Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Planning ahead

Sat down with Shark and worked through a timetable to complete her IGCSE Physics.

I told her that most home ed kids take the exam after one year, so why does she need two? She said 2036 was her preferred exam year, so I was doing well if she sat it in 2015.

I probably agree. It is a subject that I am staring at in incomprehension, while simultaneously claiming cheerfully how you can effortlessly relate E=mc2 to one marble and an elastic band.

Well, I warned her. I am not letting her off the hook for 2015. I laid out my serious calendar and came over all pointy-finger and scowly frowny. Then I wrote down her assignment posting dates on it, in very black pen. By the time I had finished with my 2014-2015 at-a-glance it looked like Johannes Gutenberg had had a fit in a vat of printer's ink.

I know it is the opposite of what a good 'let-the-children-lead' type of home educating mama should do, but I have three kids of the same ages, and the last thing I want is for all of them to try sitting half a dozen different subjects at exactly the same time. Imagine the mess I'll make of those codes! It will all go hopelessly wrong. I will have Shark taking Squirrel's course on Fairy Puddings and Tiger traumatised by a Fish Exam.

I think Shark saw the wisdom in my organisational approach, even though she didn't look very happy. More, like the enterprise was already hopelessly doomed. In respect of that, I left our planning meeting as gently and as kindly as I could. I simply said that if she does not get Section 1 Topic 2 written up in best handwriting and sent off as per My Schedule, I would post off a sheet of blank paper with her name printed at the bottom in the blood I have extracted from her forearm.

But it is a tightrope walk, is it not, this passage betwixt what the home educated child wants to do (play pointless computer games all day long involving three talking horses and a wizard), and what the studious home educating mama thinks the children should do (take a measly clutch of ruddy exam courses to give them a bit of elbow room when they come to a college interview).

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