Monday, 14 March 2011

Excuse me while I climb on the soap box

There's a type of glib opinion I hear. If you take the kids away from school, it's not possible to cover science.

Well, do tell me, what exactly is the state of science teaching in primary schools?

I'm coming out the back end of the primary years, and my kids have covered science in so many engaging, active and interesting ways I can't list them, but certainly in more practical ways than any school local to us could have offered.

We've scoured woods, fields, tin mines, quarries and the sewage works. We've visited the Royal Institution, Magma, countless science parks (from UK to Australia) and set the kitchen table on fire (Dig's contribution). We've watched rivers and electric storms; made clocks, bugs, soap and a mess; we've travelled chemistry, physics, stars; taken the Mad Science workshops, followed lessons, joined online groups, and chucked unicorns out of third floor bedroom windows to measure trajectory, speed, and how much of a drama queen is Blutina?


I just had to get that off my chest.

Because I read how we can't do science again today, and by coincidence we'd just arrived home from another visit to the Space Museum.

Where we watched an imax film about mending the Hubble telescope. Shark had to explain moons to me (one more time), and Squirrel did the thing she most wanted to do in all Hong Kong (apart from trap a real, live fairy).

That is, travel the moon walk, for which you have to weigh enough. Last time they threw her off when they discovered the rocks in her pockets. This time we planned better and made sure we'd fed her enough chips, pizza, sweets and cake.

If you're going to express a view about what can't be done in home ed land, I'd suggest making it very specific.

Like, a family of home ed kids aged 5-11 cannot dissect a fish in peace and quiet if one of their number is a fishy freedom fighter making a stand for mackerel rights. Then yes, that bit is true.

All else, we can sodding well do. Alright?