Wednesday, 12 October 2005

Drugs and the L.E.A.

We had our first visit today from the LEA (Local Education Authority). It is akin to having an inspector come in to determine whether we are providing a suitable home education for our 11 year old son. It is our right to refuse access to such a visit and they have the power, if they did visit, to take us to court to make our son attend a school if they felt we were not providing a good enough education. We allowed the visit just to make the point that school is not the be all and end all.

It went well enough. Son skated close to the wind as I felt he talked a bit too much sometimes, such as about the various bribes he gets. Or when he expressed little interest in this or that but otherwise, it was obvious he was not a child that was locked in the cellar and that he was thriving and learning well.

He was sat at his desk during the course of the meeting and had taken it upon himself to pen a few ditties and share them with us. I could only hold my head up high when he read out this one, even though I wanted the earth to open up and swallow me:
Baa Baa
Drug dealer
have you any weed?
Yes man, yes man
Two bags full.
One bag for the druggie,
One with cocaine,
and that one's for the little boy
who smokes down the lane

In the earlier draft he had mentioned "cooking". He checked with us the spelling of druggie - with an ie and not a y. He spelt cocaine correctly. Oh luvly-jubbly. Looks great. Our son knows the drug lingo and can spell it well.

The LEA woman was very nice and reassuring that she wouldn't mention it to anyone.... like as 'eck! That will be one of the funniest things if it wasn't potentially dangerous. That familiarity suggests our use of the stuff and inappropriate access to our son. I kept my confidence and told her how we talk about all sorts of subjects and she too agreed it is better that he talked about it. She's gone now, quite happy, and I just shake my head in disbelief.

Reminds me of the time when he was about 3 or 4 years old. He's a cute lad is my son and with very different skin colour to my own so the family resemblance is not obvious at first. In a supermarket he decided to play a trick on me at the checkouts and in a very loud voice asked me who I was and stated that I wasn't his mum! He kept it up for enough minutes for people to start taking notice. Grrrr. Today compares very well to that.

Original Comments:

Ally said...
Glad he shows a healthy sense of humour! :)
Wednesday, October 12, 2005 11:41:00 AM
Astryngia said...
If he were at school, he would have been exposed to films and talks about drugs - as well as hobnobbing with children who take or supply drugs (even in the best of schools) so the knowledge base is not as unusual as you might fear. haha But I can guess the palpitations. I'd have been dying a thousand deaths!!!

The poem shows his intelligence, street cred and lust for life :-) and just how far he pushes the boundaries. ;-)
Wednesday, October 12, 2005 2:23:00 PM
MrsDoF said...
Your son sounds like our middle one, who got called into the Dean's office for writing an essay about drugs and dealing--for an assignment in his Spanish class. He had written the whole article in Spanish, and could hardly believe it when the student down the row (he exchanged papers) could translate.
Pushing the boundaries is as easy as breathing for smart sons. Just keep on being smarter parents, and Grin often!
Wednesday, October 12, 2005 2:41:00 PM
Red Mum said...
Yer kids will hang you everytime. Everytime.

I remember once attempting to continue with the free rail travel, when she turned five.

And in fairness most of the ticket people and staff at the railway station never ever asked as they were well used to us from when I was pregnant.

But one time there was someone new and they asked for her ticket and I said she's four, to which the young wan pipped up 'mummy I am five'.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005 3:06:00 PM
Hannah said...
Ah! The little genius! Gotta love the kiddies!
Wednesday, October 12, 2005 8:02:00 PM
Cheryl said...
Sarcastic wit at 4 and then, I'll bet, looked like butter wouldn't melt as he toyed with both you and the LEA lady today.
Far too intelligent.
So sharp he'll cut himself if he's not careful?
Was he challenging colour prejudice with 'Baah Baah drugg dealer', do you think, or playing on the concept of being 'the black sheep of the family'? If you could casually find out, do you think that an essay of his thoughts on either might be a suitably educational, um, consequence?
Poor you. :-)
Wednesday, October 12, 2005 8:27:00 PM
Ghone said...
Kids eh? Tsk!
Wednesday, October 12, 2005 10:38:00 PM
zandperl said...
I didn't realize you homeschooled. Do you have to submit lesson plans beforehand? I think we do that here in the States. What led you to choose homeschooling? Here in most cases I think it's religious fanaticism...

My best friend tutors high school biology and chemistry and one of her students is a homeschooler so she has to do some paperwork for the state since she's providing that aspect herself. I expect it'd be very difficult to do since most of us aren't trained as teachers and we don't have an indepth knowledge of everything. I'd think most parents would struggle with teaching science and math, though I personally would struggle with the history. :-P
Saturday, October 15, 2005 1:36:00 AM
doris said...
Zandperl Home education in the UK is very different and thank goodness.

Basically there are NO set directives, nor requirements for anything in the UK. Just a vague (non-compulsory) occasional visit from a Local Education Authority person. These people seem to be more tuned in now to making the visit more about giving support than being judgemental.

So.... Home Education can be a very different philosophy on life OR you can have set lesson plans and formal timetables if you wish. What I describe is what I do and and others do it in different ways.

The end results are happy and intelligent kids with common sense and most of all a desire to learn or find out. Some end up with a multitude of good grade exam results and others don't but are extremely employable in good jobs or go straight into University or further education.

Most of all, home-ed kids often have the ability to think and will not believe just everything they have been "taught". They have more of an ability to think laterally.

This doesn't mean that kids who go through the school system don't have these abilities... just that I reckon the a higher proportion of home-ed kids have it.

We are still at the early stages of home-ed for our son and so we have a lot of rubbish to work through with him.

We home-ed our daughter from she was 11 as well. She is now 16, in college and already has qualifications she wouldn't have gotten until she was 18. She has a desire and passion to learn.

So it is clear that our reasons for home-ed are not religious though others in the UK do have it as a reason.

As to qualifications.... you would be surprised. As parents (any of us) we know far more than we realise. Daily life is a sufficient learning plan.... counting money in the shops; working out square yardage (meters) of floor covering; currently son is interested in compound interest as advertised by the banks; geography through travelling around and experiencing the earth in real life; geology too; history as a result of news and books and discussions; English in everything; learning a language through travel and then a class or a friend or online; green energy, recycling, conservation through all things at home; biology through discussions, human and vegetable growth; chemistry over lunch when you accidently squeeze orange juice in your eye through to simple experiments done at home and visiting museums; physics (oops, your subject Zandperl!) in the same ways plus more experimentation; and much much more.

Think about how you learned lots of things at university. You went to lectures possibly and got a brief idea of the general direction to go in. You then organised yourself and went to the library (because you wanted to) and did your research, read and discovered and thought about and digested and reconsidered it. Home education is pretty much like that approach but obviously at levels appropriate to each child.

Anything we don't know we know how to find it out. Neither Mr Doris nor I were homeschooled. Mr Doris is a character in himself with amazing openness of thought. Whilst I am very questioning. I used to be an A grade student as a younger kid and then flunked everything when it came to exams at 15 and 16. Nothing about my life has been regular and I know that there is more than one way to skin a rabbit.

Nothing is set in stone and so if a child develops a passion for a particular subject they can stay with it for the next few days if they chose to and not have to pack up after an hour or so and go to their next lesson.

As a little kid growing up, my son never did much artwork which disappointed me. None of those big splashes of kiddy colour. Nothing. He was busy and happily doing other things and then school came along and there is little opportunity for art.

Since being home-ed he has whipped up a few pencil drawings with very fine draughtsman details. I didn't have to sit down and show him how to hold the pencil or how to "see". He just did because his interest was there and he had the opportunity.

It is not easy to home-ed, I grant you! Such a responsibility.

I know other home-edding parents whose writing and spelling etc may not be so great. Strangely enough, this does not mean that their children suffer. And the kids still have all these unquantifiable skills of knowing how to learn and wanting to learn.

Hmm. This response is rather long and I reckon I should be making a post out of it!

Cheryl Your thoughts are just too impressive! I never thought all those things.... but am glad to say that he was just being his cheeky self with no further deep meanings. It was a natural follow-on to something he did the other day. He did a cracking re-write of the Red Riding Hood story. A whole three pages of handwriting, which for him, is the best so far! Never mind it was a rip-off of an existing story, nor that it was pretty bloody and foul, but as I said, it was exciting to read!
Saturday, October 15, 2005 11:29:00 AM

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