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Friday, 1 December 2006

Home Education

We are fans of home education and we home educate our kids. We cop a lot of flak at times from people who assume that they will be better off in school - usually because they went to school and they have taken on the false assumptions about home education. Often it feels as if we have to justify ourselves over and over though I am sure the proof in the end will be in how our kids turn out - but that means years til they get off our backs!

I got this in my email account today, its apparently drawn from a home educator called Dayna who featured on a Dr Phil program.

If the child's not interested in what they're being taught, then basically teaching is simply somebody talking in the front of the room, its like throwing marshmallows at somebody's head and calling it eating."

This cracked me up because it pin points with humour one of my big issues with how pointless the school system is. What I did learn in school that stuck in my head was the stuff I was interested in, that was interesting to learn.

I find as we teach our kids that if we make the subject interesting it sticks. Our older two kids can seriously run rings around their schooled peers when it comes to general knowledge, english, maths, history and science basics and their logic skills and their ability to reason and think critically is so far ahead of their schooled friends its not funny.

Our 14 year old had a group of her friends around for a movie night. She had about 10 friends there who ranged in age from 13-16 who went to various different schools around Dunedin - some private, some public, some low decile, some high. The movie they were watching was Troy. None of them knew anything about the story of Troy, one kid wondered out loud "why they made such a big horse" and several others murmered agreement that it was "weird" and that "the plot doesn't make any sense." Our daughter began laughing quietly to herself and shooting us looks, as did our 10 year old son - though neither had seen the movie before.

Then, one of the friends pointed at the picture on our lounge wall, it is a print of the pointing fingers in the creation of Adam by Michelangelo. "That's a stupid picture, why would anyone want a picture of two fingers?" one girl sniggered. The others laughed too. Our daughter said that's Michelangelo's Creation of Adam. She got blank looks, so she said "you know, Michelangelo? Do you not know who he was?" She got the indignant reply, "Yes of course we know, he was one of the teenage mutant ninja turtles."

We collapsed in hysterics and a room full of schooled kids looked blankly at us while our daughter tried to explain further "he was a famous artist, he painted the sistine chapel.." of course this just made it worse as they had no clue what the sistine chapel was.

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