Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Golf and the world of home education

I think the world would be a better place if everyone played golf like this. Those tedious golf championships on tv would take a fraction of the time and we could have some good ole sleepy Sunday films on instead.

[By the way, in the world of Home Education this is not called 'cheating'. No, it is called 'using your initiative', or 'thinking outside of the box'...or 'doing it quick so you can get to the ice cream van'. ]

I've been thinking recently about the concepts people have of home education. So many seem to think that home education equates with 'school at home'. Of course there are a number of home edders who do home educate like this, particularly in the US where it seems there are two sorts of home edders: the structured home schoolers, and the autonomous unschoolers.

But in the UK there are many, if not more so, of home edders who do not do 'school at home'. And there are many who have a sort of eclectic mix of home education methods, constantly in flux, somewhere between 'school at home' and a totally child-led education.

For the record, we do not do school at home. We tried. We failed. We didn't conquer. (We chose another path).

But, what you might ask, do we do?

Well, there are days when I do not know what we do.
There are weeks when all I remember is the mounds of washing in and out and in and out, and the muddy footprints, piles of sand and dog hair down my hallway. There are weeks when I can't see beyond the boot rack and I despair over flat fruit cake and cry over lumpy mash.

There are weeks when my children whizz through the kitchen on a mission to something or somewhere, grabbing food on the hoof, hardly stopping for breath (and certainly not to grunt anything as civilised as 'hi') before they disappear off to something 'important'.

There are weeks when learning just happens, in its own wonky unpredictable way, without me teaching, interferring, guiding, enthusing or doing any of those things that are supposedly 'essential' for children's education:

And there are weeks when I am needed, on hand, that very minute, every minute of the day. 'Now Mummy!' they yell alternately from the bottom of our twenty million metre long garden and the highest point of our roof

'Come here!'

'Watch me!'

' Help me with this!'

' Look at this!'

and I'm pulled back and forth like a tired overstretched bit of knicker elastic.

And there are weeks when we play around with experiments from and make sparks out of plain old aluminium foil:

And there are weeks when we go pond dipping

(It was this big, honest)

(no it wasn't, he's a liar)

(who cares, I have a great hat)
And there are weeks when we have fun at museums:

or listen to stories, or play with friends

There are days (not often weeks) when we (I) get the maths books out, encourage the kids to copy out poems to improve their handwriting, use 'Sequential spelling' in some desperate attempt to instil some sort of spelling sense into them.

What will happen to you little children if you can't spell? I wail.

How will you survive in the world without knowing your nine times tables? I wail.

We'll use spellchecker and a calculator, they wail in return.

And I say, fair point, and decide we should instead go out and do important things.

Like flying kites:

and playing golf (our own way):

and seeing the world with fresh eyes:


Anonymous said...

Flux and wailing ring a bell with me. Panic and workbooks, not so much but cries of "MUM MUM MUM look at this (or that and the other)" or "pass me that thingie from over there" or "get me the sellotape" or "read this" and more are getting me down. We need to get out more.

Big mamma frog said...

Yes, I think getting out certainly helps. Sometimes its good to stay at home, but as they say too much of a good thing...

BTW, anyone know what's happened to my layout/comments bit at the bottom of this post. Or is it just me who is seeing it all overlapped?

Big mamma frog said...

ok, think I've fixed the overlapping thing. I used my acute powers of deduction: (the 'ooh what's missing with that bit of html that isn't missing on that bit of html lets fiddle with it until the error messages stop' method.

It's elementary my Dear Watson.

Anonymous said...

Oh and have you got a How's My Driving sticker for your white van yet?!

Nice work on the layout html. Who'd have thought we could learn such things.

Big mamma frog said...

Definitely no sticker. That's just an invitation for abuse!

Mind you, driving the van does have advantages. Even though I stalled at pretty much every roundabout and traffic lights between here and Woodstock yesterday nobody even honked their horn! They obviously assume that there is some big burly White Van Man in the front and don't want to mess with him.

And you should have seen the streets of Wootton clear as I chugged my way through its teeny streets. There were cars veering up banks and into hedges to get out of my way...and I was barely doing 5 mph!

MadameSmokinGun said...

You must be the only one not getting screwed at Woodstock's infamous speed trap then!

Sounds like the golf is speedier than you. coming from a seriously golf-obsessed family this looks much more fun. And safer. I keep getting those come here yells too. 'Mum - watch my golf swing!' Who cares if your brother is only inches away....... All their golf swings are pretty impressive. As are the scars.

OzSky said...

It might actually inspire me to play golf if you were alllowed to play like that. Less time wasting.
I use my initiative often when playing games.... My dh tries to tell me that you can't cheat in certain ways when playing the game 'cheat'. I hide the cards. Apparently, that isn't fair.