Friday, 26 October 2012

And you think I'M mad...?

The Education System in this country is in crisis.  Insanity rules.  Take three stories from this week's news:

1 - Problem: school standards are slipping. Solution: introduce "rigorous" testing of those wanting to undergo teacher training, implying no confidence in the dedicated, over-worked and under-supported teachers we already have in place (well, Michael Gove did call them "whingers"), and also contradicting the bizarre recent suggestions that state schools should be free to employ unqualified teachers...?
2 - Problem: innocent children are being bombarded with highly sexualised images etc (you just have to watch an MTV track to acknowlege the soft porn that is rampant in just the popular music industry).  Solution: introduce 'porn' lessons in school (yes, even primary school) to help children learn to handle it!!!  I've had two days to process this particular piece of reporting and I'm still almost speechless at the stupidity of the suggestion.
3 - Problem: Ten thousand students were unfairly graded below a 'C' in their English GCSEs, negatively affecting their further education & career choices.  Solution: Do nothing about it, resulting in the exam boards being taken to court by an alliance of schools and councils, who continue to use the same exam boards while taking legal action against them!
I know many people think Home Educators are at best brave/ mad or at worst negligent/ abusive for keeping their children out of the state education system - but when I see news reports like this, I do feel vindicated.  The mischievous side of me sees a bizarre conspiracy theory: perhaps Mr Gove & pals are actually in favour of Home Education after all, and are doing their best to provoke parents to leave the struggling state system...

On a more personal level, I am glad to report we all survived Manic Week.  More than that - we all enjoyed it.  And most miraculously of all, my house survived too: I don't have to spend this weekend tidying and cleaning - now there's a result!  We're looking forward to a slightly less busy week next week... returning to our more typical HE life.  Of course, the boys have still been learning even while we've been socialising and having our version of 'half-term'.  We've had lots of reading, diary/ letter writing, drawing, exercising, creating, role play, counting - and lots and lots of playing.  Today at one point they were investigating how many revolting words they could spell out with the fridge magnets, prompted by Middle who usually leaves me loving little messages but today called me to the kitchen with suppressed giggles in anticipation of Mummy's reaction to the word he had spelled out - "vomit". He was thrilled when I dutifully hammed up my disgusted response, so of course had to work out more words to gross me out, with help from his co-conspirators!

Well, I'm off to pluck my eyebrows, lest tomorrow's photos show two hairy caterpillars crawling underneath my newly immaculate sleek & glossy fringe...  Happy weekend, everyone :)

PS just for you:  quote of the week -
"Education is a social process; education is growth; education is not a preparation for life but is life itself"
 - John Dewey

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