I have written before of a tendency among British home educators to embrace crackpot beliefs and unconventional ways of thinking. These typically range from homeopathy to the New World Order. Over the last few months, I have been told of another such loopy idea which has apparently become very popular in some quarters. This is the idea of the so-called Indigo Children. Now I have of course heard of the Indigo Children, but was not aware that it was flourishing in this country. Like so many other weird belief systems, it started in the USA. Put briefly, the idea is this. Some children who have been diagnosed as or exhibit the signs of having an attention deficit or being hyperactive, are really very special and misunderstood by the rest of the world. Far from having special educational needs, they are really the forerunners of a new kind of human. This is curious, because others have observed that many home educating parents have the idea that their children are very talented and empathetic; although in ways which cannot be measured by conventional means.
Indigo Children have a number of characteristics. They behave as though they are very special and important. They are intolerant of authority and do not react well to being told what to do. They are amazingly sensitive and talented, but not in ways that schools recognise. They will not submit to the ‘ritualised behaviour of society’; in practice, this means that they refuse to wait their turn in queues and so on. Many of them have been diagnosed as having ADHD.
Now all this is very interesting. There are two possible explanations for conduct of this sort. One is that these kids have been sent to the Earth by a higher power to lead us all into the Age of Aquarius or something of the sort. In other words, they are truly special, but our blinkered eyes are unable to recognise how important and special they are. The second possibility is that these are spoilt brats who have been indulged by their parents and allowed to get away with murder and that when they start school and find that they are not the centre of the universe, they take the news badly!
I have been given the names of a number of parents who are well known on the British home educating scene who, it is claimed, believe that their children are Indigo. I have no idea whether any of this is true, but it does seem to tie in neatly with a lot of what I have observed. Quite a few of the home educated children in this country have been diagnosed with special needs of one sort or another. In America, this is the group from whom the majority of the Indigo Children are drawn. Many British home educators do seem to think that their children are fantastically sensitive and have all sorts of abilities which conventional education has failed to recognise. The very idea of their taking GCSEs like all the other kids is absurd; they are far too special for such mundane things as examinations.
I am wondering if any readers have heard about this at all? As I say, I am not claiming that this it is actually the case that the Indigo Children business has taken a hold among British home educators; merely that I have been told by several people that this is the case.