Yes, I do. Wonder why. We home educate.
Such a strange unnatural thing to do. Keep your children near. Know their screaming laughter.
They are upstairs now. Rocking the rooms with their joyful outbursts of sheer love of living.
They are laughing fit to burst, heartily, with gusto.
I never heard them laugh like that during the long, cold days of schooling.
Not that joy-filled absolutely untethered screamy laughing that makes your lips slide upward just to catch the merest whisper.
That makes your tummy jiggle because it is joining in the fun.
Laughter is, like flu, infectious.
Infection and contagion, of the positive kind.
I home educate because my children laugh, because they burst out with joy in the middle of the day, because no one tells them to 'be quiet' or 'do your work' or get out and go to the Headteacher's dim and dismal office.
One day, when I was in high school in Canada, a teacher screamed abuse at a sixteen year old boy. The boy stood, red in the face, then turned to her and said: "I don't have to take that kind of thing from you."
She screeched louder. "GET OUT! GO TO THE PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE RIGHT NOW!"
Teacher was cross - not at anything he had done - she was just in a mood that lesson and he was handy to shout at.
The boy disappeared, presumably to go to the Principal's office. He was thrown out of school for a few days. Expelled, of course. I thought that unfair. I wished I was strong enough to have stood up too and marched out. Supported his cause. Told her, the teacher, that she was wrong. Anything. But I didn't.
Too afraid of shouting teachers.
The boy was right. The teacher was wrong. No one should have to be the butt of someone's sheer bad temper. Even a sixteen year old. Even a high school pupil. Even a kid.
This comes a little late but I say now John Diamond, you were a hero to me that day. I will never forget that you stood up to a misguided authority figure and you told her the truth. Thank you. I wish I could've helped you. I wish I had been true to myself and my beliefs. I respect you for that, John Diamond.
Wherever you are I hope you've had a good life thus far. I hope you've kept your sense of self, your idea of fairness.
This blog entry is for John Diamond, one of my real teachers.