Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Mix ups, punctures, pond dipping and tv crews

Another "catch up" post..

The weather has been putting a definate dampner on things, and the boys are definately reacting to being stuck indoors more.

They seem to have rediscovered Sim City though (No 4) and have been working on some new worlds. I love Joshua's latest, which is being designed to blend in with the surroundings, and to be eco-friendly!

We've had a run of days where things seem to keep going wrong. Saturday morning just as Roarke reached Lakeside, where he thought he was due to be working, he was rung by his team leader (from another contract) and realised he had his days muddled up and was actually due to be at that moment in Tunbridge Wells! To cap it all, the A21 was shut due to road works and, even taking the back roads, he didn't get into work until after midday.

Sunday was even worse!

Roarke went out for his (training) cycle in the evening. He asked me to meet him half way with his sports drink, which I did. It occured to us both at that point that he'd left home without his phone; not good given my current state of health!

So I gave him mine.

I was due to collect a baby bath, courtsey of Freecycle, that evening, so we further arranged (as it was on the way home) for me to meet him outside the place of collection.

I waited. And waited. Remember - I had no phone.

Just as I decided to give up - figuring he'd obviously had some problem - I saw my two eldest lads walk past! Roarke had received a puncture, and had phoned the house to let my Mum know. Without asking, she'd decided to send the two boys out to try and find me, having an idea of the road that I had arranged to meet Roarke at.

Personally, I am very unhappy about that. Although it was light, it was after 7pm, and the road I was "in" is actually quite a long road. The boys had walked over 2 miles looking for me. It is NOT a nice part of the town - having only recently had a stabbing there - and I don't consider it safe for them.

So, anyway, I dropped them home then drove off to meet Roarke - who'd already walked 3 miles carrying his bike!

The baby bath was ideal though...

Yesterday, the kids had a fabulous day at Lullingstone. One of the mums in our group had organised for two sessions: plant life (key stage 1) in the morning and studying the river Darent (key stage 2) in the afternoon. The lady running the sessions was brilliant, and soon relaxed into the "home ed style", which was great.

The kids had a brilliant time - especially in the afternoon when, despite the downpour, they went pond dipping and measuring river flow etc. They all ended up in over the depths of their wellies, but were pleased to be able to catch fresh water shrimps, leeches, baby dragon flies etc.

As for today, at 9.30 I answered the phone to find Radio Nottingham on the line: I'd totally forgotten that I'd agreed to be the "official" input on the subject of home education for a piece on the Francis Finn show this morning!

Having got that out the way, we were then frantically tidying up for the camera man and reporter due from Teachers TV. They came to interview the family/record them "working", and discuss HE with me, in light of the news of the consultation.

Well, they spent 4 hrs with us altogether. Recorded Joshua and William "working", interviewed me, then came to the indoor play area with us. They interviewed another mum (a true star, to help me out at the last minute - and a "newbie" at that), filmed the kids playing softball, and interviewed Roarke.

Apparently the "opposing" view for the item is coming from the PTA. The reporter said that, interestingly, all the other teachers organisations were either neutral or positive - except the PTA who were very anti (and therefore chosen for the piece). Their argument is that their members spend 3 yrs in training - so why do we think we can "just do it" and do as good a job.

I pointed out (on camera - hope it gets left in after editing..) that we aren't trying to be teachers: don't WANT to do school at home. We are facilitators, not teachers, and we aren't needing to be taught how to handle 30 kids, re discipline, keeping their attention etc etc.

I also said we didn't have the same time constraints as teachers, didn't have to caught up in some of the beaurocracy they deal with, and that I believed we benefited by the freedom to personalise the learning to our children in a way I'm sure most teachers would long to be able to do...

It is currently scheduled for the News programme to be shown as from Friday evening. Apparently, it gets shown some 18 times over the weekend.If you have freeview, you will be able to see it once only, at around 12.30 on Saturday.It will also be viewable online, on their website.The reporter said he'd let me know if it got put off, but it is at the moment scheduled as I say for this weekend.

I'm absolutely shattered now; but have had three more media requests since I got in the door....
If you are an HE family, willing to be contacted by the press, PLEASE contact me! I need families happy to talk about their experiences, in order to help with this raised profile of home education. I now actually have 5 outstanding requests - for either tv or radio - where they are looking for families willing to talk about home education.

My head is spinning now. Off to have some dinner (which my darling hubby is kindly doing for me) and hopefully then to put my (elephant sized!) feet up.


Anonymous said...

well, ann i felt absolutely exhausted reading that...i hope roarke cooked a nice meal...love, fiona

Anonymous said...

It does sound very busy. Hope you did get to put your feet up.

Dawniy said...

omg Ann, mind boggling!! how very busy you all are !