Sunday, June 25, 2006

The chocolate box of life

Today has been a Quality Street sort of day - full of different flavours, some which I like, some which I love (and want to keep to myself) and others that I wouldn't want if I was starving!

Do you know what I mean?

Today I signed up for the Chalkface online assessment system, Yacapaca, in order to use their free World Cup tests for the boys. Other sites that we have used today include the How to be an entrepreneur from CBBC, and a great find - The Christian History Institute.

I came across the latter whilst looking something up for myself. I've been reading "The Rule of Four" by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason. Called "the Da Vinci Code for people with brains" it has been an interesting read - not really for the story, but for the background subject. It deals with the Renaissance, and the bit that got me searching was the reference to the bonfire of the vanities. That was a phrase I've heard before - and I know of the film and book - but I didn't know it's origin.

It has made me think: school history tends to focus on the policital and the geographical. Kids learn the history of a country, and the politics that has shaped the world. They look at their own country's history, the industrial revolution, and the two world wars.

Now we've taken a different approach to history here at home, but still the focus is I guess political. I consider it important for us to understand the shape of Europe now, and how it has come to this, and why it has created the politics that it has. This will help the boys - Joshua in particular - to understand the importance of voting, and to form their own opinions and beliefs. As Joshua is so "into" the environment - another subject we consider vital - this political understanding will be essential should he indeed become the "eco-warrier" that he wants to be.

However, today I realised that I have missed out hugely - on art. Art - by which I cover all forms of painting/drawing, sculpture, architecture and writing - has shaped our world no less than politics. In fact the two are entwined. The development of writing, and of self expression, has driven all humanity. Religion, power, government - they cannot function without it.

Teaching the boys about the renaissance, about modernism, about gothic, about the history of writing - surely this will be of value to them? I certainly feel that the image of history that I have been giving them is at least 2 dimensional.


Church this morning was good. Samuel has enjoyed his day long treat - and I wait with baited breath to see how the gluten has affected him. Bless him - he said this morning "I promise not to be hyper if you let me have a McDonalds" so I gently explained to him that it is not within his power to promise that, and that it is nothing that is "his fault" that gluten affects his behaviour. Poor thing.

In the afternoon my brother and his family came over to see us, and to bring William some presents. He was allowed to open them so that they could see his face. He was very pleased with the duplo vehicle sets that they had given him.

There have been some not so nice moments today, that I think I'll keep to myself, and I think that I need to go and mull a few things over.

At least we won the football!


stef_n_dawniy said...

Hello there , very nice to find your comment on our blog :)
I've enjoyed reading your post and will be a regular visitor now , it's lovely finding other bloggers with similar views :)
Dawniy x

Steph said...

How wonderful that your son has a desire to be an "eco-warrior." The world needs many of those. I love reading about what you're discussing. I will keep an eye out for "Rule of Four."