Monday, 7 December 2015

Arriba! Arriba! Ándale!

Okay! This home education malarky? Okay!

Thanks for asking.

It's just ...well time, please don't assume I teach. Look, my Big Grits are now aged 15. They jolly well teach themselves. They do learny-stuff by their own endeavours; they work out what to know, and how to shake it down in a language that an examiner will tick a box for.

Anyway, my little gribblehoofs busted me when they were aged about 9. I failed their primitive area maths questions! But then, I did teach them life's most useful lesson. It's no use asking your mother. Find out for yourself.

Take it all as living breathing proof that home ed works. The kids must do things for themselves: we can help only with Lingua Latina (aged 95) and Sam Martell. (Shark now allows me to tell you she got A grade in IGCSE Physics this year.)

Ah yes! The children! Shark, Squirrel, Tiger. My experiments! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Well, Shark has set her course for Life Domination. Having ticked Physics, sorted a newspaper delivery job, joined the Sea Cadets, learned how to cook 150 different bread types, and taken a course in Marine Engineering, she is now studying sea maps and has plans to build her own boat. At this point, I understand it is my job to close my mouth and hand out cash.

Squirrel lives in a faraway dimension where everything else makes sense. Squirrel is Shark's identical twin and her binary opposite.

While Shark purposefully handles the family laundry, Squirrel watches dust fall through sunlight. Shark marches off to source ingredients for her new-found bread recipe while Squirrel examines soil. This week, Shark learned how to handle herself on a sail, while Squirrel built a fifteen-foot articulated dragon.

I think no further explanation is needed, except to tell you my fears were unfounded, and four children could indeed hoist a fifteen-foot articulating dragon out of my house. Squirrel may arrive for a Theatre Props or Fine Art instruction near you in due course.

Tiger? Tiger is a swot for Latin, Anglo-Saxon grammar, and I'm damned if I can find a teacher of Ancient Greek.

PUBLIC APPEAL: If you know of, or you are, a teacher of Ancient Greek, please talk to me.

Apart from swotting (making dragons, sub-aqua diving, climbing, joining the stitch 'n' bitchers, taking up with the local park rangers, helping make a panto, and - joy of joys - running in teen spirit about the Wild Woods with The Wide Games Crowd), since my last missive, we have galloped through the following:

British Museum Celts exhibition; to the cinema for Fassbender in Macbeth, girl power with Suffragette, and fun with The Martian.

Live screenings of Our Lord Cumberbatch as Hamlet, the RSC's Henry V, the ENO's Mikado.

To the Globe and Sam Wannamaker theatre for Richard II and The Odyssey: Missing, Presumed Dead by Simon Armitage (I still love him, even though he spoke to me with cold, dead eyes).

Then chuck in Glyndebourne's touring production of Mozart's Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail (I hope you're impressed I typed that from scratch).

And! We did a family team challenge which involved driving a car with a bucket of water strapped to the bonnet. (I say family. Dig was away and Tiger wouldn't join, on the grounds, It Is Silly.)

Somewhere in this, we all went to Mexico. I would tell you more, except it was werk-related and Dig says I ought not to blab about clients on a public blog.

But it wasn't all werk! Have photos! Templo Mayor, Anthropology Museum, to the Belle Arts for Diego Rivera, a couple of hours on the canals (thanks, Shark), Teotihuacan, and Shark cooking us cactus for dinner.

Speaking of clients, one of my finest moments happened recently when I was asked if I 'take part in the sex industry' thanks to my preference for leather.

Just to reassure everyone, I did not go to Mexico looking for work as a hooker. I just dress like that.

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