“What are YOU doing reading an article about education?”

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The title of this post is a reply to this comment on the home ed article I wrote for Parentdish:

“I bet they dont get out off bed till 10am then its bitty time. its not right anyway the boy will turn out to be a pansy potter.”

It is such an appalling comment that it made me laugh out loud. The ‘bitty time’ I actually get – I was recently talking to someone about how home ed still has a stigma, how people have an image of home educating families and ‘kids who are breastfed into their teens’ was one of the examples we came up with.

But ‘I bet they don’t get out of bed till 10am’? Well, what if we didn’t? Harry actually gets up at 6 at the latest and I don’t think I’m ever in bed past 8, but if we did stay in bed til 10, why would that bother the commenter so much?

But ‘the boy will turn out to be a pansy potter’… well. Where to even begin? I guess I’ll begin with ‘pansy potter’. Um, WTF? If you mean ‘gay’, why not say ‘gay’? If Harry does turn out to be gay, that’s fine with me, but this commenter seems to think that it would be as a result of spending too much time with his mother, which is both ignorant and misogynistic. In fact, it’s pretty good going for such a short comment.

When I was thinking about home ed, I did actually worry that it may make Harry and I too close. But now I’m not convinced there is such a thing as too close. Since he’s been at home we talk more, arguments are resolved more easily, we know each other better and – and this has been a surprise to me – we don’t seem to get sick of each other. How can that be a negative thing?

(Me and David do joke that Harry may end up like that kid in Sixteen Candles who, when his parents drop him off at the dance, shouts “I want to stay with you guys!”)

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16 thoughts on ““What are YOU doing reading an article about education?”

  1. Goodness Keris – you can’t believe the ignorance of some people can you! And that was ignorance showing in the person who made those comments. You just have to feel sorry for them – they’re obviously so narrowly educated!! As for being too close – never! What you’ve described above is not being ‘too close’ it’s being communicative which is essential for good relationships and which tends to be missing from so many as it becomes easier and easier to ignore kids when they’re at school all day and in front of screens all night. I admit I used to wonder if being with mum and dad all the time whilst home educating would make the kids sick of us. But in fact the opposite has been the case. Firstly, they interacted with so many others throughout their HE years it was never too claustrophobic, and secondly, now that our two home educated young people are out in the world we maintain such a communicative and supportive and rich relationship it couldn’t be better. I’m sure yours will be the same. x

  2. I can’t believe people react so negatively. I think there’s some jealousy there – if I have to get up and do the school run then so should YOU. It’s a shame that some folk have to trash other people’s choices in order to feel okay about their own,

  3. Take no notice – my son is 15 and has been Home Educated since he was seven. We are best friends but he’s also very much his own person and knows exactly what he wants out of life.

  4. You’d think Gove would have better things to do with his time than trawl the t’internet for articles about Home Ed to comment on!

  5. Funnily enough there was an item on the Today programme yesterday about a school in London which lets its sixthformers start at 10am, because it’s been proved that is better suited to the teenage brain. And a commentator (a psychologist) quacking on about how this was a Bad Thing because it’s not Real Life and in Real Life they won’t be able to do just what they want. Some people see education as being about Uniform and Discipline and learning that you’re part of a crowd. And some people see it as being about nurturing the individual’s urge to learn. Good for you! (written at 7am, just about to leave house for school run grrr)

  6. Ergh, that comment is ridiculous! So what if you didn’t get out of bed until 10am, some people learn better later on in the day etc!
    Also, I love that you and David joke about Harry being that kid in Sixteen Candles… I love that kid, made me giggle so much!

  7. Heartfelt thanks for visiting Free Little Words and liking the post you read.

    What happened to the times where ‘to each, their own’ was the way the world worked? Or is it just that people can hide behind their screens now, say something ‘to your face’ rather than saying it behind your back when you can’t hear them and they don’t get a rise out of you!

    1. Yes, I’m not sure it ever did really work like that – now we’re just much more aware when people disapprove of our choices. Which has its upsides and downsides, i guess.

      1. I still try to keep to the ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say’ adage. I don’t mind a good debate/discussion but you don’t need to attack someone personally (or their choices, likes, dislikes, haircut, etc).

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