them that way.

In the spirit of community and continued personal development, the children and I attended a forum about self-directed learning and I am sad to say that I came away a little disappointed. I wanted it to be a chance to meet like minds and meet some free range children and hear what they had to say about their futures but what it actually was was something different entirely.

The event that sticks in my mind the clearest, is when my son had wanted to use the weekend, and a massive community, to make an escape room! He was told we could only book a space for a 30 minute slot. Well, it isn't possible to create an escape room in just 30 minutes so he decided not to bother in spite of my protests that I was sure we could sort something out.

I didn't think that this was in keeping with the spirit of self directed learning at all and it really clouded my view from there on in. My son was disappointed after this happened so we decided to go and do something different we went for a walk by the sea!

I kind of wish we'd saved the money and gone to Comicon instead but, I had to go and see for myself what it was all about, and the children were so supportive of my desire to go that I did give it my best shot but found that that kind of environment just isn't for me!

I have had so much to write that I'm not sure any of it made it out in tact!
Sorry. It's a bit of a garbled mess. I might come back and edit it.
But I probably won't!

In conclusion -

In order to truly learn, I am more and more leaning towards the idea that it has to be in a completely self-motivated and malleable environment. You just can't plan for it!

N x

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