Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Angry, angry Grit

Art with Hitler. I can't take anymore. I say to Shark, Tiger and Squirrel in the car on the way home, through ground-down teeth, 'Do you want to go to any more of those lessons or not?' Fortunately their mouths are full of fruit bars because I'm not waiting for an answer anyhow. 'Good' I say 'because I'm not driving you there and back for that crap'.

I am so angry I could kick cats. Line them up. I'll kick the fluffy ones first.

And for once, it's not my kids that have pissed me off. It's not Squirrel beating me about the rear with a home-made willow fish, or Tiger shouting by the dinosaurs in the Natural History Museum that she hates me, or even because Shark has laid down in the gutter screaming out her lungs again. No. This time it's Hitler. And I am seeing red.

We get to the art class, and the other kids are already sat around looking as miserable as miserable kids can get, and what are they doing? They are sticking pumpkin seeds onto a picture with glue. We have driven 30 miles to stick seeds on a piece of paper.

Excuse me while I just pop into the yard to scream.

Right, back now, that feels better. I can breathe again.

If your kids go to school, I guess you don't really know in detail exactly what they do all day long, and that must be relieving in a way, because when a lesson is aimed wrong, too low, too high, poorly prepared, inadequately resourced, then you may not know about it, and if it's a one off, not much harm done. But if it's every day or every week, you may get the feeling that something's not right when your little Tahara-Tinkertop trudges home complaining again about Miss Smith who always hands out the worksheet everyone did last week. And the week before.

Well, we don't have to put up with that. As a home educator, I get critical, and demanding of the educational resources we work so hard to find. And I often get to see lessons the kids take. And in the first week of art when Tiger looks dismayed that she's asked to do some colouring in, I sigh, because things might get better. In the second week, Shark, Tiger and Squirrel cut out masks, and I sigh and tut because Shark, Tiger and Squirrel were doing this sort of thing about the age of three.

And now today. Stick these seeds on paper in a pattern. We drive this far for this art lesson and when we get there all I see is Hitler's lack of imagination, the absence of any energy or enthusiasm in her class, her unengaged presentation, the paucity of her ideas, the neglect of the capabilities of the children, the toddler art she thinks she can get away with, the damage she is doing to my home-grown artists, Tiger's downcast face and I want to do some serious cat-kicking, screaming in frustration, effing and blinding, because it all comes down to lazy teaching lazy art. And to avoid that crap is why we bloody well home educate in the first place.

When all the pissed off anger comes pouring out of me in the car like this, no one says much. Then Squirrel says 'Art is a bit boring', and Tiger adds with a giggle, 'She could do a lot better' and Shark says 'This is what I think of art' and blows an enormous raspberry.

Decision made.

9 comments:

Suburbia said...

Oh that's so sad. I love art and kids should do loads. Stupid person, gluing and sticking can't be called art, can it?!

Potty Mummy said...

I agree Grit, you should be cross. Frankly, you might as well sit them in front of Mr Maker on the tv - sounds like it's pitched even lower than that!

the mother of this lot said...

Why on earth are you driving miles when you could do this with one hand tied behind your back?

Try this:

http://www.geocities.com/theartkids/artlessons.html

You want third grade.

Kelly Jene said...

Now let me get this straight. You were upset or you weren't? hehehe

I agree. If they are advertising art class for kids, it should be what it says it is. What a rip off.

Or is this a babysitting opportunity for lazy parents?

dragon boy said...

you wait til they get to pre gcse, they get their work finished for them.......i'm thinking its really a lesson in 'how to kill creativity and crush young people'.

needless to say, we dont go anymore!

Grit said...

hi there folks, thank you for all the positive words. i feel much calmer now. today we have painted stones to make a native american indian cobbled path for the garden; we have researched patterns, found stones, dug soil, discussed snakes, painted, varnished, and planned, and i am breathing proper installation art again!

Michelle said...

I'm not quite sure why you restarted. It's always been dire. You can do much better stuff yourself without the grief.

Grit said...

i agree michelle; we restarted because the kids wanted to go because they would see some of their little chums. however, the play break has stopped because no-one would come in again from the playground and i'm sure one or two of their little chums don't go anymore anyway. i tried to reason with them, saying she was actually a real witch and roald dahl wasn't making it up, but they were determined. but now i've used my parent vote. and on that one, fortunately i don't have to account for myself in a weekly tcs roundup.

Michelle said...

"the play break has stopped because no-one would come in again from the playground"

Didn't that give any indication to Hitler that the kids aren't being engaged? I can't get Clo to take her playbreak most weeks at art.