Monday, 16 July 2012

Now pass me the iced buns

Monday! The day I throw open the doors of the estate to a small group of home educated offspring so we can happily follow the curriculum Mapping The World Through Art.

This regular event is always a success. Partly thanks to the iced buns at break time, partly thanks to me, and partly thanks to Ellen McHenry. (No, not that one. You are confused. It is Ellen MacArthur who sailed round the world and went bonkers.)

It is not only my skill with dividing an iced bun into six that leads me to taking some of the credit for running a brilliant Mapping The World Through Art session this morning. It is because I have the wit and wisdom to abandon Ellen McHenry's activity (watching a video, yawn, yawn, yawn) and instead get out the trusty Adana Five-Three.

All women of the shires have an Adana Five-Three up in their attics, don't they? By what other means are we to produce personalised invitations for the Parish Council announcing the end of season history talk entitled Old Boundary Stones and their Rightful Place in the Poetic Tradition.

As I expected, there were many squeals of delight when I squirted out the indelible ink, placed the print roller on the kitchen table, and unscrewed the previous message (Tel: Mrs Henderson on Wisbourne 82). Then I tipped into the eager hands of the happy children some 2,456 lead blocks of type which they had to sort out into the words Mapping Through Art, backwards. Sadly, we were forced to miss out The World after failing to find another R and considering that The Wold didn't quite match our ambitions.

Inserting the words Mapping Through Art backwards into the Adana Five-Three caused a few minor problems for the compositor (especially the spaces and when the letters all dropped out), but we managed to hold things in check even though my colleague in this enterprise, Mrs Andrews, realised with horror she had printing ink on her cardigan. Proceedings erred a little on the dangerous side only once when Mrs Andrews suffered an attack of the control freakeries and began breathlessly screaming NO DARLING NO NO NO THE LETTER M GOES HERE but apart from that, everything was fine.

We all enjoyed this lesson on 'how print changed the world of maps' very much indeed! My own dear child (the irrational phobic one) realised, after the session with the Adana Five-Three came to an end, that she had been handling lead, which is poisonous (as previously researched in our chemistry lessons), and began obsessively washing her hands before demanding I scrub the kitchen table, clean the floor, bleach the Adana Five-Three and wash down the walls.

Nonsense, I said. In this wold (!), you have to take risks if you are to pursue an education, and that is precisely what we have so obviously achieved once more, on this very satisfying, learn-how-print-changed-the-world-of-maps Monday morning.


Brad said...

Hello! Glad to find you all carrying on much as normal & seemingly well :)

Gweipo said...

my hat off to you. I'm doing the homeschooling thing as it is a LONG LONG vacation. I ask you 8 weeks off school at the fees we pay????
So it's daily math and spelling and "writing with ease" for my son, and daily math and chinese with my daughter - which admittedly she disappears off to do on her own unsupervised.

But there is zero imagination on my part involved. I'm following books and formulas, week 1 day 1 etc.

How you keep up the energy and the imagination and drive day in and day out is just awesome.

Grit said...

brad! i have wondered how you have fared with your delightful goats. i hope you have not eaten them. everything is totally normal round here. as usual.

gweipo, you are doing brilliantly. this is absolutely one reason why we do it ourselves; the school fees would be over my eyeballs and the holidays are so ridiculously long you may as well save the cash and spend it on a party lifestyle. just one conducted with your own children, that's all.

but you are discovering the delight of a successful home ed environment - reaching the point where the enthusiastic and curious students simply go off with books, computers, friends, other people, to sort out their learning for themselves.

i am not averse to pushing, strewing, complaining and using curriculums either. i'm not very good at sustaining them, that's all.

...which is sort of linked to the imagination issue. imagination is a kind reading. i admit to being easily led and totally distracted by interesting others. especially anything that is ephemeral, transitory, lasts a day not a year, amuses me, occupies me and generally delights me. it is a childishness that looks like imagination, that's all.

so i happily say enjoy your two months! you can't live them again, live them now.