Friday, 19 September 2008

Friday is a science day

Science day! Yippee! I am loving this timetable. In the midst of chaos, there is order. And today I find that calm and order at Snibston Discovery Centre.

Once inside this wondrous place, the advantages of home ed are immediately clear. There is no-one else around. Some toddler wanders past about midday. Outside, in the water area, I can see contractors moving wood and a bloke setting up a weekend kebab van. A voice over the tannoy asks us if we want the last baked potatoes because she is shutting up the cafe. And that's it. No queues, no shouting, no pushing, no waiting. And no competition either from the two year old desperate to trash the tornado making machine under the delighted gaze of an adoring parent. Nope. Shark can jump around in there all she wants before running off with the plastic ball that demonstrates the Bernoulli blower.

And those, I am pleased to say, are not the only advantages.

First, I am not really on Shark, Squirrel and Tiger duty. For hours they are controlled by buttons, levers, robots and conveyor belts. All these twinkly buttons and levers are shouting Pull me! Push me! Tweak me! And Shark, Squirrel and Tiger oblige. Because there's no queue, no rampaging army of let-loose Saturday kids, they spend hours being controlled by this conveyor belt.

Then these canal locks:

And this fire making machine.

Now this is easy science for a brain soaked in arts and red wine, don't you think? All I have to do is read out the instructions and explanations, and when Squirrel pips up What is a cathode ray tube? I can give the answer Dunno! Find out when you get home!

This is great home ed. It puts the responsibility for learning right back where it belongs in Squirrel's head and means that when I get home I can cook dinner. Get that? This is one of the fundamental secrets of home ed. Adults do not need to know everything about everything in order to get their kids studying medicine, law, lions in the Savannah and film noir. Because kids find out things for themselves.

Another great advantage to sloping off to an empty science park on a Friday is the thrilling sense of freedom. Look at us! There's no problem about getting in the car this morning! And there is such a positive relationship between everyone today. There's no aggression, martyrdom, sorrow, regret, threat or despair. Today, I have given those up. And better still, there are no hurtful words. Apart from It is time to go home and Here is the woman with the keys.

And if anything can top that lot, Snibston does it for us, by letting us all in at the school rate.

Smug science-loving Grit will now be locating the hairdryer.


sharon said...

Another good day was had by all from the sound of it. So, what is a cathode ray tube? How was dinner and what did you do with the hairdryer?

Pig in the Kitchen said...

oh, we love those days when it all comes together! this is because we know that one golden day has to get us through the next 45 awful ones.

err, didn't mean to rain on your parade.

do you know, I like your little asides that highlight the advantages of home ed versus school you not feel like doing a complete rant on the subject? Extoll the virtues of home ed and diss the other options? I find this such an interesting subject, would love to hear it from Grit's heart.

hope that's not too intense.


Grit said...

hi sharon! you'll have to look up cathode ray tube in the science encyclopedia like the rest of us! dinner was excellent (as always), and with the hairdryer we can have hours of family fun creating a domestic bernoulli blower and hopefully not setting our selves alight.

hi pig, you are right, we are going through a good patch, so 10 good days in a row promise 450 days of hell. and regarding school vs home ed, perhaps i just needed that encouragement ...

Michelle said...

Sounds like a great museum. I did think this from their website was funny: "Snibston Discovery Park is within easy driving distance of two mainline stations at Loughborough and Leicester."

As if I'd have my car with me if I'd gone by train!