Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sunny out there but a bit of a cloud hanging over my head...

I haven’t been posting for a while as seem to have been so busy, at least in my mind, as received a letter in reply to my home ed application. At first I thought it was just a standard receipt type letter, but then read more closely and it was basically waffling on about the benefits of all the Swedish school system’s plans, goals and values etc and asking me for further information. For example, how do we think we will get the time to teach our kids (automatically assuming both parents work full-time). And asking for more details of exactly what we would be doing. This was the hardest question to answer (in terms of saying what they want to hear), and I got advice from someone who’s managed to get permission already and is in the know re all the rules regulations. He just said basically that this will be shown in the outcome which will they will see during the inspections. Other friends thought I needed to put more specifics in terms of a plan. However I haven’t sat down and made a detailed plan as this seems premature having not yet received permission. I hope in the end I have put something which gives an impression of knowing what I’m doing. They also want to have a meeting with me and DH *gulp* . Altogether it just feels like I’ve been doing re-takes of exams and have a final interview to contend with as well, so finding it hard to completely switch off until I get the green (or red) light for this home ed business. Then I can really feel like putting time and effort into preparations inshaAllah.


ummrashid said...

Oh, it is too bad! It is like a modern day serfdom. Like when the peasants had to apply to the lord of the manor to get married and all that. They believe that the state has greater rights over children than their own parents.
I do feel for you. Maybe if you grow up with that mindset you can get on with it, but for those of us used to being given responsibility for our own actions, it seems very harsh.
Making dua.

Anonymous said...

Yeps, it has a lot to do with if you grow up with it. The Brit raised of us tend to be more independant, rebellious and able to stand apart from the crowd than the thoroughly institutionalised Scandinavians.

If it is a legal right of yours to choose a home based education where you are living then that is that.

But that the so called 'authorities' will use their 'powers' to make it difficult for you to just do it reflects the fact that they don't want many doing it, probably because they don't know how to 'manage' free families.

I would advise that you grin and bear this first stage and do not take no for an answer. Schedule a meeting with your dh and go without the children. Prepare a dossier giving a very wordy outline of the stuff you plan to do. Inform them that this is just an outline and also give a more succinct outline of the so called 'subjects' you will be covering. Explain that you are intending to return to England at some point (I believe you will, and it is certainly a topic you have discussed), give them an impression of having one foot 'out' of the door.

Praise them for their wonderful system, after all, it is a success, schooling is basically a success if you consider that all it has to do is stream the kids and channel them towards the workplace and not let em get too many big ideas. Obviously don't say that. But praise their glorious system and just gently assert : thanks but no thanks.

Big up your children's social 'network' out of school, because this is one area they will be getting twitchy about: remember they don't understand that people can become 'socialised' without being grouped together in large numbers of the same aged pals and regimented through a schooled life.

it is very important that you understand that whether or not it is fair or right, you are living in a culture that is very iffy about people not doing what they are told. You will have to be charming, clever and patient just to get your point across in a way they can swallow.

Whatever they might try to suggest, it is not their responsibility to decide where the kids go. It is not their charge, but they are power crazed, really they are, and cannot see that it is, as far as European law goes even, the PARENT who has the responsibility to ensure each child recieves a suitable 'education'. Most parents choose to delegate this responsibility, you are choosing to take care of matters yourself.

I have no doubt that all this feels daunting, it is a battle, but with confidence, good prep and a mountain of paperwork to baffle them with - you will come out of this with what you desire.

A little tip though, it is hardcore doing this in a land where no one else does. If you can, get some domestic help, I mean, the one thing that you will need is someone to do the housework, because taking care of the kids full time is hard hard work, and the last thing you will be able to get to is the housework.

I am fortunate in that I have help with that, but I know that if I didn't have the help I have at home then I would not be able to manage the responsibility of the kids.

But apart from that tiny consideration, I don't see why you can't make this happen. If you believe it is the right way to go, then forge ahead, you have my support and prayers too.

EF xxx

ummrashid said...

Obviously I agree with EF completely, and I'm glad she raised the housework thing. I find it amazing that some people say that they wanted to home ed but couldn't manage the housework so they sent the children to fee paying schools. Couldn't they have spent the money on a domestic help?
I know sisters who have done the domestic help option as well though, it is an excellent idea.

UmSuhayb b David said...

ummrashid - your comment on serfdom brought a smile to my face.. MIL inshaAllah will be here for a while this usmmer/ beginning of autumn, and it does make a big difference.) Also the sisters here have started a kind of housework rota system where they come and do a good clean of your place, and I think I might be due for a visit in the near future. Also there is a tax rebate on domestic help here.. The only prob I have with getting others to do it is the shame of the state things are in, so end up cleaning up b4 they come, that's what I used to do when we stayed in the company flat which had a weekly cleaner. I used to tell her sometimes not ot come as she would wake me up early and then the nightbefore I'd be rushing around tidying up and removing worst of the mess!! Best thing is to get offspring trained, but this is a slow and painful process;)
EF - you've said a lot that echoes advice I've been given about how to approach the authorities in that don't try and appear superior to them / put the system down.
I've also read some legal stuff about how they shouldnt refuse a first application because basically 'the proof of the pudding is in the eating' type thing. They can't say we 're not giving an equivalent of school until they let us try.