Monday, 10 May 2010

Someone asked me, What's your day like?

You asked for it.

7.00 Lie in bed cuddling bucket of coffee. Plot. Today, water. I have motive.

8.00 Yell GOOD MORNING LITTLE CAMPERS from vantage position on landing. Follow it by YOU HAVE 59 MINUTES TO GET OUT OF BED. Proceed to shower and dress me up like the lady I am. A £1 jumper from the Scope shop teamed with baggy M&S drawstring trousers c1977 with a hole in the crotch. They are so ME.

8.30 More coffee. Shout AT 9AM I POKE YOU WITH SKEWERS. But I am good mummy. I use only wood, never metal.

9.00 Hi everyone! Welcome to breakfast! This is your house, so just do as you please, like scatter cereal all over the table and cover your face in jam. Now while you're doing that, let me prop up this geography text book, show off pictures of the water cycle and read aloud this interesting text. Sometimes, when I think attention is wandering I shout WHAT IS PRECIPITATION followed by very good, good girl, lovely daughter, good good good. WHAT IS TRANSPIRATION etc. etc.

9.30 Say Are you all going? Where are you going? Come back to me at 11. I have a television set. Then do tedious things that I must do. Otherwise I must buy paper plates and wear one pair of knickers two weeks running. Hope to put knickers in correct bit of laundry equipment and not in dishwasher or kettle.

10.00 Wander into office. Regret that. Is foolish. The office is filled with times and dates and nuisance calls and work not done. Hear children screaming in distance. That is good. This is an opportunity to explore strategies for conflict resolution. To help that process we have rules pinned up at the back of a door. Somewhere.


11.30 Put on the programme about river systems and flood management. I am very organised mummy. I recorded this at 4am! It looks like a GCSE course. Who cares?

12.00 Say Where are you going now? Are you going to play? Does anyone want to do maths? Please don't dig up the lawn again. Come back at 1 o'clock. I have lunch.

If small child foolishly short cuts through kitchen in pursuit of cut up fabric, shovels, tennis balls, pots of glitter, lure them, by crying, in pleading tone, Look at my lovely books about rivers! Do you remember the day I couldn't turn off the tap? Here is a picture of the Amazon! I have found a lovely website! Would you like to visit the sewage farm again? etc. etc. Sometimes this works, and a small child is lured by a seductive picture of a tap, then a ten minute discussion can be had about drainage systems, blocked pipes, Archimedes screw etc. etc.

1.00 Throw cheese rolls around table, while reading from a book about Handel. Because guess what kiddlywinks? To fit in with our watery theme today we're listening to the Water Music as we go out next in the car. Papa wants you to grow up to be accomplished young ladies who look like they know stuff. He says I am wrong and there is more to the world than Talking Heads c1989.

2.00 Arrive at Stanwick Lakes!

Yes! This is it! This is why I have made you suffer! Now go and bother water along with the other home ed kids for a couple of hours. They have a fantastic water play park. Here, through practical experiment and wet socks, you can learn about water transport, suspended particles, rocks, water energy, pumping, flow rates, flooding etc. etc.

No, don't tell me what you're up to, how many times you pushed Squirrel in, or how much of it you're putting in your pockets to take home. I'm off to talk about how hard this home ed life can be, over coffee with all the other lovely friendly ladies in the lovely warm visitor centre.

4.30 Depart the lakes with pictures, information about watery educational workshops, and results of discussion with very helpful education staff. Promise to organise workshop as soon as possible.

5.30 Drop Shark at after-school drama. We have had a tiring school day, learning about water. Squirrel and Tiger run to dig up the lawn to create irrigation channels for unicorn farmland.

6.00 Consider making artwork in form of water book. Consider this problem a lot while drinking tea and contemplating what a hard and terrible life is this home education business.

8.00 Indian takeaway for dinner. We should eat more of these. Apparently 72% of our meals should consist of them. Must try harder.

9.00 Kids push off to bath and hang around at the back of daddy Dig's head while he tries to watch a programme about the Royal Navy. Memo to self: Samuel Pepys is good for a laugh. We might do him next week.

10.00 Book reading stuff. Individual light turning off. Busy outdoor day. Plenty of active play. Kissy kissy nite nites etc. etc.

Tomorrow is French lesson. Over breakfast of croissants, pain au chocolat, read lovely bilingual books, abandon kids to websites and garden, go to gym, talk to other lovely home ed people, get back in time for after-school clubs etc. etc. Hard life.

Happy? With this approach to education? Oh yes we are. Smug bastard.


Kestrel said...

Ah how I love you Grit, your blog posts make my life worthwhile as they resonate so empathically with my daily life.

Deb said...

Your posts inspire me to get my kids out in the world even more often than we are. I wish we had somewhere like that to explore.

MadameSmokinGun said...

Do you delete the bits where they rip the book from your hands and tear it to shreds and flush it down the toilet - or is that just my kids?

We 'did' totem poles the other day. I printed out nice pictures of them from the computer thing (actualy, eldest child had to take over with the technical bits) which pricked the attention of one small boy.... a bit. Then, later at our hall gathering, this small boy carefully chose his kitchen roll cardboard tube, drew a face on with biro (obviously a giraffe) and .....'finished!'

I was so proud. We dun totem poles. Tick.

Grit said...

thank you kestrel. these days are ordinary and extraordinary all at the same time, aren't they?

Hi Deb! we go anywhere. Any park, any public byway, any waymarked path, any hole in the hedge, anything we can get away with!

mme sg, some days that would be a triumph for us, too. after all of 8 minutes squirming in pain while listening to me droning on about something pointless like naming parts of a flower, then they rush off to the garden and build a scale model of a unicorn motorway system complete with flyovers, junctions and traffic wardens which absorbs them for 5 hours straight.