Thursday, September 06, 2007

Not schooly, nooooo...

Now, who's old enough to remember the BBC test card? We were trying to recreate that, honest.

Ok, that's a lie. It's a fair cop: we were doing sums on the blackboard. Autonomous sums though! Lyddie saw the blackboard in Wilkos, so we got it and then she 'wanted to do some schoolwork'.

"You can go to school if you want," I said. "They're starting back this week."

She said she knew they were, but she'd rather be home educated please. Could we just do some sums? So we did. We've done some adds and some take-aways, but they made us feel hungry so we gave up then, before I got all over-enthusiastic about groups-of and shared-bys, which was probably a lucky escape for us all.

I glanced through some maths workbooks we have here though, and by age 5 Lyddie apparently should still be counting things. And by age 6. Though it looks like she'd be allowed to write over the numbers by age 7 though. Yes, that's maybe a bit of exaggeration, but not very much. I have to say, she'd be extremely bored to be still counting groups of things, by now and we certainly haven't done dozens of hours of it. Hmmm.

I also need to mention the Spreading Fame of our own, amazing and wonderful Barbara Stark!

Barbara and her family featured this week on this Radio 4 programme (36 minutes in - well worth listening to,) and we got chatting to a Samaritans lady with her collecting bucket outside Tesco yesterday. "Are you going back to school this week?" she asked Lyddie. I mentioned home education and she said, "Oh I know about that, I heard a really good thing on Radio 4 about it at the weekend," and she went onto say that she wished far more children were home educated, because then the Samaritans might have less work to do!

That's definitely food for thought.


Blogger Wobblymoo said...

Maybe the samaritans lady will pass on the info to someone :)

7:19 pm, September 06, 2007  
Blogger Ruth said...

Some workbooks are strange. We had a backboard at one time:)

8:00 pm, September 06, 2007  
Blogger Tim said...

A whole web site dedicated to test cards.

8:17 pm, September 06, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Oh yes, good thinking Denise :-)

Ruth, aren't they just?!

Tim, that's truly wonderful! ^^

10:27 pm, September 06, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Ah - we needed a clown.

10:30 pm, September 06, 2007  
Blogger Allie said...

I used to watch the test card as one of my siblings told that if you watched for long enough that girl would move.

So sad what the Samaritans woman said. Not really surprising though. We watched 'What Not to Wear' last night - kids' choice! - and they were doing two teenagers who had been bullied at school and had really poor body image. Awful. When I remember the kind of comments that were 'everyday' at secondary school it makes me wince even now.

9:48 am, September 07, 2007  
Anonymous Clare said...

Flopsy likes doing sums, but she likes workbooks. BTW blackboards are a bit out of date - if Lyddie wants to do pretend school you'll have to get an interactive whiteboard ;-)


10:45 am, September 07, 2007  
Blogger Louise said...

I like the way you are so organised you even have a ready made space on the shelf for the blackboard rofl!!!

8:36 pm, September 07, 2007  
Blogger 33, 452 said...

I was talking to dd1 about school (she'd be starting around now if we were still in England and not HEers) and I said "You'd put on special school clothes, and you'd go into a classroom where there'd be lots of other children and one teacher, and you'd sit at desks and do lessons. You would have breaks where you got to play, then you'd go in for more lessons".

She said "Nah, sounds like too much work! That would be tiring, I think, Momma."

Now there's a girl after my own heart! ;)

I remember talking to her about it a couple of months ago, and she got excited by the idea, saying that she'd take her My Little Ponies in and sit them on her desk. When I explained that the teachers probably won't let her do this, she said something like "Oh. Then I think I'll just stay home, after all."

It's scary to think that most kids don't get a choice. :(

I couldn't stop thinking how most parents would react to such an innocent refusal, and it depressed me a bit. I think her reasons are perfectly valid ones, but would most parents see that? Or would they laugh at them? I did smile at her innocence and at the joy of knowing her opinions would be respected, but I'd never *laugh* at her views, and I think many parents would. :(

I used to love that testcard! I wanted to *be* that girl for reasons that are now completely lost to me! :D


9:56 pm, September 09, 2007  
Blogger skypainter said...

I just love that test card photo- so cool. Shows you though sums can be fun when they are not forced upon you!

9:24 pm, September 10, 2007  
Blogger Raquel said...

I wanted to be testcard girl too....probably because everyone used totalk about her so much!
For nostalgias sake I have made the test card as my windows wall paper..thanks for the memories :-)

10:55 pm, September 11, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Allie - I watched it too! ROFL
Yes, the Samaritans lady was right I'm sure. And the increasing amount of info (like the Carphone Warehouse thing) that comes out to back up that view makes me wonder how much longer it can possibly go on for.

Clare thanks for that - it gets a mention in my next Green Parent column! ("Someone told me it should be a whiteboard..")!

Lou, of course we weren't - we had to do a quick shuffle round ;-)

Adele: "It's scary to think that most kids don't get a choice." - yes indeed :-(

Manda, yes she's loving them! As long as *she's* in control.

Ah Raquel, those were the days, when TV stopped sometimes, huh? ;-)

9:28 am, September 13, 2007  
Anonymous Barbara Stark said...

lol! My children also sometimes secretly do schooly looking activities behind everyone's backs and against common expectations! And, yes, it's autonomous education :-)

What the Samaritans lady said was just tragic. :-( Why can't people see how we are destroying our own children? Instead we get propaganda and lies - grr.

One of our group of home ed (formerly schooled) friends was persuaded by all the propaganda to try school again at the beginning of secondary stage this term. He has been deregistered again after a traumatising few days!

I am fed up of seeing delightful preschoolers have to adapt and change to this horrible institution.

That's my grumble for the day - except I have to keep buying Green Parent mag because of you Gill. ;-)

Barbara. x.

12:43 pm, September 13, 2007  
Blogger dottyspots said...

I think some children enjoy playing school every now and again - IMHO why not? after all, they may also want to play at being a doctor, or a builder, or drive a car, or any number of other things, so why not occasionally want to play being a pupil :)

One of the more amusing stories I've heard is of a mum being told off because she wasn't being a 'proper teacher', she was told she had to shout, tell them off more and give them lines - LOL!

I have actually had far more positive responses re. HE from the older generation or maybe it's just thepeople I meet.

9:59 pm, September 14, 2007  

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