Sunday, 26 October 2008

Education for free down the shopping centre

Do you know, when we are doing well, this home education lark is like one long permanent holiday? Like ice creams and hot sunshine and golden sand every day?

However, please don't try it. The queues and crowds at the sea life centres, and in all the museums, workshops and galleries will become miserably long and I shall be forced to put Shark, Squirrel and Tiger into school to escape.

Remember that home educators are a ragbag of old hippies waiting for the revolution. We smell, too. Vile. Send your kids to school. School is best, that's what I say.

Now, where was I? Oh yes, home education, going well.

Today Grit (rancid old hippie, Scargill was right, it's all a government plot etc. etc.) takes her (vile, smelly) home educated kids to the (stinking capitalist enterprise), Milton Keynes shopping centre.

Here we can benefit from the studious Open University, which has set up lots of science education stalls as part of a grand science festival. This sounds odd, doesn't it, popping to M&S for knickers and emerging two hours later with a new planet and a gravitational microlens, but bringing knowledge to the people is one of the things the Open University is all about. And if the people won't come to science, then it must come to them. Well we don't need any encouragement about that, seeing as we hippies believe home education is really education anywhere, anytime.

Surrounded by shops selling ski boots and handbags we meet a lovely man who tells us how to land satellites on comets (comets, small deaf Squirrel, not camels), and how to grow bacteria behind our ears (Shark, stop sniggering, he said ears, not rears). Then we explore exoplanets, European space research and moon rovers, and discuss whether six billion pounds is a useful amount of money to spend on something that looks like a disability vehicle without the disabled person sitting in it.

All of this is wonderful education because the children imagine themselves as tiny as a molecule and Tiger, Squirrel and Shark make blobby things out of plasticine. Then Grit becomes ridiculously excited about OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb like she just found three squares of chocolate at the bottom of her handbag that she thought she'd eaten. Yes, as excited as that: the jumping up and down look!look!look! sort of excitement.

Now of course Grit with her education hat is all fired up again and is off to reinforce ideas about camels, rears, and nanotechnology and will be purchasing a copy of Fantastic Voyage almost immediately. All that is left of this splendid trawl round the science stalls is to remember next time to buy some knickers.

And, of course, copies of Das Kapital, On the Road, a tie-died frock rubbed with odour of goat, and some skunk for the kids.

Tiger's (out of focus) molecules. Please keep up.


Emma said...

You do realise that if you didn't leave your knickers in the feilds, you wouldn't need to buy any more!!

The Boisterous Butterfly said...

Don't tell me you're a socialist, Grit. Egads! What is the world coming to? And raising impressionable young children too.

sharon said...

I think cheaper than M&S knickers would be more cost effective if you are going to persist in hurling them across fields!

Still, a very worthwhile visit to the vast capitalist plot that is the modern shopping centre. Isn't it good of the OU to allow you vile, smelly old hippies and your raggle-tagggle off-spring to benefit from their science exhibitions. Did you take your nasty old torn plastic carrier bag containing beer bottles with you too? The latter obviously for re-cycling purposes of course ...

Pig in the Kitchen said...

for a minute there i was about to go off on a random one about 'skunk' and how i once ate goat's lung, i wonder if it was anything like skunk....and THEN I realised you were using da lingo and being down wiv da youf. and then i felt stupid.

but i'm very glad that you had a lovely time in the shopping centre, i liked the out of focus molecules, and i would like to see a picture of the crotchless knickers I'm sure you set out to buy.

Casdok said...

Education opportunities are all around us!

Grit said...

this is true, emma. the elastic shreds something dreadful on the tesco value ones too.

hi bb! well i feel i have done too good a job recently in selling the good side of home education. that would be a disaster for when we want to visit the sea-life centre in hull. think of the crowds! so right now i'll be anything that puts people off a bit.

an old beer bottle smells not half so bad as the 6-month milk carton we keep in the fridge, sharon.

hi pig! yo baby!

Grit said...

you are so right casdok. let's keep that quiet, shall we? xx