So the Meister had a sleepover last week, with one her luvvies, and had a rather fun time. One of the things she did was to attend a youth group meeting that this particular Luvvie goes to. I think it may have been the Boys and Girls Brigade. Anyway, at some point in the course of the evening, the leader asked the group, "Who here watches The News?" According to the Meister, everybody put their hand up, except for her and Luvvie.
"Hmmmm, not a good advert for home education," I thought at this point in the story.
Next question. "Who has heard about what is happening in Libya?" This time, the Meister and Luvvie were the ONLY ones to put their hands up.
So everybody else watches the news, but nobody knows about the news. Interesting. So the Meister and I talked about this for a while. (She insists that she does NOT listen to the news. We don't have a telly, but Radio 4 is on pretty much constantly in the house, so it must seep in via osmosis.)
And of course, the conclusions we came to have to do with general differences between home ed kids, and school kids. Why did all the other kids, who all go to school, raise their hands when asked a pejorative question? Because the whole school culture is based on answering such questions with the 'right' answer. Every answer that is given in school is judged. I don't dispute that it is like that in a lot of families as well, but not so much within our circle of friends, so I will continue with the generalisations and stereotypes.
It is herd mentality, it is peer pressure, it is performing to expectations, and it is damaging.
Those kids that felt it necessary to say that they did something which they could not actually back up did so because they felt there was a 'right' answer, a 'right' way to behave; that watching the news was something they 'should' be doing. The sad thought that accompanies that assumption is that they all feel that they are somehow lacking. If one feels the need to lie about one's likes and dislikes, and one's choices, then that is because one does not feel confident to be oneself. And that is sad.
Or the other possibility is that these kids did a current affairs unit in Year 5 and so think they are informed about the world they live in.
Give me kids like the The Meister and Luvvie any day of the week over sheep. They are loud and annoying, and question me and other adults. They say, "You what? Hang on a minute. No way!" And when I am tired and fed up, I remember that they are really just practising on me, and will go out and annoy the world when they grow up. The world can only benefit.