Friday, 8 March 2013

Well, whadya know?

Remember me talking about that damned English GCSE (or rather IGCSE)? Well I was hoping he would pass. He has. Apparently he got an A*. I am awaiting confirmation in the post. Because how could he get an A*, having never done English formally until the age of 16, about 3 months before he took the exam? And let's keep in mind that by formal English lesson, I mean doing stuff from the syllabus book with your nagging mother. :-) Maybe once or twice a week, except for the three weeks around Xmas, and all those times he had gigs, and was just too busy.

This may say something about how marvelous The Boy is. Or how daft the exam system is. Or that having interesting conversations with kids teaches them all sorts.

But I think it is obvious the real the lesson here is that nagging pays off.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Wrong again...

So I am listening to the Today show, and some Tory going on about how primary education is where the focus should be so that kids can carry on through secondary. They are raising 'targets' for what kids need to know or do by the time they leave primary school.

Which is completely backward thinking! I would like to spend hours writing about why I know this is crap. But quite frankly I am tired - from having to live and raise my kids in a pretty crap, backward thinking, all about the money, target focused, kind of world.

But actually, we should leave primary aged kids alone. They should play. They should see good examples of human beings exhibiting, you know, humanity. They should be hugged and told they are effing fantastic!? We should answer their questions. That is how kids learn things. By wanting to. By being encouraged and seeing people around them curious about the world. By being human.

Everything about our education system in inhuman. It inhibits creativity. It inhibits the natural curiosity that we are born with. It inhibits maturation. It inhibits learning in all its forms.

And the government always want to do MORE of it.

Over 20 years of home educating and being around home ed kids has shown me that when kids get to be about 12 or 14, they naturally want to start learning in a more focused and structured way. That is, provided they haven't already spent years in an institution and are still healing from it.

It seems to me that if we are going to have schools (which is a whole other debate) then really, primary should be all about pastoral care, fun, learning coping mechanisms by example, not from a curriculum, being democratic, and compassionate, having stories told to you and read to you, being listened to, allowed to be quiet or creative or loud in turn, and having more FUN! Then money should be put into options in secondary schools so that kids who want to take apart car engines and build towers and learn Japanese and make messes and do history or reenact history, or do exams in whatever subjects they want, should have the resources to do those. And not to any timetable.

But today, I am just an angry ranting woman. Politicians play with the fate of the  nation's children, and the children grow up unhappy and unable to think for themselves. Crap.