Thursday, 23 February 2012

Yes, science lessons look like this

In home ed land, I sometimes experience those days that I can't really fault. But I'm not allowed to kiss strangers in public places, so I'll show my gratitude by blasting it out, toot-toot, on the blog.

Home ed is a wonderful, varied land to live in. I don't see kids humiliating, bullying, or threatening each other; I don't see slavish following of teaching methodology taking precedence over personal interaction; I don't see adults demonstrating their power over kids, nor spending their hours working out sanctions, punishments, exclusions and threats.

I see learning taking place naturally, socially, with friends. I see tolerance, support, a helpful spirit of inquiry, fun, and protein folding.

I see a group of 15 kids make double helix bonds from carrot sticks, peas, raisins, marshmallows and blueberries, then follow it up by making a copy using ideas about transcription and translation of DNA.

All the time in the workshop, I keep whispering to Tiger, But how do you know what to do? She looks at me suspiciously, maybe I'm pretending to have the intellectual range of a medieval peasant, then answers, I listened.

As a mother, I'm grateful. I don't have to spend all my days doing the work of an institution: forcing three individuals into uniforms; worrying about what they're doing and who they're meeting in worlds far away from mine; yelling about getting out the house in time, the same time, everyday; complaining about each item the school requires; enforcing rules I never made. I can enjoy freedoms and choices; I can join in, enjoy the process of learning, unpicking, making, asking; I can talk and laugh with like-minded people, then answer Yes! Let's eat cake.

Some days, they are just so lovely, they make sense of all the rest.

But still, so great is this heart today, better watch out, stranger in public place.


sharon said...

Happy Birthday gritlets three. DNA and birthday cakes are wonderful things ;-)

Irene said...

I wish the Gritlets a happy birthday and I hope the cake was fabulous. As for kissing strangers with a happy heart, I say go for it. The world needs all the love it can get. Even from us middle aged women.