Today in Asda, Temple Mills, Leyton I met a veiled woman who home-schools her four children in a nearby borough. We got chatting, she in her black-clothed body, me with my cleavage in the sunshine. I’d been bold enough to ask her if she home-schooled because it was 11 am and there were four children around her pushchair obviously not in school.
Home-schooling is very common in Waltham Forest as far as I can make out and I follow Facebook pages about educating your offspring indoors and have checked the rules and responsibilities at my borough’s website. I should qualify that and say that it is popular in Walthamstow not in the other poorer parts of the borough. For many of the deprived nation, school is a baby-sitting service.
I am curious about why parents and carers choose to home-school and what comfort there is to be had.
I read in The Guardian today that there are nursery consultants who charge nearly £300 an hour to inform parents/carers/Warbucks about the best route for their child to get into Oxbridge. That means choosing the right kindergarten or nursery first of all and presumably the best psychiatrist for the child at puberty.
And then I got on the W16 bus, the one that goes to trying hard to get gentrified Wood Street. Well, never seen the like. On got a guy in his vest and tattoes m*********ing and shouting, acting and strutting and in Biblical hues declared that the strong black men that white women want have been feminized into ‘battymen’ and into women. He was the saviour for he was a ‘strong black man, the man the white women want’. Petrified we were, not of him, but that he’d lock eyes on any one of us women on that bus. I was thrilled that his phrase “The Feminization of The Black Man” is so a book, a workshop, a seminar title begging for an audience.
I got off the bus having winked a wink of comfort at a young girl to let her know she was safe. Looked back into the bus to see old gold tooth smiling and waving at me, like it was all an act.