On the surface,
her child is smiling,
but a mother knows,
there’s something hiding.
A child may be sat –
Straight backed, on the mat.
But those focused eyes,
aren’t alive, like a cats.
She sees the tension,
the torment within.
The waning of a flame,
as her child is tamed.
Her child glazes over,
bricks up a wall of cover.
Struggling to fit the mould,
nervous energy expelled.
Energy that used to pulse,
and dance a blaze of gold.
The mother feels the brush of shame, for to
question the system, is considered lame.
When she raises her voice, in protest,
she feels as though, they laugh in jest.
They know not what she sees,
as her child is felled, at the knees.
No room to grow, like an old Kauri tree,
but to stand in line, like a poor forest pine.
© Sarah Lee, 2011
I wrote this poem last term, when Charlotte was particularly unhappy. So many times I’ve considered ‘unschooling’ Charlotte. She is a self-driven learner who flourishes when given space, time and opportunity to be creative.
However, we have a fabulous local school, with amazing teachers and a caring, supportive community. She gains so much from school on the one hand – but a piece of her is lost too. She is frequently off school due to not being ‘A1’. By balancing out her formal schooling with listening to her true inner being, we manage to keep her state of mind fairly happy.
Just adding this link – it’s worth a read: ‘Animal School‘ on the Home Education Foundation website.