I know I’ve been ranting like a good ‘un and I thought, for balance, I would share with you the talents of my eldest daughter affectionately referred to as Firstborn on here. Firstborn is a very keen photographer and currently … Continue reading
Recently, since the arrival of stacks of books from Slaveboy’s flat, I stumbled upon my old copy of Roots Of Racism booklet, a remnant from my old teacher training degree. It led to track own another copy of How Racism … Continue reading
Today has been brought to me by feelings of wanting to see the back of my children.
Today’s words have been to, bed and see.
And I am ready to lay it to rest. This year has been bittersweet, seeing us giddy and nauseous from the roller coaster ride that 2010 had presented us. Steeling our bellies, and struggling to regain equilibrium and initiate some … Continue reading
The Seventh Wonder, I am ashamed to admit, does not get to go out very often. It’s a carried on habit of mine, from when she was really ill and us still recovering from the experiences we had. It was only last week that she acquired her first ever winter coat.
I was expecting life to be a whole lot more different now that I have two teenagers attending college. We almost considered having some sort of celebratory wake to commemorate the end of their home educating era. After all, we are sending off our young like virgin human sacrifices, ripe and ready to be devoured by the big bad world of mainstream education. The sanctity of our family home will be tainted by the outside world and our family dynamics will never be the same again.
Change is a hard thing. Slaveboy finds it hard to adapt to changes but he is pretty upfront about it. I on the other hand give off the illusion of being laid back and peace child when in fact I’m mentally flicking the side of my thumb feverishly.
This week has been hard and that is coming from me who is prone to downplaying any hardship we are enduring. In the chaos and rush of getting Firstborn and Izzy The Rockstar settled into college, the rest of the sproglettes got pretty overlooked. The mini sproglettes are too young to understand what was going on and really a week into attending college, I don’t think they have really noticed very much that Izzy The Rockstar and Firstborn have not been around for some of the days. I do think they noticed the rather inventive meals but I made challah so I must have been forgiven.
There have also been other changes. Firstborn has finally declared The Boy who has been inhabiting our sofa, with his arm lovingly around her shoulders and sharing personal jokes as her new boyfriend. I shan’t tell you if I approve of it lest I jinx the relationship but let’s just say the first Victoria sponge he made, he made it for me.
And this is a super-huge change. I’m so happy for her and it’s amazing to see her so happy but the Mother in me aches a little. It’s a giant transition to realise that I am not the only person in the centre of her universe, one that I haven’t prepared myself for despite having done my best to prepare her for this rite of passage. And I wonder if this ache is more apparent for some of us home edders who have little or no experience of the typical rites of passage parents of school going children go through – first day of school, prom nights.
And finally (please excuse me for starting my sentences with ‘and’), today, at the age of almost 16 months, the Seventh Wonder started walking after toying with us with sneaky glimpses of her momentarily standing since 12 month old.
It’s the moment we have been waiting for since she was a month old after being told that she might never walk. It’s been like waiting for the other shoe to drop. Holding our breath whenever she almost managed it and quietly looking to each other, wondering how much to read into it when she just didn’t quite manage it.
So here’s to changes and the families that grow stronger through them, but here’s to sighs of relief and the realisation that nothing that matters has been lost.
The first of two sproglettes has started his journey from home education to college today. Despite threats of having his hair washed by me, Izzy The Rockstar kept his cool.
Do you know how much your child’s college education will cost you? In real money terms? I do. How about I tell you that in order to further his education, I will be handing over a cheque for the sum of £4231 to the college for a whole year’s course.
I think I’d be lying if I said that a no point in our home educating journey have either Slaveboy or myself wondered if we have done the children a great disservice. The Small Shouty One has started showing an interest in learning how to read and has been keenly practise spelling with Slaveboy. It’s the standard The Cat Sat On A Mat thing but Small Shouty seems to be making the leap that Zak Cool is still struggling with, and that is with 4 years difference between them.
Zak Cool sees no point in learning how to read at present, and I suppose, had he been our first one to do this, I’d be dragging his sorry butt to a home tutor by now. However, we have gone through this before. Many times. When we took Izzy The Rockstar out of school, he left with hardly any reading abilities. Or the inclination. Lalla, up until 2 years ago struggled with reading but is now writing compositions for her GCSE Drama course and able to extract the information she needs to decipher the train schedules and we all know how flummoxing that can be. Potato Bottom could hardly read two words six months ago and one day, she declared that she was halfway through The Naughtiest Girl In Town by Enid Blyton. I don’t understand the process or the mechanics but I suspect the driving force is the yearn and the curiosity. And probably a small amount of benign taunting from their peers and sheer nosiness.
And this past week has been a series of personal family achievements for us. Our children seem to prefer making one giant leap at a time, and like many giant leaps, you sorta take a momentarily pause or two to gather your momentum and get your footing right. Lalla won Gold Medal for the Southampton All Schools Diving competition. Izzy The Rockstar was offered the Level 2 of the Jazz Course at college (only time will tell if we can accept this offer depending on the funding situation) and Firstborn walked away from an interview today with an offer of a place on the Level 2 Art & Design course. And they did this without any formal qualifications in hand. Both Slaveboy and I did find ourselves wondering if we have just been incredibly lucky or perhaps we have been hedging our bets right by thinking that if we were to allow the children to pursue their passions and be strict enough to help them maintain their focus, we then would stand a chance in raising children who are passionate about learning.
I’m not convinced anymore that it is just about knowing what theorem pythagorus means, or what the speed of light is or even how to ask for the nearest public loo in Hokkien (there are apps that do that for you, don’t you know?). Knowledge and learning are subjective. Why should everyone have to learn and retain the same type of information in their head?
Why let a curriculum which was devised some years ago dictate what is important for you to know when the world is changing faster than we can keep up with?
Why not nurture inquisitiveness and creativity?
If you don’t dream it, then how can you scheme it?
P.S. To my caker baker followers, I will bake again. We have the lurgy and I’ve hurt my left thumb carrying my bargain wares from the carboot sale. It’s my recipe book page-turning thumb, you see.
Yesterday’s post where I talked about how The Small Shouty One regards cooking as more a crafting experience than culinary one got me thinking. I’m not great with being free with the paints and pots of water, neither do I warm to magic sand. A lot of what I do baking wise really capture the interest of The Small Shouty One. In fact, everything that I get up to is of interest to her, even down to the number of children I have. Last night, she declared that she was going to have MORE children than me, in fact she was going to have TEN. She said she was going to start young and carry on for longer. I didn’t say anything to discourage her. I wasn’t going to perpetuate the stigma attached to young mothers. Continue reading
Saturdays are freakishly heinous for us as a family. Due to Lalla’s long term commitment with diving (she is training at one of the pioneering talent spotting centres in the country and is quietly wanting to compete more), our wake up call for Saturday is 5am. Whilst this might not be that that early to many families but some of us don’t really get to bed until 1am. Thankfully, Lalla is quite good at getting her breakfast.
Breakfast today apparently was instant noodles. Yes, I am unashamed to admit this, my fellow home educating, granola crunching, houmous chomping chums.
On top of this, the two boys are at Music Centre from 9am til past lunchtime. What this means basically is that in order to get to the kitchen on Saturday mornings, one would need to successfully overcome the guitars and amps assault course.
This Saturday is a teeny weeny bit more stressful. Potato Bottom has a dance performance at the Minerva Theatre and I’m taking The Small Shouty One to watch her. That is if I can actually rouse her from her slumber. She declared that it wasn’t such a nice day anyway, she didn’t feel like getting up and by the way, she’s having a pyjama day.
And it didn’t help that our newly installed doorbell decided to go off continuously at 5:15am. Our doorbell is a novelty one and chants Om Namah Shivaya.
And whilst this is going on, Slaveboy is quietly stomping about because he has just discovered that the band he is meant to be working for today has failed to inform him that the gig was going to be a black tie corporate event. With champagne. And fun fair. Late finish. Band added on to the event just as an afterthought. Outdoor elevator music.
Slaveboy doesn’t do corporate events. Weddings. Or tribute acts.
This doesn’t bode well for the band who’s changed venue at the last minute, not given him details of curfew time and been sketchy about the number of guests attending.
Needless to say, Slaveboy is not in a good mood.
But he still said Yes when The Small Shouty One asked for a bit of his birthday chocolate.
This came in the post for me today. I’ve been coveting this book for months now and it was finally at a price that I could justify buying. I came across this book when the children did their 10 week long art workshop at Aspex Gallery a couple of years ago where they were introduced to paper-cutting. My experience at the gallery has spurned my interest in visually heavy books with minimal written words. Being the sort of person who favours the written word, I find books which use images intriguing because I have to use other ways of reading. I’m studying lines, and light and lack of words. This has led me to wonderful graphic books like below.