15 March 2014

Proving we homeschool

What a great Principal!
There are a number of Agricultural shows this time of year and they are all managed by groups of volunteers that donate a lot of time and energy to providing a venue for the local area to show off all their livestock, produce and arts and crafts as well as providing a few day's worth of entertainment.  Each town and group have their own style which allows for friendly competition between shows and room for experimentation.
Most now have a special school children special on the Friday which allows school children to get in for free with up to two or three adult supervisors. It is a great idea to encourage the children to get in touch with farming and their local produce.
But what about homeschoolers?
Other shows recognise that if you are at the gate during school hours with a number of children that look part of a set, you are most likely homeschoolers. But one show we attended recently felt it was their job to police eligibility.  Obviously they felt there would be a problem for truant children coming to the show with their parents trying for free entry. The guy in charge decided that homeschoolers had to present a letter proving they were homeschooling.
A stupid policy requires an appropriate response.
The local schooling board provides a letter to homeschooling families which could be shown to satisfy this requirement, but they had no right to see it so that was not an option for us.
So I wrote the above letter (click on it for a closer view).
On the Friday, Lana went up to the entry gate with Ariel and the two younger girls and presented the letter.  The lady at the gate just opened it, glanced at the letterhead which looked official and showed it to the gate man in charge.  He glanced at it, nodded and said, "Yeah".  So they let them all in for free.
Lana was ready to have a rant and argue the stupidity of the policy and they didn't even read my lovely letter!
As a family we put 39 exhibits into the Pavilion.  (This is the large shed which contains all the arts, crafts, photography and smaller non-livestock exhibits at the show). Other homeschooling families also put in lots of entries.  If there were no homeschoolers putting in entries the Pavilion would be about 25% emptier.

One more interesting thing.  Lana asked Martin if he wanted to come to the show.
"Yeah!" answered Martin enthusiastically.
"You will have to have a bath first" said Lana.
"I won't go then," answered Martin, so he stayed home.
I really have to read Tom Sawyer to the children.  I think they will recognise Tom.

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