Monday, 17 August 2009

No, we don't teach everything

Grit keeps her eyes open, like all keen home educators, for workshops, classes, lessons, practical experience and social activities at all times of the year, not just six weeks over the summer holidays.

We can sniff out a good deal within hours of it on a website or in a local newspaper or because telephone signals are tingling. I swear it's a sixth sense that all home educators develop and become total experts at exploiting.

Like I stood in an ordinary queue at the start of this ordinary summer holiday and I earwig a conversation behind me. And one woman, probably about thirty, is saying to the other about what can kids do in the holidays? and the other woman says, Yeah, I think there's a playground at the lake. I don't know where it is. I think there are ropes or something.

And I had to physically wrestle myself to stop my face spinning round and saying the playground is open all hours but the coffee shop which overlooks it opens only 11am to 4pm and the ropes are 50 metres turn left past the family pub, steel gateway, book at the hut, cost £10 per child, try for a multiple entry discount, and the lake also offers sailing, windsurfing, knee boarding and kayaking, and here's the course start dates, and the instructor I recommend, plus telephone number, and the off peak price structure that they may not publicise but don't forget to ask.

But I do not share this information. Not one bit.

Now I have nothing to do with the education industry as such, but I know where those local resources are and I have no doubt myself or one of our home educating families round here will find out within a click of your fingers where the best opportunities are, the best deals, group discounts, free testers and cheap deals.

Basically, we've done nothing for the last few years except take up these local services, and that involves a lot of intensive negotiation over desks and telephones with people in our communities. Try it. As a home educator you will soon be buttonholing that woman at the entrance desk and arguing why your group should all get in at a ten per cent discount because it is Wednesday and the least they can offer is a free annual pass for the kids.

And with this attitude - the sort of attitude that says these are our services to negotiate, encourage, use, demand - throughout these last years we have done some fantastic activities, straight in there with musicians, artists, performers, linguists, with people who really love doing what they do, who do that job whether you pay them or not because they are so committed to what they do and passionate about doing it. Possibly nothing on earth would stop some of the people I've met lead these services, and I feel so privileged to meet them through this world of home ed.

So today, when we sniff out a fantastic opportunity to work with artists who are - get this - prepared to take all three of my children away from me for five hours, then I absolutely know why I do not share the information that I have with any non home educators who may be standing behind me in the queue for the toilets.

Because, ladies, places today are limited. And the art workshop is FREE.


The Green Stone Woman said...

I would be very careful whom I shared information with at all, it could be an intruder who wants to dump her child for 5 hours. Keep you lips sealed and never tell anyone anything about all the wonderful things you do. Before you know it all the local riff-raff will want to join in. Can't have that, you know!

sharon said...

LOL!!! A FREE 5 hour workshop suitable for all three of your girls, now why on earth would you want to share that piece of information . . .

What were YOU able to accomplish during those free hours? Hope you enjoyed at as much as the gritlets enjoyed their time.

Angela said...

But once your children will be grown and out of the house, a thing you cannot imagine now but will happen, THEN you MUST write a book about all your experiences, Grit! Promise! Or just sum up your blog, but publish your ideas and knowledge and all the things you learned. Too many people have NO IDEA!