I am still on one or two home education lists and a short while ago an old friend of mine, firebird2110, expressed surprise at this. She gave it as her opinion that since I was no longer a home educator, she could not see why I was on any HE lists at all. This is a fair point. Before I explore it a little, I must mention one thing which puzzles me about the woman who raised this question. She describes herself as a 'wool crafter'. I have racked my brains trying to work out what this might be. I even went to the length of sending her an email asking about this, which she was churlish enough to ignore. My best guess is that this is simply a New Age way of describing somebody whose hobby is knitting. I would be grateful to anybody who can shed light upon this.
The suggestion that I am no longer a home educator is clearly predicated upon the assumption that a genuine home educator is one who has a child aged between five and sixteen who is not a registered pupil at a school. People have in the past said of me, 'It does not matter to him, any new law would not affect him and his child'. It is a very curious thing, but that using this as a definition of a home educator would cut the regular numbers on some of the Internet lists by about half! I am not going to name any names, but a large number of those who post regularly on those places, and here if it comes to that, either have children over the age of sixteen or children under sixteen who are at school. This is the case with some of the most vociferous 'home educators', some of whom have not technically been home educators for years. Others have children who are not yet five, into which category firebird2110 herself fell when first she began posting on the lists.
There does seem to be something about home education which causes people to remain hanging about the scene even when their kids have turned sixteen and gone to college. All of which confirms what I have long known; that home education is about more than just education. If it were just another form of education, then people would drop it as soon as their kids were no longer involved. You would find it a little odd if a parent carried on hanging round the school gates once their child had grown up, but this sort of thing seems to be pretty common with home education. I wonder if anybody can shed any light upon this curious phenomenon? Of course some former home educators see a chance to make a few bob out of the business now that their children are older. We can see that with one or two people who are making a living out training local authorities and of course others writing books about it! Any thoughts about this phenomenon would be good to hear.
I must mention that after Firebird2110 and I had had this little disagreement, another anonymous poster weighed in with a post in which she claimed that I hated women. Her grounds for believing this were that she had noticed that I was more often scathing to women than I am to men. What nonsense! I am rude and unpleasant to everybody in equal measure. The fact is that there are roughly ten times as many female home educators on blogs and lists as there are men. This means that I am horrible to about ten times as many women as I am men; it is a statistical artefact. Unless it was being suggested of course that I should be more polite and deferential to women than I am to men. If so, I cannot really go along with this Victorian view of the proper relations between the sexes.