Sunday, 27 November 2011

Work and chit chat round up

Quick round up of some of our work achievements and interesting chats I've had this week.

Over the past three days I've got to chat with five lovely ladies, each for a good couple of hours or more, while the children have either slept tight in their beds, played, or as Hermione would say now 'hung out'. Its really lifted my spirits and helped me to clarify various things in my own mind. Not that I was questioning anything in particular though, if you know what I mean.

Sometimes, as a home educator, I think that perhaps I have become a bit removed from what may be 'the norm' in schools. Having chatted at length with a lady who has a child in school, I have to say that when the time comes for sex education, I'm pleased I will have some control. I didn't know that some schools have 'in house' facilities for contraceptive services; that older children are invited to enlighten younger children about sex; that condoms are given to children as young as thirteen, and so on and so forth. Crikey!! I think of myself as being very open minded, and I understand the desirability of youngsters being able to access contraceptive services, but blimey, when children who are of an age that without peer pressure would probably still be inclined to be playing with Lego, start lining up for chlamydia tests in order to bag the freebies offered as incentives, then something is going seriously wrong.

Hermione is coming to the end of her current Galore Park English Programme. We're Galore Park fans and I was tempted to steam straight ahead and buy the next in the series, but not before checking out a friend's new English resources. The choice was between Catherine Mooney and the next Galore Park series. Galore Park won and I'm excited about the arrival of new books next week. If you are a home educator in the market for English books right now, check out Galore Park as they have some special offers on.

On Friday night I went to a ladies pamper evening. I went along with friends, thinking it was a Traidcraft fund raiser but it wasn't. It was a ladies event in a local village hall where you paid £2.50 entrance and then circulated with others, enjoying wine and canapes, perusing home made items from local crafts people, spending money destined for a good cause and even having a massage! I opted not to have a massage, either hand or full body, even though they were available for just a £1 donation to the cause. I didn't like the thought of getting my kit off in the village hall, (even if in a screened off part), and allowed myself to just feel all warm and fuzzy in the knowledge that I 'could' have had a massage if I'd so desired.

The whole idea of the women of a community coming together to do something really positive and worthwhile really appeals to me. They deserve a huge pat on the back. Where else could I have done a reasonable amount of Christmas shopping, in a warm and welcoming space, topped up with wine and canapes, with a masseur on hand in case it all got too much? I suspect they will have raised a lot of money too, I know the atmosphere certainly loosened my purse strings!

Chatting with a different friend on Saturday afternoon, a midst jumping up to check the children weren't about to come through the ceiling they were making such a racket, we pondered the whole thing about status, the lack of status that many attach to home makers, and perhaps even more importantly, the lack of status which home makers attach to themselves. We tracked our status journeys and reflected upon how that affects us as mothers.

Pre children I worked in a profession which attracts status. Because of the job I did many people credited me with status, regardless of whether it was merited. Once I chose to be a full time mother I lost that status and sometimes I struggled with that. Why should other people have preconceived ideas about me and my worth, based upon the role I perform in society? I think I went through a process of mourning the loss of my status, and later, wondering if I would ever re enter the workplace and try to regain it. Thankfully I've come full circle. I feel very content now knowing that I attach great worth to my role. I'm no longer bothered by other's views in that respect. I take a pride in the job I do now - much more of a pride than I ever took in what I did in my working career.

But then what of women who yearned for status but hadn't quite reached their career goals before starting a family and becoming a full time mother? I think it must be much harder for them.

I think it's nigh time everyone took stock of what makes this world go round and re appraised the role of parents.

Hermione has worked very hard this week. She's still beavering away at her art project to do with segregation, immigration and emigration. Last week she looked at the mass exodus of Jews from Germany during the reign of Hitler. This week she moved on to look at the segregation of white and colored people throughout American history. She has chronicled in words and pictures the passage from slavery; to freedom; to the creation of Jim Crow; the Jim Crow laws; the abolition of those laws; white supremacists and in particular the Ku Klux Klan; civil rights activists and in particular Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, and more.

The thing which has really struck us this week in the course of her exploring all of this is the prominence of white supremacists on the web today. I'd like to think that this isn't indicative of 'reality' and that many of these sites are operated by sad and sick people who, although sick, would not actually carry out the acts of hatred which they can promote through the faceless media of the internet. It's worrying, very worrying and once again shows one of the numerous downsides on the age of technology. People can connect for truly positive purposes but also for vile reasons.

We've also been doing work in connection with the Frozen Planet series. I can honestly say that I now know why the North Pole is not a continent when the South Pole is. I also now know why the South Pole is much colder than the North Pole! Hey ho, I'm learning so much!

Miles is doing ever so well. His reading is improving all of the time but he's having a bit of a crisis of confidence at the moment, so I'm off now to make a visual representation, (involving an apple tree!) of what he knows, so that he can see for himself and hopefully feel good and bursting with enthusiasm.

Here's hoping that you too had a fabulous weekend.


A said...

I've recently bought a few GP books, we like them. ;)

I think its a shame how sahm are viewed. There is a lack of status. i remember a friend who often would ask would do you do all day/ don't you get bored... soon realised when she stayed at home with her first baby that its hard work, but very rewarding.

Claire said...

I'm a real GP fan now. I've tried loads of books over the years but these are so comprehensive yet not too dry.

Ah yes, the 'what do you do all day?' one :-) I know working mums who say quite openly that they go to work for a rest. When we met with home ed friends today there were some dads there who were unable to go to work due to the strike. I was telling my mum when we got home and she was laughing and saying how they'll be exhausted now :-)