Our family is not a tax factory

A post by Daharja on local living: home decorating and education is worth reading. It's part of series she is running on her blog and they are all good. I love her invocation to never paint the walls beige. For the last few years on Mothers' Day, FH and the children have chosen photos of the kids and had them enlarged and framed for me. I love them, and they fit with some of her suggestions. This year they gave me one of Fionn kayaking in a cave near Punakaiki and one of Brighid and FH walking through Hagley Park just a week after the February 22 earthquake.

I've not been sewing, though tonight I've started the handsewing on Brighid's red corduroy dress again. It feels like craft progress without the concentration/difficulty factor of getting out the ironing board and sewing a zip into my flowery curtain fabric skirt.

Fionn is preoccupied with bees and with reading and Brighid spent much of this morning with me wanting to write all our family names. It's fun.

I took it into my head to make paella tonight. I think it turned out okay, though I made enough to feed the five thousand. I used vegetables, chicken stock, squid and turbot.

I've just been listening to an interview with Professor Anne Smith regarding the Early Childhood Education taskforce report. I picked up the link on facebook from friends concerned about the implications for Playcentre. The interview does not specifically address Playcentre, but it does endorse a formalised, market-led model of early childhood, in which the gains for our community are measured in terms of economic productivity and a situation where mothers (it's assumed that fathers are working as well) are working and paying tax is best for everyone. I thought I would love Playcentre, but the reality of our family's experience is that our local kindy has offered what I had wanted from Playcentre and our local Playcentre was quite different to what I'd imagined from reading Playcentre philosophy. I'm a fan of parents/caregivers ditching all this formalised stuff and hiring a hall to have collective fun in. One of the local churches in Wetville does this every Friday and it is wonderful. Trained early childhood teachers do offer great things for children and families in my experience, but I think parents should never lose sight of their own power. We can and do do great things with our kids. Certificates, PD days and profile folders are not the only indicators of valuable growth and learning.

We toyed with home educating Fionn and sometimes people who remember this ask me how I see it now. I am quite confident that our local school is the best place for Fionn and it is extremely likely to be so for Brighid from next year, but I always hold on to the knowledge that we can, could and potentially would learn at home as a family full time ('cos we do it lots of the time anyway) and do it well. I intend for no institution of learning to have the power over us of being the only choice.


Nikki said…
Totally agree with your final line.

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