Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Home educators missing out social skills?

Of course, the answer's NO! Home ed kids don't miss out social skills. Just think about the social skills Child A (aged 11) has employed today.

1. Got herself out of bed, dressed appropriately, and made ready to go.

While mother is slopping in pyjamas with dribble on the bosom? Falling out the shower 10 minutes before she is due out the house? So what? She is an artist. Call it the start of her new public installation work: The Artist in Motion. Smelly & Dishevelled.

2. Bought breakfast en route to the public transport for all family members.

Okay. The mother-artist on duty doesn't actually provide breakfast. Well, what's the point? Squirrel has stitched up a good deal with our cake-woman street-seller for daily freshly-baked pastries. Still warm! And Hong Kong food culture is snack-based.

3. Checked the transport card is suitable for travel.

Yes, this is Squirrel's job! Don't look at me. I'm not doing it. I bung her fifty dollars to buy the top-up from the old woman in the booth. (Rats! I've forgotten my card! Surely Squirrel can deal with the guard on duty at the turnstiles, then slip me hers to get me through to the ferry?)

4. Seated the family on city transport.

Where are we going? Can someone remind me? Squirrel, sort it out. Go and ask that man to move. Look, today I am wearing matching socks. Consider that my triumph.

5. Purchased lunch from 7Eleven.

Just be quiet, you creepy lunch-box police types. This overpriced cheese sandwich is not a statement on modern motherhood. Hong Kong food culture is SNACK BASED. Now Squirrel, don't forget to ask the cashier for straws. And are they going to stock raisin bread again? Ask the assistant for me, there's a good girl.

6. Provided the details for the group meet-up at the right time, in the right place, at the right sports venue.

Thank goodness Squirrel is firmly in charge. She can recall which group of people we are meeting in which place today. Different from yesterday. And tomorrow. (My confusions are understandable, surely.)

7. Acquired the correct-sized sports gear from the attendant. Joined in appropriately with the mixed-age, mixed-ability sports group for ice skating session.

Squirrel, get it sorted with the young men behind the desk regarding the gear. And don't ask me again. NO WAY am I strapping thin metal blades to my feet and trying to stand upright on a sheet of ice. If you need me, I'll be in Starbucks with the rest of the hangers on, aka the parents.

8. Assisted, supported, and encouraged the junior in the group who is convinced she will fall over.

Ahhh. My girls are kind and caring. (Truly.)

9. Agreed time to exit the sports venue.

Twelve kids today to negotiate on a time? Blimey, that was quick. But must your mother leave Starbucks? The seat is so cosy and warm! The hot chocolate is delicious!

10. Made a selection of 12 cup cakes at fancy cake shop.

Squirrel, here is MATHS. Cake choices are as follows. 12x22; 3x54; 1x350; 2x140+3x22. You must feed 12 people. You have two minutes to decide. Order from the cake-shop woman and tell me how much cash to hand over.

11. Located group at meet-up venue for impromptu birthday gathering!

Honestly, if someone doesn't find the way out of this shopping centre, eternity will finish and I will still be wandering around the blasted back of Versace. Thank goodness! Squirrel's asked the woman at the concierge desk.

12. Behaved appropriately for birthday gathering.

What? You mean no screaming? Shouting? Pushing? Or grabbing at the chocolate cake with scrabbling claws fiercely yelling GERROFFTHATONEISMINE. (For which I humbly apologise.)

13. Completed same in reverse; i.e. managed transport home, coordinated mother, organised all payments, negotiated purchasing of supper (not from 7Eleven).

Social skills? You can call them responsibility, resourcefulness, self sufficiency, care for others, sympathy for mother (okay, maybe pity), and dealing respectfully with a lot of people in a lot of jobs in real-world situations.

Now please excuse me. I have to go back to drinking lager, dribbling down my vest, watching Sky TV, and burping.


Nora said...

That's a hwck of a fine job she did. You can be proud of her. It's very convenient to have such independently thinking children who are so socially gifted. What will you do when she's grown up and left the house?

Jojo. xx said...

Reminds me so much of me and my 12 year old!!! I don't know what I'd do without her!