How would you like to be herded into a room, and kept against your will for six hours, and told by your guards that you've got to come back 170 times a year, for the next 14 years? And all you have in common with your fellow inmates is that you were born in the same year, and live in a similar area?
I don't know about you reader, but my friends and colleagues are a wide range of ages, and live all over the place. That's what makes them so interesting. If I could only spend time with my neighbours of my age, what would we talk about after we'd discussed favourite albums of the mid 70s?
We were wavering about sending our Frank to school as we're not in love with the state education system. Stir in diabetes management to the mix, and our decision's made. We're going for homeschooling, specifically "Unschooling". And we're not the only ones. Steiner and Waldorf are on everybody's lips - not Statler and Waldorf the grumpy guys on the balcony from The Muppets Show. Steiner and Waldorf are educationalists, and alternative schools applying their methods are in every posh town in the UK (not yet in Colchester).
What with the www, and local networks of homeschoolers, we've already got hundreds of ideas about how we can make a go of alternative education, and dozens of new friends. Many people assume one has to send their child to school, but this isn't the case. Indeed the new government are encouraging alternatives as part of the Big Society debate. Apparently, we need to find thirty others, and we can call ourselves a school and get state help.
Cameron's not got the monopoly on the Big Society debate. We've had our household Big Swifty debate, and have decided we'll take more control of how we run our lives. No good expecting the system to do everything for us. Meanwhile, we wonder how much of the pension I paid into for over thirty years will actually be available for when I reach retirement age. I don't think Frank concerns himself too much about this, he's busy at Big Swifty Unschool building wooden trainsets. Not that a career in Transport Planning beckons for another Big Swifty generation...........