Friday, 20 May 2011
Regular readers will already know that Big Small loves Greek Myths, we have re-read a version of the story of Echo this week. Echo fell in love with a vain youth named Narcissus but when he rejected her she spent the rest of her life calling for him which is where the word echo originates from, there are other versions of this story, I guess no one knows for sure which is the correct one. and then I read this fabulous blog post from Unplugged Mum about the politics of Home ed discussion forums and how strange it is that a group of adults who advocate having no rules for their children have a long list of rules and regulations that the adults who join their chat rooms must adhere to. I came across a few groups like this back in 2006/7 and I didn't really get it. One where the rule, amongst others, was that you couldn't talk about your children. Seriously! On a home ed group. So, when I started a home ed group of my own I was keen that there be no rules and I thought it might be useful to share with you how it has worked out. The group is not moderated and the common connection is geography, so some of the members know each other in real life as well as online but not all but outside of that members of the group are: home schoolers, unschoolers, home educators, religious home educators, atheists, some are known the local authority, some are not but in 5 years I have not had to moderate a discussion, it came very close once, one member left once but rejoined after a while. Unlike many similar groups people are allowed to stay for as long as they feel they need or want to if their children start / return to school. I do feel that people respect the fact the group is unmoderated and don't consequently feel tempted to test the boundaries! The group is friendly and useful. Some members rarely come to events but are active in online chats and for others visa versa. There are 132 people in the group. The group is 5 years old. You need to know someone in the group to be able to join the group. There are two things I would like to say. One is if you are new to the online world of home ed forums and feeling daunted and intimidated I can tell you this, those people I came across with the radical ideas about how a discussion group should be run, in the main their children are now in school and, secondly an unmoderated group works, if you trust people and you trust the process it turns out okay which, funnily enough, is a little like home ed itself really.