HE Philosophies(10 Posts)
I've been thinking for some time (read many months) about how hard it is to find other HE people to meet up with, not because you cannot find them in a specific area, but because they may well come at HE from a totally different philosophical viewpoint,
To give an example, the council near me have been trying for the past year or so to collect up HE people and offer support to them, which is all great. They have held meeting approximately every three months and I have attended a few with DD. Each time I go with an open mind, hoping to meet other people to become friends with and for DD to have someone who she might be able to meet up with in the day, and each time I am disappointed to find that the other attendees all have such a different attitudes to HE that I feel I cannot connect at all.
Am I alone in this? Should I care? Thoughts?
Surely meetings organised by the council would put many HEdders off? Also there's all those who aren't known, so you're only meeting a limited pool of families to 'click' with.
Are you on your local HE yahoo / facebook group? This may be a better way of meeting people.
Fwiw, round here (in a large city) there are a lot of activities / groups that attract all types of HEdders - from school-at-home to fully autonomous. However the people we meet up with regularly, although often from completely different backgrounds to us, do have a similar parenting philosophy to our family. Is it that that you're after, rather than a similar HE philosophy?
How similar do they need to be? I've been to a few groups that have ranged from structured types to Steiner to autonomous. Everyone got on fine, there was no judging about different philosophies. What is it exactly that you're worried about?
I agree about people being put off by the council-organised event. I know a lot of HE-ers are keen to stay off the radar. If you're on Facebook you'll probably find a lot of local people on there.
I suppose it would depend on what your criteria are.
I look for children (and families) who are polite and play together in a positive manner.
With the above in mind, I would include nearly everyone I have met.
Are you looking for specific interests or ways of educating. Are you looking for a really close friend to share your experiences with? Are you looking for a group who run events/socials. Do you want someone to help with formal learning?
Maybe it is this council group then. Most of the people there seemed to be coming from the viewpoint of "we are forced into HE because schools are crap and my child has been bullied and I needed to remove them" rather than "we embrace HE because we believe it is a better way of life and provides a better education". In short, it was filled with people complaining about the system rather than enjoying not being in the system if you see what I mean.
I'll admit, it has put me off finding HE families in other arenas (FB etc.).
As a family, we chose HE because we believe it is the best for us, I have no interest in the 'normal' system or discussing schools and how awful they are or anything, I just want to enjoy educating my daughter without needing to focus on anything negative from elsewhere. This group seemed to definitely focus on the negative aspects of schooling.
In answer to what I am after, I guess it is primarily someone for my daughter to connect with who isn't only available during the evenings/weekends, someone to entice me to step outside of my own comfort zone in terms of what we do during the day... I have plenty of friends, as does my daughter, but they are all busy during normal working hours and it'd be nice to find people who aren't without ending up with people forced together without sharing any ideals.
Also (while I rant) the group was filled with people trying to get stuff out of the council, rather than the type of people who get off their own arses and proactively enter the world without being hand held. (End rant).
Oh dear, it doesn't sound like a very well-run group I'd try a different one then. You are right that it's no fun if there's so much negativity. I've no interest in slagging off schools either. Have you joined the MN FB group? Maybe you'll find someone local on there.
"Also (while I rant) the group was filled with people trying to get stuff out of the council, rather than the type of people who get off their own arses and proactively enter the world without being hand held."
I'd suggest the sort of people you are looking for, no full well that the council can't offer anything they can't organise better and quicker via the local and national HE communities. They don't want anything from the council-especially no hand holding!
I'm with others here, I've found groups to encompass all philosophies, and have been warm and welcoming to everyone....but have naturally gravitated to autonomous families (even though we were originally forced into HE it quickly became a lifestyle choice)
Do come over to the FB mumsnet page (send me a PM here if you want to join, as FB seems to be playing up and not delivering messages to me)
Have a go at joining local groups-you may be delightfully aurprised
and maybe come to some of the HE camps? IME they are full of the sort of people you are looking for!
I have found the HE network in this country VERY diverse.....this is of course a great thing, but I can identify with what you are saying about finding liked minded people. I am actually surprised at how hard this is!
I think people on here are right though, you need to identify exactly what youre looking for and why. I would definitely try some different groups, and just keep going until you find what youre looking for! I suspect it is out there, but if it isnt, then start something more in-line with yours and your childs needs.
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