By Mary Ann Rose
“How?” muttered Grumpy Old Man.
On the screen, Andrew Marr, barely able to contain his glee, announces the latest revelations concerning claims by MPs in Her Majesty’s Government.
Grumpy Old Man (GOM) launched into loud lament: “In our organisation, it’s impossible to claim without producing three receipts and a damn good reason..”
A large chunk of kitchen table education seems to have been omitted from this learned fellow’s life; those things your granny used to say, like “money goes where money is” and “the more you’ve got, the more you’ll get (and the more you have to lose!)”
A better question, perhaps, is: How many of us have experienced low-grade work, at an office desk or the chalk-face of schools maybe – a room to which we are bound day in, day out, in a job where we are expected, nay, demanded to give of our own time, unpaid…take half an hour for lunch (if you’re lucky enough not to be working through it), and bring your own Pot Noodle, sandwiches or last night’s left-overs in a Tupperware box…take unpaid training days, attend twilight sessions and 8.30 am team meetings as part of the contract? How many of us tethered thus to That-Occupation-Which-Pays-The-Bills see, day upon day, besuited bosses busy, busy…hurrying hither and yon, off to a lunchtime meeting, out at a conference, off on a fact-finding tour aboard a coach or train or aircraft?
It is not an experience of “work” peculiar to local government, civil service or professions like teaching or nursing, either – oh no, even those stalwarts of democracy, the Charities, are prone to perks. Like latter-day Angels, well-meaning, heart of gold lone parents on benefits can claim for hire cars and travel the country end to end, taking their message of peace and goodwill to the great and good. Benefit fraud? No! Voluntary work! Subtle difference.
If you, like me, can’t see it, well, maybe that’s why I’m writing this, you’re reading it and neither of us is about to jump onto the next gravy-train passing through.
What has this to do with home-education? Everything. Home educators really can, really do, teach by example, and no sector of society are better at questioning, probing and challenging than our own children. So if you’re a home educating parent, and you feel like swinging the lead, pulling a fast one, claiming a false claim, forget it. The boss is watching you!
You’ll have to wait till your children have grown and flown, then seek a meteoric rise to fame and fortune through using your considerable knowledge and experience to lurk in the realms of politics and charities to join the ranks of the super-frauds.
“Huh!” I hear you say. “If only – but I don’t know anything, I don’t have any qualifications like that.”
Think again, friend, you already have a ticket – it’s called Home Education.