Monday, 21 January 2013

Sick of being lazy

Hmmm, today I'm sick and tired.

I'm tired because I found a super-excellent-fantastic bloggy/websitey thingummy, and I've been sitting imbibing its wisdom for three nights whilst forgetting that my bed awaits in my cold bedroom upstairs.

I'm sick because I'm not well. I'm well enough to stare lovingly at super-excellent... blogspotty things until you-are-totally-out-of-your-mind-at-your-age o'clock.

I'm sick because where I did a large part of my growing up (in Canada) the local people said they were sick not that they were ill, unwell or off-colour.

But I feel unwell. Sometimes it veers into a slight case of illness.

I'm allowed to be. I'm home educated.

I could've faked it because I'm, without a faint doubt, on a list. I'm on the ill home educator list and I'll get a warning letter something like this:

"Dear Ms. Danae Trentsniffer,

I refer to your absents from the computer or any other of the educational places in which you could occur and which are appended in Appendix 2 of this letter.

Your absentence has been noted and should you exceed the total of seven point one six five days allottted for this term you will be referred to the Homeschool Attendunce Officer (heretofore referred to as HAO) who will arrange a visit to determine if yours is a true illness or a temporary illness that we can support you in.

The HAO is Mr. Donald Terrier who will visit you in three point six six repeating hours. Mr. Terier may, of course, be earlier or later than the stated time due to traffic conditions or his holiday in the Bahamas, and he may be Mrs. Rubella Noseclunker or her assistant, Ms. Harpy Artswiper.

Hoping you are well.

Yours truly,

Mr. Loreen Cudsworthy, 
Manager, Local Illness and Swinging the Lead Inspectorate.

When last appealed to Mrs. (or Mr.) Loreen Cudsworthy approved the plan of writing and producing her letters to me complete with grammatical boo-boos. I applied to her early because I thought the young fold might enjoy sporting the erros.

I alwo decidid to doe likewirse in mi bog.

But, you cry, how did their cume to be a HAHA officer?

Why, when you just got free of the schooled mess, should you reenterr the hell of officshul litters?

Wgekkm you could be having a larff. Or taking the fiss.

Don't forgit to prey for sum skulled kids who doe get this tripe of leter. Itz no jock to them.

Just one of the ways that home education vaults the hell over schooling in my humbel opinyon.


Super-excellent relationshippy blogthingummmy:

Saturday, 5 January 2013


Of course, some people think that home educating in the ol' autonomous style means that you're basically a good for nothing idle kind of educator. Lazy, in a word. 

They don't say that about the young folk.

They mean me.

I should be schooling. Or educating. Or reading about the latest theories in education. Or finding out how to get the buggers to learn (that's a tip of the hat to a whole series of how to get the buggers to...) and that series is a pretty example of what I think is wrong with forced education. Or 'making' them do something they don't want to do because, hey, everyone else 'has' to do it.

To force someone to learn something seems just intrinsically wrong.

Doesn't it to you?

I mean surely we evolved to learn things about our environment that save us from a) harm and b) stress and c) destroying the environment.

So what do we do now?

Well, we destroy not only our own environment but the environment that maintains other creatures who share our earth.

That's worked out well, then.

Surely, it seems just sensible to assume, that that which you know is something which has relevance and meaning to you. That which you know because you 'had' to learn it in English or Maths or History will vanish like a snowflake in mid-August boiling hot weather. Or it'll stick in your mind like one of the discarded pieces of pot that the Romans dropped in the kitchen years ago, about as useful as the average clod of earth except when you're watching the Eggheads t.v. quiz programme.

I prefer the word facilitator because when my two young people decide they wish to learn something I find a way to help them do it. I don't force them, and, if they don't like it, I don't insist that they do it. 

Force isn't the way.

But I won't make you agree with me, and you won't be tested on the  conclusions you reach later.

If you really want to know more about Sue Cowley's books starting with 'Getting the Buggers to Learn', please google or use some other search engine to find out about them.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Auto Ed

Autonomous education

You get so sick of it. Autonomy. Here is something about autonomy from

  1. independence or freedom, as of the will or one's actions: theautonomy of the individual.
  2. the condition of being autonomousself-government, or theright of self-government; independence: The rebels demandedautonomy from Spain.
  3. a self-governing community

I mean sometimes I really don't want to be autonomous. I don't want to control my day. Like today. I've got a bad cold; head full of horrible eurgh, pains everywhere, feel like, well, slime at the bottom of a well? Tufts of dog hair on the carpet?

Something that the cat dragged in and had a go at.

I want someone to tell me what to do.

That autonomy. It's... it's difficult... It's a hard taskmaster because you enjoy doing whatever you enjoy doing so much that you can't stop doing it. Then you get better at doing it so, to increase your sense of enjoyment, you do it even more.

They never stop doing stuff. The young folks. One year it's learning about art then it's listening to Chinese music and asking for a Chinese violin for Christmas, and that's the young person who listened to, but never showed any interest in making, music.

Sick of it really.

And how those darned interests persist.

The tours of the internet for information. Just stay uninformed, I say. Give your head a rest, I caution. 

Oh, and bother that Time Team. We're into Archaeology now because of 
those enthusiastic scientists and fascinated amateurs who get involved in water-logged fields. I can see things I've never seen before. I know about leaks (water courses) in muddy grass.

Dear, oh dear, there's no end to it. The autonomous learners. And how they pounce on things they know not of. And learn about them.

The whole autonomous education journey is so tiring.

And exciting, interesting, fascinating, unknown; you'll never quite be sure where you'll end up... if you ever end....

The way an education should be I reckon. Yours and under your control. Able to be picked up and put down as you desire because the brain bucket is busy calculating what is best for you, not working out what's best for everyone sharing a small, annoying room.

The human, eh? Born to learn. Everything. Not just approved stuff. Everything. Who can fathom it?

Auto Ed.  I guess people who direct their own experiences are just plain dangerous. 

Self-education. It might just catch on.