Tuesday, July 21, 2009

There Must be Something in This...?

I had a curious experience the other day which couldn't help but confirm my impression that home educated children (particularly those who are treated respectfully) have a different (and I would say much better) take on life.

We went to an ice rink in a part of the world we didn't know at all. It was during the school holidays and the rink had a reasonable number of children in it. After about 10 mins of sitting on the side with a sore calf muscle, and having had a chance to watch the other skaters, I informed Dh that "I bet that group over there are home educators".

I couldn't have consciously told you why I thought that at that point, but on reflection, I realise it was because all the children clearly loved each other, played so respectfully, mixed across age groups, were concerned for and helped the younger children extensively and the adults in the group spoke to all the children unusually respectfully.

On finding a chance to talk to the group, I was proved right, and now I think about it, this actually isn't the first time I've done this. I did it in two other places as well, though on these occasions, with just one family each time.


Anonymous said...

I do know some schooled children who are just like that, but their parents are unusually careful about imparting good moral ideas (and they attend church summer school which actually does encourage the idea of helping all despite differences).

But generally I would agree schooled children are likely to unconsciously take on and accept the idea of age segregation as taught in school - although perhaps only when they are in groups with their peers?


Carlotta said...

Have been thinking about this a bit more, and wondering how it was possible to distinguish these children from all the other schooled children.

Am thinking that there were other qualities which distinguished them which I didn't mention.

I think one of these was that they all appeared SOOOO relaxed in their approach to life. It wasn't as if these children were highly tutored to behave well, or that they were doing it against their will. It appeared to come entirely naturally and cheerfully and consensually.

I guess this is because they do have real choices and power over their lives. There is no conflict in the moral principles that they receive, eg: don't bully and yet it is right for a parent to bully you to go to school. The morality is evidenced to them in the way adults behave.

Anyhow, their behaviour did seem almost unique to HE to me. It is not something I have seen with any regularity in sschooled children, though the ones that go entirely freely (ie: they could HE if they wanted to) do have this quality, I admit.