Thursday, 3 February 2011


People are often curious to know what home education involves.

From what others say, they imagine that we have a timetabled day.

They imagine that we start the day with the children sat at the table, pens poised above their workbooks.

They imagine that I teach them maths and literacy and history; that I hire a tutor to come and teach them science and languages.

They imagine that my children sit at that table from 9am until 3pm, perhaps with a recreational break at lunch time.

I do try to keep a straight face. Honest. It's not their fault.

The truth is, if any of them saw our table they would realise, first of all, that it is not an ordinary table at all.

It is certainly NOT a table that you can sit at.

It is....

A Home Educator's Table.

Other home educators will know what I mean when I say that. But for those who think that a table, is, well, simply a table, I will do my best to explain.

First of all, if you wish to see my table up close, there are obstacles to overcome.

The mop bucket

The dead plant

A car sun shade

The vacuum cleaner (not really my area of expertise)

Discarded clothing belonging to other people's children

Wellies for three-legged children

A metal detector

The old vacuum cleaner bag awaiting dissection to rescue accidentally-vacuumed precious items

At last we reach the table.

There are signs of educational activity. A Chinese Pagoda, perhaps?

And the rest of it

A Pokemon book

An enameled casserole dish awaiting some potentially useful purpose other than a casserole dish

Hama beads and Lego

Hama beads awaiting ironing.
ooops. I seemed to have knocked the table...

Weapons made from loo roll tubes.

Daylight lamps for those who want to beat the living version of it out of people if they don't get enough of it.

King sized masking tape

A theodolite.
(No, don't ask....Really, don't ask.)

A boot brush.

A printout from wikipedia of Bertholt Brecht's 'The Caucasion Chalk Circle'. (And a basket of assorted items, including the inside tube of a cone of wool and a plastic carrier bag)

A plastic coke bottle containing dried popcorn.

A stick

An adaptor plug thing and a marker pen.

A thing for squishing paper (and fingers) into pretty indented patterns.

Fishing line

A temperature sensor for a weather station clock that doesn't work

A 'useful jar' . Possibly for putting burst balloons in (think Winnie-the-pooh's birthday present to Eyeore)

And an electrical testing thingimajig

So, you see. I have let you into the inner sanctum of The Home Educator's Table.

If you think my children sit at a table all day. Think again.


arwen_tiw said...

Lol lol mine are all so little yet I can still totally identify!

Big mamma frog said...

I forgot to add...the pressure cooker with garden bulbs in...and the gravy powder tub with a pooey chicken egg in it.

funkyhan said...

yep. same here. the pregnancy nesting is going to take care of it tonight I hope, but I don't hold out hope for it lasting long...

Sam said...

We fill the table and then fill the floor - mostly with Lego :-)

MadameSmokinGun said...

Didn't she do well?

But - no cuddly toy? His 'n' hers set of carving knives?

I love that. I also love the fact that there were no sightings of a pencil and nice paper. And special round of applause for no mould-rimmed tea-cups. really - you are an inspiration. Pictures of the floor next time? If you can find it? I haven't see mine for years....

Gill said...

I love this :-)tog

Maire said...

: )

globeonmytable said...

I think this is the start of a meme.

Elizabeth Stanforth-Sharpe said...

Just reading your back posts,saw this and love it. I've been home-edding for seventeen years now and I'd completely forgotten there was a table under the clutter!! You're doing a great job! x