Choosing Child Activities

Abstract: Choosing activities for your children can be very frustrating. So much of society is in the grip of the Government that, before you realize it, your children end up in a kind of classroom situation. As a result, there are few children who participate in activities in which they can act spontaneously and develop their talents and creativity. So, there are few opportunities for children to socialize in an environment that is stimulating in that respect. The sad reality of today's society is that, even among homeschoolers, what prevails is what the article refers to as the Classroom Syndrome.

A. The Classroom Syndrome

School is such an accepted institution in society that many people think that children almost naturally belong in a kind of classroom environment. Even when children go to courses such as craftwork, drawing or other creative activities, they are put in rows of chairs and tables with a teacher at the front. They are being disciplined to be quiet and sit still. Even though these children are there for their pleasure, they are being bullied as if they were at school.

It is hard to avoid the classroom syndrome. At scouts, children are given military drills, they have to recite the national hymn, pledge loyalty to flag and Queen and are disciplined in all kinds of ways. Similar things happen in organised sport. Tests, exercises and competitions are everywhere and if you are a winner, you get a medallion or certificate. Competition is interpreted as a fight out of which only one winner can emerge, after having defeated all the others in a 'bloody fight'. The keyword in sport is 'tough'. Children must get 'tough' all the time.

If you try to escape this disgusting mentality and send your children to art classes, dancing or gardening, they are called 'whimps'. But don't think such courses have a much better mentality. At ballet, children are dressed up in costumes that even prostitutes would call risky, complete with make-up, hair-spray and all. They have to curtsy and bow. The teacher shouts at them, to make them 'tough' and they have to stand motionless in line waiting for further instructions.

Similarly, music is interpreted as learning to read notes. This has little to do with music, in fact it often destroys feeling for rhythm and frequencies.

There is no room for creativity in such activities. Every little movement is preprogrammed and has to be done exactly as prescribed. Any individuality is beaten out of the kids. They are taught that the highest honor is to become the best robot in the line and to receive a prize for that in one of those disgusting ceremonies.

Amazingly, the classroom syndrome also prevails among homeschoolers. Many families prepare activities for their children in great detail and then come together at the home of one of the families to instruct the children what to do. What happens then is shocking. The children are being taught maths, reading and writing, as if they were at school. Children are divided up in age groups, because this 'makes teaching easier'. The parents are terrified that older kids may infect their younger ones with ideas about sex, drugs and rock & roll. They demand silence when they talk. Craftwork suddenly appears to go hand in hand with discipline, preaching patriotic 'values' and other shit.

B. What can we do about it?

It is virtually impossible to find activities for children without the children being disciplined, lectured and indoctrinated, just as if they were at school. Many homeschooling families therefore organize activities themselves and invite like-minded families over to join them say once a week.

An example of such activities is Show and Tell. Parents and children each bring an object with them, which they display at the meeting. If they want to, each can add a piece of paper with the name of the object, their own name, perhaps a drawing or a few lines to explain what it is. Then, without structuring, people can ask the person whose name is on a particular object to tell more about it. Objects can be photographs, craftwork, drawings, souvenirs, railway tickets, anything that has a story associated with it.

Avoiding society as controlled by the Government is impossible, one can hardly make a move without encountering the Government's wrath. In such cases, one can explain to children that things are not as they should be. What is important is that we explain the children that they are simply being forced to walk in line and that in many cases children are (unfortunately) not given any say in that.

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