Last week Fran handed in a science leaflet she had to write looking at health issues and ways of avoiding them or managing them. One element was smoking; I smiled when I saw what she’d written, which included lots about how the government couldn’t ban it because it would become an illegal trade in tobacco and how they needed the tax revenue to support the NHS and so it needed to phase out gradually. All those conversations, talking through the whys and wherefores have paid off; she may be a bit of a dizzy wotsit at times, but she’s learned to question and think and not just accept one view. It makes me very proud of what we’ve achieved.
This morning we had to drop Fran at school, something that thankfully doesn’t happen often. It’s only the second time the others have had to waste time on the trip. On the way, Fran mentioned a recent story about the government planning to ban forced marriages. We all got talking about the difference between forced and arranged marriages and how an arranged marriage might be handled in a thoughtful, sensitive way (I know several people who have had exactly that type of marriage) and when it might go less well. We discussed the relationship pitfalls of a marriage that doesn’t start out with naturally developing ‘love’ and how it might or might not work, using an example of one of them marrying the son of a close family to test it out. We talked about trying to see a whole picture and a culture and not just rejecting instantly something which is different to what we know, as wrong. Then we talked about honour killings, relationships that breakdown, families who might prize pride above love and why that might happen. We talked about Sharia Law and the impact of that on lives and culture.
Little Josie, drinking it all in, said “You mean in some places in the world people always think that it is the lady who is wrong?”
We were home by 8.15am.
At dinner tonight Josie said she likes all the fairy tales except the Ugly Duckling because it was boring and there was too much pecking and not enough other stuff. I told her about the meanings in the story, about difference and self worth and confidence and self belief and being your own person and fitting your skin. Maddy chipped in with bullying and thinking you are important in your own small world and not acknowledging that different is good. She said she sometimes feels like the different one in her musical theatre class. I said that well, perhaps she was or perhaps only she saw it that was but one thing was for sure, she had one of the most beautiful voices of all those kids and that was her special gift.
Josie said “I thought it was just about pecking!”
I really love home educating. I love having a family. I love just being with these people I share my home with. They fascinate me.