Monthly Archives: May 2010

Silence enables bad people to get on with it.

Danae has posted a moving piece about her feelings over our fight with Ed Balls and Graham Badman to protect our children from the CSF Bill.

The thing that stays with me from those days is just how many people were silent while Ed Balls tried to stamp all over us. I wasn’t the only one to notice how few extended families, friends and parishes were willing to so much as sign a petition or write a short letter.  Shockingly many of the silent ones were actually home educators who privately were horrified at what was happening but were more than happy to let others do the fighting for them.

A couple of days ago I came across this video. Take a couple of minutes to watch THIS FROM ABC entitled “What Would You Do?” They put an actor with Downs Syndrome in a store as a worker and get other actors to come and verbally abuse him to see what other customers might do.

As is to be expected there were customers who would not speak up. But there were marvellous people who did. One woman had a baby in a pram and said all too clearly what she thought. Other’s too spoke up to defend the young man working so hard behind the counter.

Most of those who spoke up had personal experience with disability of some kind.

I don’t blame those who were too afraid to speak up there-especially when they brought in the big bloke to abuse the young man; but those who agreed!! I hope they have had a rethink.

But those who were silent during our fight have more to answer for.  Signing a petition, writing a letter, showing any support at all would have done them no personal harm whatsoever. So why where they silent?

The reason so many people with visible disabilities get treated so badly is because we let it happen.

I am proud to know people like my friend Amanda who will actively stand up for the right to life of all of us no matter how small or disabled.

If we all do something- even just a small thing, we are doing something and the silent enablement of those who wish evil on others is chipped away.

UPDATE On the same subject you can sign THIS PETITION to get Channel 4 to remove the Marie Stopes (remember her? A eugenicist like Margaret Sanger) International advert pretending to help pregnant women when what they really do is offer to kill the baby. Can’t wait to see the adverts from British Victims of Abortion or the Silent No More people. But of course that wont happen will it?

Nordisk has pulled out of Greece. Hope it doesn’t do that to the UK!

Say a prayer for the diabetics of Greece facing what must be a pretty frightening prospect that Nordisk is pulling out of their health system.

If our own broke country follows Greece and our NHS finds it can’t be bothered to sack people with clipboards and stop so much unnecessary stuff (like abortions) then we might face the same problem. I would be very very scared if Josh couldn’t access his insulin. (He would be scared too.)

I pray that when the cuts come to our NHS it will be where cuts are needed and not to life saving drugs like insulin.

UPDATE Josh tells me Nordisk made a 21% profit last year globally. He learned this off his diabetes forum. Now if they are that financially healthly it seems to me they could try something better than they are offering Greek diabetics right now. Perhaps they could say children and those who are still unstable could keep Novo Rapid and Glargene while the others change over to the older cheaper insulins and the freebie they are offering.

I can see they are trying to offer something to Greece and truly the Greek government and their fiscal irresponsibility are to blame; same as here in the UK; bit the Govt wont suffer over this-people with diabetes will.

Lovely day in a secret garden

It is just beginning to feel like Summer might be on the way. We packed a picnic, collected another family and set off to meet another family at Winterborne House and Gardens. It’s a bit of a secret garden as no one seems to know of it. There was a great deal of garden for the children to explore including a little bridge over a stream filled with lily pads in a rather Monet-esque manner.

There was a cactus house and an orchid house as well as chickens and bees.

The house had toys and lots of information about the families who had lived there. This included the information that one of the mother’s of the household had become President of the Parents National Education Union in 1912. The PNEU was established by Charlotte Mason so I was really interested in that.

We got in free on the proviso that we go back on Tuesday afternoon for a photo shoot with the children playing.

This is the second time the children will be in promotional material for a visitors guide thing. I think we should start calling them ‘models’ :)

On the way out after a day of running around, playing, talking and exploring a couple of us wondered what the learning objectives for such a visit should be. This was our first time there so really it was just an exploration of the gardens to see what the children could get out of it. But I do believe that even if there are no set lesson outcomes for these trips that there is plenty of on the spot learning going on. Apart from the shared knowledge of trees, birds and plants we could offer them there is the very important aspect of the children learning to be together, share ideas and time and share each other. Running around and exploring safely by themselves was probably better for them in many ways than the “this is called…” bits of the day.

Reading and Listening Week: Tues and Wed

More books and stories we have read and listened to:

Horton Hatches the Egg

Grandfather’s Journey

The Squire and the Scroll

From Our Island Story the Coming of Arthur (Ch 12)

From Famous Men of the Middle Ages we listened to Alaric the Visogoth

And a couple of Poems from A Moral Alphabet by Hillaire Belloc. We loved D for Dreadful.

Aesop’s Fables (with CD)

A Scary Adventure

The Clown of God de Paola

And just in case you are thinking Iona doesn’t join in with reading week-she is reading

The House on the Strand and has requested Notes From the Underground which came up in her Open Uni course. So I’ll get that for her.

We made the reading tree as you can see :)

Tomorrow we’re out all day and Friday is the usual kind of Friday with the HE families, so I don’t think there’s many more stories t0 add to the tree now.

Reading and Listening Week. Mon

Just before half term I am having a reading week. We try and get one of these in once a term or so. Instead of the usual lessons we get out all the books that might otherwise not get enough attention and listen to stories online as well. There’s lots of good stuff. Here’s a selection from today:

Books and stories we are reading and listening to this week:

Famous Men of the Middle Ages chapters 4 and 5 Attila the Hun and Genseric the Vandal. This is to build on the rather rushed and shortened chapters we have reached in Story of the World Vol 1.

From the Cat in the Hat Learning Library: Oh Say Can You Seed and Inside Your Outsides.

Usborne Books: The Twelve Dancing Princesses.

Usborne little Greek Myths book.

Tomie de Poala: Old Befana -even though it’s for Christmas the children requested it. Charlie Needs a Cloak - great for the younger ones. The Cloud Book.

Ronan is reading from the 26 Fairmount Ave series On My Way.

Owl Babies which you can read and watch in British Sign Language too.

My friend K has done reading weeks with her children too. She suggested we make a tree with each leaf having the title of a book or story they have read or listened too. Seems less boring than my little list so we’ll set about that tomorrow :)

It’s past time to de-comoditise our children.

One of the things that seems to stand out when studying civilisations that have come and gone is that at the point of going they so often seem to fall to child sacrifice. There were many gods over many lands that apparently were happy to receive the lives of children in return for wealth.  Molech is perhaps the best known but the gods of the Aztecs and the Nazca people also, according to written texts and sad little graves, liked children. Saturn was blood thirsty for a while and his story even had him devouring his own children. Closer to home we have the Irish demon Crom Cruach. But even the otherwise human sacrifice free Romans sometimes resorted to child sacrifice as more recent archaeological discoveries have found.

How can this happen? Simple. Start viewing children not as persons in their own right but as commodities to be bartered, bought and sold and soon you can dispose of them in Molech’s fires or some South American stone table.  Of course our modern clean way is the abortion mills churning out dead babies with a false promise of problem solved.

During the fight to protect home education and home educating families the argument kept coming back to who children belonged to; who OWNS the children? It was a disturbing argument for on the one side were parents who claimed that children BELONGED to them and on the other those who saw children as commodities of the state. To belong is nothing like being owned and this was were the clash of language and understanding came.

Too many people have misused language to make false ideas. How often do we hear people insist they have a right to a child? Where does such a right come from? Certainly it is not rooted in natural law where the rights are with the child who has a right to life and to a mother and father who loves and cares for him. The right to own a child is little different from the right so many of the past have assumed to own a slave (often a child slave).

Ownership of children means some parents (too many) believe they can do as they like with the child they have spent money on. The poor kid is bought and paid for and so is the commodity of the family. Hence we see children paraded on some stage wearing bikinis and doing sexed up dances, or having their bodies harvested for organs to “save” a sibling. We see a schools system that insists that children are all cogs in the machine of commercialism. We see fake horror at pederasty scandals in the Catholic Church while children (not young adult men) are force fed sex ed and soft porn and dressed in clothes that actually have words stating that the child is available!! It took a campaign by concerned parents to have Primark remove the padded bra bikini sets for little girls from it’s shelves. Who on earth was the person who a) designed and made such a foul product and  b) thought it would sell and was a good product?

Why was my 7yr old son faced with a kill zombies game on a children’s website yesterday? (Keep the computer where you can see it).

Why is it ok for the local sweet shop to have porn on the shelves and why are so many advert posters just porn?

The abuse of children is supposed to be on the increase. While I don’t trust the NSPCC figures at all on this I think it would be a surprise in this culture if the “commodity” wasn’t being abused.

On Tuesday our little HE group was exposed to the parenting approach a few other mums and a dad. The dad was disinterested in his child and the mothers were frankly vicious. Foul language and foul behaviour with children no older than mine. Why? Well if the child is yours by right you can do what you like can’t you? If on the other hand the child is a blessing and a responsibility and a PERSON then you can’t scream abuse at them or allow them to bully and stamp on others.

It is not just that children have become commodities in our culture it’s the kind of commodity they have become. They are like dress up dolls with all the gadgets. They must have stuff, lots of it and it must be the most state of the art possible. Going by research and of course common sense, the more stuff these poor materially spoilt children are inflicted with, the more miserable and unsettled they are.

Give them less, love them more.

I hope more mums and dads will come forward as time goes on and demand the decomodisation of their children. The Government doesn’t own them, and we don’t own them. They belong to us because they have been given to us and we love them and we recognise that from the moment they were conceived they were and are persons in their own right with all the inherent dignity and right to respect that goes with that. The culture can only rebuild from the roots up and that means from the family. We have to repair the family and that includes changing the way we view children. It’s rooted in the old old notion of hospitality.

Nature Centre

It has been such a lovely day, and so not to waste it, we headed to the nature centre. It’s a great little resource and pretty cheap for us all to get in as they offered concessions to me for using a wheelchair and Iona in case she was shoving it (which at times she was).

There was plenty to see and do. Three families met up and the children had a great adventure.

It was a good follow on from our nature study on Tuesday. The children had the chance to look at leaves and a feather under Alex’s old Horrible Science microscope yesterday and then today there were trees and animals to see.

They have Tamerins there now and something odd that has replaced the red panda. I can’t remember what it was called. It looked like a kind of ring tailed ant eater.

I think Iona got a piccy of it. I’ll have to post it and see if any of you know what it is :)