Our home-school agreement is ready for approval by the annual parents' meetings. It is an
innocuous little document,
solemnly committing us all to carrying on much as before, but the consultation process has been useful and revealing.
We started with an open meeting for parents, staff and governors, surprisingly well-attended and reassuringly unanimous. We all agreed on the importance of the homeschool partnership and sharing information. On the strength of this I smuggled in a clause requiring parents to attend workshops whenever possible. Teachers had their ritual grumble about forgotten gym kit and unlabelled sweatshirts; and the usual suspects among the parents, those with the most
fashion-conscious and demanding kids, begged for uniform to be enforced rigorously. We covered both issues with a bland statement about children being properly dressed and equipped.
The pupils too were consulted about their agreement. They seem to treat it like New Year's resolutions, offering up their worse crimes. "Not fidgeting in assembly," volunteered the wriggler-in-chief. Perhaps we adults should do the same, promising "Not to send my child to school when I know she is going to throw up." "Never to tick a piece of homework without having rcad it." Each agreement tailored to individual foibles.