Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Supermarket blues

I find it really hard to understand people who can't hear what you are telling them. There's this woman in our local supermarket who has, to date, said 'no school today' on three separate occasions and been completely unable to conceive that NP doesn't go.  How many times do I have to field the same question and get bullshit in return? It's like she's reading a script and can't deviate. The interaction generally goes like this:

"No school today?"
"No, she doesn't go"
"Is she poorly?"
"No, she doesn't go to school"
"Are you poorly?"

"Are you off work today"

One time I *thought* she had understood, because she said:

"Oh, what's wrong with her then?"

But perhaps this was along the "off school ill" track rather than the "you must have a problem child" track like I assumed.

I find it so difficult when people do this to me. I like to be honest, I also like to meet social nicety-requirements. I don't think I can do both of these with this person. My brain diverts to 'unknown response' when people refuse to acknowledge what they hear, and want to carry on with the narrative they have in their minds. It's so uncomfortable having to correct someone, but equally uncomfortable to deny our reality. I am at the point of dreading the moment we reach the checkout and she is the only one available.

We shop at 8.30am, getting in at the least busy time which benefits us both emotionally. I am not willing to shop at other times for the benefit of stopping other people from feeling uncomfortable about our Home Educating weirdness.

So what's my conclusion to this situation? I'm not going to stop taking my daughter to the supermarket with me; there are so many *educational opportunities* there. 

Like seeing the difficulties people have in interpreting information from their own eyes and ears.

Reason 231 for Home Educating: learning that people are different to you.


There might be a few bits of blogging popping up soon. It might continue. We'll see :)

Friday, 16 November 2012

Life of luxury

Snack time topic: the Big Issue and homelessness 
Anyone who dares suggest my life as a home-ed parent is easy should try getting up and doing their 'full time' job from the moment they wake, then spend every 'break' still working, their lunch time working, their commute working and cooking their evening meal (still) working. Oh and then there's the evenings where you are thinking about working, planning and preparing (and sometimes stressing about) work.

My life and work are synchronous, Mr Onions takes a very similar approach to his paid employment. This is how our life is and we (mostly) like it; I will not, however, take any crap off people who think it's 'easy'! ;-)

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

My comfort zone

I'm trying out Superbetter after watching Jane McGonigal's TED talk. The concept is cute - a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy game to 'level up' your life. I'm working on 'Being Awesome' because we all have times when we need a reminder how great we are, right?

picture cred:  Jessica Hagy via Superbetter
My task for today is to write down how I feel about my comfort zone, and I must say I am firmly enmeshed in it at the moment. When the right (or should that be wrong?) mood strikes I usually like to spend a few days avoiding everything and watching too much TV. I think it happens when I spend too long operating at a certain level of intensity, I forget to regulate my introverted need for space and end up fatigued by the world. 

My comfort zone also pops up when there's something that I want to do, but achieving it seems insurmountable. Leaving it takes a special kind of resolve, usually involving a period of absolute solitude (to achieve the thing I need to do but have been avoiding) followed by loud music from my happy list, some sort of exercise and a good natter with family or friends.

Perhaps articulating it will make it easier to see my way out in the future? 

(Whoop - +2 Mental Resiliance, +1 Emotional Resiliance!)

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Assessing home educators

Many questions home educators receive have hidden agendas. For example;

"Does anyone have to inspect you?" hides the questions: 

"How can you educate without someone telling you what to do?" 
"How can you be good enough?"

To which my reply ought to be:

"I have a brain, I can figure out the stuff my kid should know. I can read at least as well as an average teacher, I can access the same resources. Most people can do these things. Even if I can't buy books I can request them through my library. I can beg and borrow. You may be surprised to hear that many home educators spend plenty of time considering educational philosophies and honing their approach.

"I continue to educate myself. I have family and friends to whom I am accountable and I trust myself to make choices for my family. I work damn hard to achieve the best for her and no-one has a right to judge my ability or define us by arbitrary numbers made for a system we reject."

...but instead I will continue to smile and shake my head, "no, it's not like school." Because some arguments are still too frighteningly radical to get into out loud.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Resources Page

I've added a page up the top to put my home-made resources in!

These are here in good faith for personal use, please let me know if you've used them and credit me where possible, I'll try to do the same if I happen to borrow anything.

The first thing I have for you is a set of dinosaur silhouettes that you can cut up, laminate and use for anything you like :) 

Print two and play matching games or use them on a large timeline or map.


Monday, 5 December 2011

"Orwellian Schemes"?

"A graduate is taking legal action against the government over a scheme which she says forces people to do unpaid work." via BBC
I'm really struggling with this report that was just on the news. I would love to hear a bit more from Cait - the aforementioned graduate; things like whether she has worked before, what experience she already has and what sort of job she wants. 

I'd like to ask her whether she had to work during her degree, and where she got money from to support herself during those three years. I'd like to find out how difficult it is to find work in her field and what other students from her graduating year are now doing.

I'd like to ask whether she believes she is entitled to JSA until she finds a job exactly in her field. I'd be interested to find out why she thinks the Job Centre is the right place to find a graduate career. I'd like to hear how she spends her time when she's not volunteering at a museum. Is she improving herself, creating a kick-ass CV, keeping on top of her field?

I don't like to criticise without knowing these facts. 


I can't get over feeling that this STINKS of entitlement.

I detest the idea of unpaid internships, of which this government scheme is a dumbed-down version. But sometimes, just sometimes, you have to get over yourself and do what is necessary. Which means taking a job beneath your skill level. Which means working hard, finding opportunities and taking things in your stride. Because everything you do should further you, whether you are only working towards the next pay cheque or bettering yourself to move up the ladder. 
I'm not saying Cait should have just got on with it. She obviously felt insulted by it, but no-one walks into a graduate job. Even the people who seem to do so have usually been working their a*ses off for 3+ years. Perhaps working a job alongside their degree. Perhaps working two jobs whilst also developing a portfolio of work in their own time. Perhaps working hard on an extra-curricular activity that turns out to be the thing they do for the rest of their lives, the degree being a leg up or a period of time to develop.

So what should a graduate expect from a government funded partnership scheme? Well, you certainly shouldn't assume they'll give you something awesome. Especially when that scheme is contracted through a large company. When you enter a framework that expects conformity, through a scheme administered by a big business, where does it say that they have to give you exactly what you want?

Cos that scheme? The whole structure of it? It ain't about what the lowly job seeker wants, is it?