Thursday, 10 September 2009
No more than the rest of society!
The diversity within the HE Community is quite something. I remember being at a Home Ed group the other year, after it had finished we were standing with some HE friends waving goodbye to some other HE friends. As we stood waving, one friend turned and said:
"Well, I never thought the day would come that I would be waving and smiling at a car that had a BASC sticker in it's window!"
This friend was a vegan, and had previously been a hunt saboteur. The friends in the car were meat eating, hunting, shooting, fishing fans.
I think that summed it up for me more than anything has before or since.
We know teachers, doctors, scientists, computer programmers, engineers, drivers, shop assistants, yoga teachers, self employed business people, unemployed people, postal workers, single parents, married parents, cohabiting parents, straight parents, gay parents, vegetarians, vegans, meat eaters, non vaxers, pro vaxers, homeopathy users, alleopathic medicine users, big families, small families, only ones, people with disabilities, people with learning difficulties, step families, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Pagans, Atheists, Buddhists etc etc etc.
It can be challenging when you meet people who have completely different values to your own, when the only thing you have in common is the fact that you home educate your children, but it makes for a very interesting life, and it certainly exposes the children to a very diverse group of people, people they probably wouldn't have had the chance to know so well were it not for home education.
We are a diverse bunch of people, and long may that continue. You might not agree with the way some people live their lives or the beliefs they hold, but they are as entitled to their beliefs and opinions as you are. We are all within our rights to educate our children according to our conscience, beliefs and personal philosophies - indeed this is a strong sign of a truly free society. The alternative does not bare thinking about.
I recently conducted a survey about religious diversity within the HE community. It was very interesting, notably because many of the families who responded were from multi faith families, which suggests to me a high level of tolerance of differing beliefs. This something that many from outside the community may be surprised by. Once more, it's a case of incorrect cultural memes needing to be dismantled.