Posts Tagged 'home schooling'

Opting Out, Hippies, and Schooling

Being a free spirit can conflict with being a parent. I’m not a mother who thinks kids can do what they want, and I abhor bratty, self-entitled children – mine are well mannered and respectful. But, on Sundays, with the week looming, it’s school that gets me down.
The mundaneness, the monotony – parenting flings me right back into that which I worked so hard to escape! The Sedgefield school is a good one, the teachers tend toward the Fundamentalist Christian and both my kids went through an early evangelical stage. Jake’s third grade teacher was, however, very calm and understanding when he told her he was moving on and now believed in Darwin.
I sometimes (very, very briefly) think of home schooling, and in dark sport-on-Saturday moments sympathise with survivalists.
When Gavin and I were younger we lived in the hippest suburb of Joburg, Yeoville. This was just before democracy and it was a wild and free area where all those on society’s fringes could find acceptance. Mixed race couples (when that was illegal), gays and lesbians (ditto), drug addicts, political radicals – all found a home in Yeoville. It was a great place to spend your early 20s if you were a neo-hipppie.
We were friendly with a couple then, Ben and Issy, he was a gem dealer and her occupation was vague. They had a kid, Luke, who was about 13 at that time. He had never been to school, never been registered with Home Affairs, had no birth certificate or ID number – completely off the grid.
They were pretty cool, loving parents and Luke knew a lot about a lot. I wonder what’s happened to him, now a man in his late 20s.
Much as I hate the adapting to the endless routine I guess it’s not fair to make those decisions on your children’s behalf. If Jake and Thomas want to opt out later, they should be able to do it with written affirmation that they have done the three R’s. You have to experience the system before you can reject it. Or not, as the case may be.


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