Monday, 7 January 2013

Home Education

I hardly ever write about home education, but I'll try. Where are we? H is now 15. Umm, what else? I am working my way through my backlog of monthly home ed reviews. I want to type these out so I can send a year's worth, Jan to Dec 2012, to my contact at the Local Authority. Ideally I will be able to do this by early spring.

My current way of putting a tiny bit of structure into a 99.9% autonomous way of home ed life is: pick a subject heading and put on my daily household tick sheet. Then try to spot when this subject is touched on and if necessary do something deliberate to ensure a smidgen of whateveritis happens. The one I'm on at the moment is Art, so I am thinking of handing over my camera and asking H to take some photos with it. This has been going for several days now, so may be over soon too.

The reason for this new plan is that some of the months I am reviewing from 2012 have massive blanks where whole subject areas like Music, Geography or Physics simply didn't get discussed in my hearing or to my knowledge. The odd thing is that I can't remember when H didn't understand anything we chat about. He always knows what I mean. I have asked my mother in law if he has ever not understood a word she uses or followed her conversation. Maybe I could challenge her to tell him about things he can't possibly be au fait with and see what happens.

My top tip is to wait until the child in question is taller than you. At that point older relatives stop getting so aggressive and panicky. It is a good feeling. I'd like to have read that somewhere earlier on. I think they need to see that the child is obviously strong and chilled out. Nothing less than actual evidence will do. There seems to be an underlying suspicion that we can't bring up our own children. Maybe they had doubts about their own abilities and are projecting them furiously onto us?

A bit off topic, but I saw a mother shout fiercely at her little boy in the supermarket today. I felt a bit outraged etc, but by the time I had walked a few aisles further on I remembered that some of my worst parenting moments happened most publicly in the supermarkets in this very same town. Had things been different, she might have been the one passing by as I revealed my worst temper! In fact, who knows, she might have been one of the silent and understanding witnesses. No one ever tutted at me. We just give each other a wide berth when parenting gets too much around here. If there is a chance we give each other a rueful smile or an encouraging smile.

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