We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, And know the place for the first time. ~T.S. Eliot Four Quartets

20 June 2007

If "it takes a village", then where's that village?

It takes a village to raise a child, wasn't that the title of Hillary Clinton's book??
"One in ten children have a mental health disorder to a "clinically significant" level, new research suggests.
Studies carried out by leading children's charity NCH found a 100 per cent increase in the prevalence of emotional problems and conduct disorders among young people since the 1930's" -that was from an ITN news report today about children and education in this country. Naturally, Children's Minister Beverly Hughes disagreed with this finding.

I am increasingly torn about schooling, since my son started last autumn, at age 6.. I had kept him home until then, but when my daughter was born, we felt it was the right time to send him. He hadn't made any friends in the village until he started school (and neither did I!).

I am reluctant to leave the 'community' that I have become a part of since he started school, not knowing whether they will still be there if we decide to revert to our old ways! I found that when I was homeschooling, acquaintances either said very little about it, or managed a supportive sentence or two. When we switched to school, and mentioned our past homeschooling, it became clear that most people didn't think it was a very appropriate path. Not driving, I had a hard time getting out on daytrips and didn't have a really local, active home-ed group. Despite this, now that my son has made friends with local kids, I feel more inclined to bring him back home. He has become increasingly argumentative at home, and somewhat sad too, and he frequently tells me that he doesn't feel the teacher listens to him, especially when he's being picked on. His eating habits have plummeted and there are days when his entire lunch returns home in his lunchbag. He has said they rush the kids at lunchtime, which has been denied by the school, though other parents have felt this to be true.

I have found the teacher and head to be rather defensive, and at times quite dismissive, and his class is frequently left with substitutes, which surely must be disruptive for the routine. I've been browsing about the home-ed sites again, and some new blogs (new to me) like Gill's, looking for inspiration. I find my thoughts saying if we just had a larger house, then it would be better for homeschooling, or what about me going back to work to earn more money, for the larger house, for the homeschooling...

This is a rather small village and I am aware of the fact that we are just now settling in (after nearly two years) and I don't want to exclude ourselves. And yet, I want what's best for my children, never mind what I'm expected to do. Apparently one of my son's classmates was taken out earlier this year, to be homeschooled. He doesn't live in the village though.

I came across a book title on Amazon It Takes The Whole Damn Village by Sandra Barnhouse which made me chuckle for sure, and I may have to buy it! From the book:

"We must close the classrooms, everywhere, public, private, or otherwise. Classrooms are unnatural, artificial places of child apartheid, and hold our society hostage from its potential to make the world better." - Sandra Barnhouse

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