Friday, 7 October 2011

Water cannon? That's nothing.

My advice, not that you've asked for it, is that if you're comfortable, in that place in your head where you live, then don't home educate.

If the world already works in neat, organised, predictable ways, and you have your home and work routines safely sorted and complete, better leave it like that.

Don't poke anything. Not with even the weeniest tiny starting question, like Why are we doing it like that?

Take my word for it. Once you start, you'll never stop, and then it's all a disaster. The whole of life can come undone, sliding down around your ears quicker than you can draw breath. Terra firma slips into a sort of thick oozy mud which slides about leaving you no safe place to stand.

The problem, once you imagine how you might make an environment for a child's learning, and worse, make those ideas a reality, is that now you must question everything.

Then you're really stuffed. All your assumptions, ambitions, plans, thoughts, ways of behaving, seeing, doing. And not just once either. No, after you jumped off planet normal, then desperately scrabbled about to make it stable, you have to keep checking, calibrating, assessing, because the damn world shape is now moving off again, out of your control, some place else.

No wonder people who see us flounder about in alternate education land will sometimes say, You must be mad. There's a grain of truth in that.

And if you follow it with, I couldn't do it, then you probably have your head screwed on, tight.

You are right. It can be a midden of a mess.

But you might not see. It can bring astonishing moments.

I can only think of the word revelation - the bewildering joy that I cannot quite explain because it doesn't fit anything I prepared for, fits none of my former ideas, expectations, pathways I thought she took - and I admit it could all be gone tomorrow phfft! - yet I can only guess it sort of fits that point when the shift of the world takes place, and the angels toot toot and the hallelujah chorus crashes, and the extra smug faces of some army or another turn to the non-believers to say, See? We told you so.

Now look at this.

Unremarkable, you say? Tiger working out a bar chart?

After the black middens and molten lands we have crossed, it is more remarkable than anything. It surpasses all.

More remarkable, more worth the telling, than anything. Including how it happened today at the Heritage Museum.

Here we come where I try and make the ground stay firm under my feet, and cause the gritlets to think studiously about Hong Kong for the population bit of my covert IGCSE Geography syllabus.

Where I am sure, the little guard I ignored - the one aged about 14 who told me off for my open sandwich box - in the museum outside seating area! - well, she went right up to the roof and got her own back; showering over us from that vantage point a spraying jet of ice-cold water.

Yes, showing you Tiger with a bar chart is even more remarkable than that.

1 comment:

Sam said...

Slippy, sliding, thick oozing mud - that's exactly it. You just nver know what's going to happen next.

Ain't nothing wrong with bar charts! Especially those ones with two or three colours AND a wiggly line. :-)