Wednesday, 24 October 2012

We seem to be on a roll...

A last minute addition to our weekly schedule yesterday was a trip to The Edge Arts Centre  to see Handa's Surprise. Granted, I did only phone because I had an email saying that adults were free when you paid for the child's tix,  and it turns out that that wasn't the case. But it was £11 well spent as the show was enchanting! We are still singing and talking about it! I will be keeping an eye out for more from Little Angel Theatre.

Handa's Surprise is one of my favourite stories, although funnily enough we never had the book. We just got it from the library and saw it on Rat-a-tat-tat. We do still have some other Eileen Brown books which have been favourites as well; In a Minute, Wait and See and Through my Window. I think I will have to get them out for The Babe. In a Minute was one that my eldest could really relate to!

The rest of our week here is planned as well. We have a trip to the park and we have to do some mask making, and a Halloween party coming up. I'll have to fight to fit in my naps...

But don't worry, The Meister is still around. Two Museum workshops, Maths, Drama, horse you think she will allow me to drag her to the park as well?

And another phone call from the school we deregistered her from in July....I think I feel a snotty letter building up.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Unexpected fun

Yesterday was a good day. I wasn't expecting it to be, but it turned out to be pretty damn good. I like it when that happens.

I took The Meister to meet some friends and to do a workshop at the Manchester Museum. I thought I might potter around with The Babe for a bit. The Meister had a good time at the workshop, which was about genetics and dog breeding, and since I had forgotten that the Museum doesn't open until 11am on Mondays, I planned to head home with The Babe and get some English done with The Boy.

We said good-bye to everybody and headed outside, where little one found lots of things to interest her, leaves, ladybirds, fences, concrete steps, railings, windows, flowers, a garden hose, space, running, jumping, looking, chatting, and smiling. So we didn't get very far. In fact, we played around outside the Museum doors for so long, that eventually it opened, and we decided to have a potter around as first planned.  

Now, I haven't been to the Museum lately. I last wrote about  my disappointment with it last year. So this time we avoided the Living Worlds bit and just went to look at live frogs and snakes and lizards. That turned out to be great and we saw a monitor running around more than we have ever seen any of the reptiles or amphibians move since we started going to this museum 20 years ago and there was a caiman, some axolotl,  and some fish. This one monitor just went around and around and climbed and crooked its neck amusingly, and seemed to be looking at us, too.

We saw several frogs of varying sizes and colours and activity, the chameleon, a gecko, some lizards, and crickets and a tree python.The Babe thought it all rather wonderful. The tadpoles were most excellent as well. And were recognized thanks to the recent reading of a book about frogs, and a new DVD of the old programme Come Outside with Auntie Mabel and Pippin. They tell us all about tadpoles and frogs. :-)

But then we had to go to look at other things. I was led around by The Babe. We saw the huge Asian Elephant skeleton and its tusks, and the carved tusk in the next gallery. We had to go back and forth several times while she looked at them both again and again. We saw the sperm whale skeleton and the Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton and we looked for bird skeletons and we noticed that they all had ribs, and we felt The Babes ribs, and pointed out that all the people we saw had ribs too. Apparently, The Babe has muscles as well. :-)

We saw some African masks which will probably lead to us doing some papier mache masks at home. And some figures with big boobs, which was pointed out in a big voice. 

We missed the Born and Bred exhibition and the Alan Turing exhibition which I quite want to see, but I imagine those are for trips without a little one toddling along. Although, the point of this is that she is coming out of toddlerdom, and getting a bit more interesting. We chatted a lot yesterday and had a good time. And for me, it was nice to get that time with her, as most of my life has turned into just trying to keep her occupied while I accomplish other things.

I imagine the the future holds some fun, as well as some more trips to the park, and arguments about too many biscuits, and walking in any direction other than the one specified.

Oh yeah, and then came home and did some English with The Boy. And watched Auntie Mabel and Pippin. And had a nap. :-)

Friday, 19 October 2012

Oh the Irony...

In this case the irony is that I am not quite finished with home educating The Boy after all. Yes he is at college. Yes, he seems to be doing very well. But no, they are not helping him get his English GCSE. (He already has an A in Maths.)

They offerred Functional Skills. One hour a week. Except nobody else showed up for the first lesson.  And all you get at the end is functional skills level 2 qualification. When I asked the tutor if education institutions would view this as equal to a GCSE, should the Boy wish to go on to further study, he paused for a moment befreo replying in the negative. Of course not. So we are working at  home doing the English Language B IGCSE from Edexcel. He will take the exam in January as a private candidate and it is costing us £86. 

I share this irony with another home educator, who has a daughter who is also 16 as is doing a painting and decorating course.She already has a B in English.  Her college were going to help her get her Maths GCSE. But the resit class that she was attending was not receiving any instruction. They were only being given assessment after assessment and being told that they were not improving. No shit. So she is also working from home trying to help her daughter get a Maths GCSE.

So that is two home educators still home educating even though our children are in full time education. How ridiculous.

On a more positive note. I attended The Boy's first paid gig last night. I was impressed. I sat there watching this talented young man, and his talented friends, and I couldn't help but think that actually, getting an English GCSE is rather irrelevant to his life. And it seems a useless box ticking exercise when he is already writing essays for his music course and getting good marks. He doesn't need to improve his English, he just needs to prove that he has the appropriate piece of paper. What an expnsive time wasting exercise.

The gig was good. He debuted one of his songs. :-)

He has also mentioned in passing that it is a good thing he isn't doing Functional skills anymore, because he has auditioned for something called the Difficult Music Group, and has been chosen as the drummer. It is on during the same time as he would be sitting in a room with a bunch of kids who don't want to be there, and not learning English.

He is doing loads, and meeting musicians, and doing charity gigs, and writing songs, and doing well at college, and really getting on with life. And I keep nagging him about his handwriting and his revision. How odd.