Saturday, 5 February 2011

Musings on a rainy Saturday morning...

The boy is off to York for the weekend. He is going with his Scout Jamboree Unit. He has a few camps and training days coming up, but we still have £1000 to fundraise. I am slightly disappointed with the fundraising support we are (not) getting. I thought there were going to be more county level things to take part in, but alas, the 4 Scouts in our district seem to be left to their own devices. All of which means I am more actively involved than I want to be.

Don't get me wrong - I am really excited about this opportunity that the Boy has to go to the Jamboree. But I am doing enough what with home education, and toddler watch, and just trying to get through each day. He has done a lot himself, but not using his own initiative, and it can be just as exhausting being the one to do all the reminding and worrying- which means I am doing some organising as well.  But we are half way there money wise - just need to sort out passport and EHIC as well. :-)

Other than that (worry), we have the Meister's friend coming to visit this weekend, and her mum, so I can play, too. :-) Socially, we have been very busy this week, but not so much on the getting things done. We have hardly had any time to read, or play games, or even talk much.

But I did have a nice time on Monday, going shopping with the Changeling. She is 16, and wondering who the hell she is going to be, and we don't spend much social time together. Even though it was only shopping, and it was at the Trafford Centre (crosses self, spits, turns around three times) and we had the Babe with us, it was nice. I find it a little bit sad, that since she started college in September, she seems to hardly see her home ed friends. They were her best friends for years, and it seems a bit as if they have all gone on to other things, and don't really think about each othe that much. It could just be time constraints, but it still seems sad to me. She does have a few new friends at college, but they all seem to be either angry or apathetic, and she is trying to be those things too, when to my mind, she doesn't really have reason to be. But since I am her mother, I would say that wouldn't I?

Anyway, the kids are all so different. Home education has been great in that it has allowed them all to be who they want to be slightly more than if they had been institutionalised. But I still think that they can feel pressure to be 'good' or 'clever' or 'insert trendy lefty characteristic here' even though I do try to not exert pressure, I probably do. I have certain expectations - that they be true to themselves, that they not be rude or impolite to others, that they not be lazy, that they leave me alone once in a while. :-) I mean, that they become independent. :-)

And there are societal pressures. There are sibling relationships. And because the eldest has gone to university, they others may think they are expected to as well. I think that by the time they are 15 - 17 they are really ready to get away from each other. Which is fine, but because we are a family that spends so much time together, maybe they don't think it is fine. I think the Changeling still wants to be part of all we do, and yet wants her own life as well, and just gets angry at us for carrying on without her. But since I am the mother of teenagers, I am no doubt wrong.

Back to the easy bits of home education. I am thinking of starting up an English group for a very small group of the Boy, the Meister and a couple of their friends. It would consist of word games, grammar lessons, reading and discussion of books, writing (both critical and creative) and would be as weekly as we could manage. I like doing this kind of thing, but I just have to be sure I have the energy, and there are enough kids with the interest. :-) I think many families already have too many committments.

I do find myself getting slightly more stuctured, (very, very, slightly) but I think that has something to do with the changing family dynamics, as it isn't anything to do with shifts in ideas about the necessity of the learner having the freedom to choose what to learn.  And no doubt, most families would see our once a month, or once a week activities as having little resemblance to their daily or weekly programmes of learning. We still seem to be doing what suits us, it is just that what suits us is changing. I have been home educating for so long now, that I don't spend much time thinking about it, or talking about it, or challenging myself on its apects. Having the Babe is getting me to do that again, which is useful.

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