After a relaxed (ha!) morning at our combined Latin/Music/Science Group where i was fit for nothing more than stirring pasta but everyone else did sterling work, we headed off to the park for our Not back to School Picnic Protest.
I’d like to say what an amazing job Ali did of making 41 of these picnics happen across the country. Although it didn’t feel like a protest, that is what it was; a coming together of home educators across the country to say clearly that we object to the slurs that have been bandied around the press about us over the last few months and to show that we are a connected and coherent set of people, albeit with hugely varying reasons, philosophies and intentions.
The picnics were about diversity, fun, company, freedom, joy, childhood, friendship, delight in the world and the right to be out in it, enjoying it and sampling what it has to offer.
Several families none of us had met before turned up, along with my lovely friend Z and her 2 girls (hope she got a better picture than me, since i forgot my camera!) and as usual the children (despite either knowing each other slightly or not at all in many cases) disproved the whole ‘socialisation’ myth by playing beautifully all afternoon. That is, without doubt, my favourite thing about HE – the complete ability for the children to play together. I have no idea whether it happens so easily among disparate sets of schooled children (my experience in our street is that perhaps not) but when it is HEd kids it is lovely. Not only does it mean the parents have a nice time too but it just so clearly makes a mockery of the ‘locked away and hidden child’ concept.