What Shall We Tell The Children?

Lockdown Day 4,765

Home School is back open and in full swing. Undoubtedly, initially at least, Home School fell far short of required standards (due, on the the whole, to my pupil being unwilling to listen to single word uttered) however, over the last few weeks we have found our collective educational mojo. Pupil understands the simple rule that the quicker she gets done the less time she will spend sulking on the stairs and the more time she can spend dusting her glitter collection and colour order her sock drawer (Marie Kondo has nothing on our Youngling – another blog another day). Between you and I, I’m quite enjoying it although I don’t want that to be common knowledge as it would likely render me an outcast in the school playground…should they ever open the school again. Such is my zeal for her educational welfare, I even tried denying there was a half term holiday last week till one of her class mates dobbed me in.

Have decided that school curriculum is largely, utter twaddle and am intrigued as to who on gods green earth sets it? Which individual concluded that our future generation’s activity quota would be met by having them take part in indoor cricket or bean bag throwing for 35 minutes once a week? Who decided that the children require a thorough, week long grounding on the concept of Roman numerals? Has my own skill shortfall on the subject of “persuasive letter writing” held me back? Admittedly, my career trajectory has not broken any glass ceilings or earned me enough to open an account at Coutts but it’s not because I didn’t spend a week picking appropriate “adverbials of time” out of texts or expanding my noun phrasing expertise when I was 9.

If I didn’t think I was being complicit in breeding a social outcast I would seriously consider home schooling my youngling. I have whimsical visions of us taking off in a VW camper van to learn about the world whilst memorising that darned tricky 8 times table. I am apathetic as to wether Youngling can spell, as her required spelling list dictates, words such as committee, parliament or or indeed harass. I just want my young lady to be fearless, kind and ready to take on the world

Apparently the National Curriculum was set around 20 years ago and although tweaked here and there it’s still pretty much the same. I wonder what is the point in teaching 9 year olds about the Ancient Egyptians ? What are they actually learning there… The Greeks? How precisely will familiarity on the subject of the Ancient Greek people’s stand them in good stead? How about lessons in resilience, social media, health, critical thinking, modern history and, may I be so bold, the good old times tables; all of them from 1-12. Subjects that will carry them into the world armed with skills that will enable them to navigate the world in which they will exist in.

In the UK and USA their have been mass anti racism protests – Youngling can’t believe what she is hearing; doesn’t understand what it all means. “Why did that policeman do that” she asked? Where do I start I thought. Learning about freedom fighters from all walks of life black, white, men, women and how these role models and icons have impacted on all our lives is surely to have more importance in the lives of our children than learning about The Mayans really liking hot chocolate.

Next week we are scrapping guided reading, throwing the National English Curriculum out the window. The Mayan mind map is chip paper. We are going to study Martin Luther King. The week after, Malala Yousafzai.

Plus her 8 times table.

Martin Luther King Jnr

By Kim Hawley

I’m a mum ... 48 years on our glorious planet and I have got some stuff to get of my chest!

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