Tuesday, November 24, 2009

my 80th post! my 150th rant

A friend posted a link to my daughter's blog on her facebook page and one of her "friends" contacted her to say that she feels sorry for the girl. That her parents are crazy. That the girl can't spell and has terrible grammar, and a few other choice comments. 

At first I was angered that she could judge my daughter that way. My daughter's language skills are excellent for someone her age! Then I was tempted to go and correct all the spelling mistakes on her blog, until I remembered that it is HER blog, and if she wants help she will ask me. 

Then it occurred to me that this woman has probably never MET a child who is un-schooled! And in fact, upon discussion with my friend, I discovered that she has little or NO contact with ANY children who are the same age as my daughter, so what cause would she have to involve herself with their literacy skill set?

How odd that someone with no knowledge of home learning, or of children in general feels so strongly about this! The fact is that my daughter WAS in school while the foundations of her reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation were learned. So in all honesty, that speaks more about the lack of success that institutionalised learning is having on children. My daughter was one of the top students in English. Her skills are better than some of the ADULTS who were schooled that she encounters on her reptile and frog forums!

All I can say to this woman, and the others who doubt the process of natural learning, is that they should walk a year in my shoes. In the last year my daughter has gone from a shy, self conscious child who was getting in trouble at school, and arguing violently at home, to a relaxed, confident (as confident as a healthy 11yr old anyway) who happily pursues her own interests without hiding them as she had to do at school. Frogs are uncool at school, hideous bratz dolls on the other hand are encouraged - and so is pointless consumerism, sexism, racism, and pack mentality.

You see, it's all well and good for school to SAY that they don't tolerate the less savoury behaviour of their students, but the reality is that they are largely UNAWARE of what happens in the playground - and many times in the classroom right underneath the teacher's nose! My daughter is still telling me stories of bullying, racism, homophobia, sexism, and overtly sexual conversations, and antisocial behaviour, from her days at school. She most certainly didn't tell me these things when she was at school participating in them!

I say to the parents who think they have good, close relationships with their schooled children "you do not know what goes on in the playground - you should be afraid, VERY afraid". If you Do think you know what goes on, take your self back to the playground when you were a child, and consider how much of your antics were duly reported over the diner table each evening. I know I didn't discuss taking time off school to smoke bongs in the abandoned  morgue at the hospital near the school. I know I didn't discuss some of the nasty catty behaviour that I was both the recipient of, and the giver of. It's not just at high-school nasty stuff happens. Don't fool yourself into thinking your child is too young or innocent to sling sexual ugliness around, or homophobic insults. 

As an un-schooled child my daughter's days were at first filled with time wasting activities. TV watching, internet games, arguing with me, refusing to participate in household activities, and finding interesting things boring - as a matter of honour. As she has de-schooled, she has grown into a really likable, interesting, smart, funny, articulate, young woman! Some of these changes may or may not have occurred in the prison system, but they would have been as a result of peer defined self analysis, not because she was free to be herself. 

So maybe I will, and maybe I won't ask my Stylish if she'd like some help to spell check her blog. And maybe she will and maybe she won't accept that help. But regardless of that, I will not EVER send her back to a school, unless she begs me. And even then, I will allow her to follow her own direction and leave school again if she chooses to. As I trust myself to instinctively know what is best for me, I also trust my children. I hope that by un-schooling them, the youngest will never grow to doubt his intuitive quest for health and happiness, and that the subconscious ability to do so comes back to roost in my daughter's life until she is a very old woman.  


Tinkr said...

What a horrible person to 'approach'(even digitally) an 11 year old child and critisize them over such things. She much be truley insecure in her own life to need to put down a child in this way.
I hope your daughter was not upset by this womans remarks. Only you and your child know whats best for your child, and you know how fantastic she is.
Most of the stuff happened when I was at school is horrifying to me as a mother, sex, drug use, violence, sexual harrasment, bullying and all this in primary school. My school was (and still is) considered to be one of the best in our area. You can bet I will not voluntarily send my children anywhere near it!

Alice and Mother said...

Indeed! We did our stint in prison, that was enough.

I haven't discussed it with my daughter, I figure she has bigger fish to fry.