I agree! A magic momentum gathers when you group a load of kids in a room and say Hey, let's draw maps of Indonesia!
Of course it works: disparate kids learning together can have a positive impact on each other. When the session ends, we parents proudly clutch to our tear-stained bosoms a wad of maps of Indonesia. Now we can truly boast our home ed kids can find Sumatra on a globe!
Without that enthusiastic crowd, faced only with whipping my own kids into cartographic-related frenzy, I would fail in my Indonesian goal. I suspect many of the other mamas would, too. Without their essential kid peer group, Shark, Tiger and Squirrel would each find something more urgent to do, like another three hours clicking away on the all-consuming Animal Jam.
But the evident success we can have with a group of kids in a mapping workshop still, to my mind, doesn't form an argument for pursuing an education through a conventional classroom.
The kids at Grit Towers meet because they want to; the session - lasting two hours and nowhere near thirty to a class - comes with laughter, jokes, and biscuits; there's no hidden agendas of test percentages; everyone knows the afternoon will come with outside play; and no-one has to put up a hand to speak, pee, use crayons, or have permission to talk.
See, Mrs Gradgrind? Have another example of how education can be gained through everyday ordinary interaction with adults and peers. It comes in endlessly possible combinations, groups and approaches. And as today is a resounding tick, and I hug my tear-stained map of Indonesia with all the big islands drawn in, I can thoroughly understand why you just love to hate us, smug bastard that I am.