Thursday, 2 October 2008

Why home educate? (2) Richard III

Or Richard II. Or how lightbulbs are made. Or why some bats are bigger than others. And why sloths are slow.

All these are excellent reasons to home educate, and we use them daily. You can talk about what you like. You can find out things together. You can decide what's important to know, and you can pursue it in any way that works for you and your child. Really, this is empowerment of the greatest kind, because you can explore cultures and create knowledges together, and there's no-one to stop you. No blank faced Whitehall civil servant with a tick-box form because it's Wednesday, so today you should do commas and fractions, and stop crying. Next week we're going to test you.

Nope. Not for us.

So today we brought Richard III in and sat him down on the sofa and we all stood round like in a court of law or a conscience alley, and we asked him for the answers to the questions that have burned on down through centuries.

Did you give the command to kill the princes in the tower? And did you plan to be king before you seized the prince at Stony Stratford? And what was the wildlife like? (Squirrel! Ask a question about him plotting to be king!) And did you hunt boar? (OK, Shark! Get him talking on military skill and horsemanship and maybe how many horses he really lost at Bosworth!) And what clothes did you wear? (Tiger, are you going to be a costume designer? Don't ask him whether he wears sparkly shoes. We did that with Edward III and it didn't get us anywhere.) And do you use the same toilets as everyone else, or do you get your own private toilet? (Tsk. Typical. You can tell daddy Dig went to boarding school. Now we're back on the toilet thing again we'll be here all day what with the toilet paper and all.)

There. See where home education can take you? Wherever you might want to go. Glorious.

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