This may well be contentious! Why on earth would we want to get the home-schooled Indi in a uniform, after we’ve just got rid of his last set? Before I explain, just wanted to mention that Darrell designed the logo, which represents ‘hands-on’ learning, and how we’re taking the journey together, hand in hand.
When we first started to explore the idea of home-schooling nearly a year ago, I read a book by the wonderful lady and home-schooler Ross Mountney, who home-schooled her daughters and detailed her journey in the book A Funny Kind of Education. This was a wonderful eye-opener, but her tales of conversations with members of the public, when they questioned why her daughters were not in school, raised my hackles and got me concerned about the amount of people who might comment, judge and express an opinion. Could I be bothered to repeat the same phrase again and again, and then be faced with the reaction? Would I want to be distracted with what we might be doing at that point in time in order to be pleasant to an enquiring member of the public? Would I want Indi and Eti to feel that their very presence was to be questioned? So…the idea is that a ‘schooly’ polo with a logo, for myself and for Indi, might stop most people from batting an eyelid, as we frequented the places children were effectively removed from during term-time. I have heard so many people react negatively to the presence of children in their space during the holidays, as though they should be locked away in their ‘learning prisons’ full-time. I find this sad. The presence of children around us should be enlivening, exciting, and a reminder of the duty we all have as parents and as a community to guide youngsters to be decent civilians. Their presence shouldn’t jar, as so often it does when we see a deluge of them in the holidays, or with a ‘sore-thumb’ child during term-time. Having read ’21st Century Boys’, I am already trying to make my boys a presence on the streets around where we live. I don’t want them hidden away, to suddenly materialise as intimidating teenagers that no-one in the community has had a chance to see grow.
Another reason for the occasionally-worn polo, would be to raise awareness. If he wears the shirt locally, and someone clocks the logo, it might lead to someone searching online, and perhaps discovering something about home-schooling as an option for education. A year ago, I would have assumed it was a last resort, for a child that had behavioural difficulties, or a school phobia. My opinion has changed, and maybe others might too. The shirts are NOT a major thing for us, just a little idea so that we could be in the community learning and growing, without red and amber lights slowing and stopping us at every turn.