Back to (home)school week

The ‘holidays’ are over and it’s time for home school again. Yippee.

books at secondary school


It’s back to school week. But not. “Is it over yet?” asks daughter two every single morning. “Can we go to school?” Even daughter three wants to go to school and she hates school.

The schools seem to have used the holidays to prepare more and there are daily emails about all manner of extra learning resources, which would be great, but I feel I am drowning in extra learning resources. None of them get around the essential problem of how to motivate teenagers to get out of bed when there is nothing much to look forward to except another round of staying in [mainly because they won’t go out. They have decided that they only want to go out when it is possible to go to either central London or South Korea…]

You can send me 1,000 learning resources and it will make no difference whatsoever. It would be better if teachers could do a bit of one to one to encourage students, but maybe that is too resource-intensive. In the motivation game, parents are the coaches and my motivational skills are waning.

Only son has bounced back to school, however, buoyed up by a literacy topic on Monday which, finally, appealed to him. He was asked to write a biography of a well-known figure. Only son has watched a film about JK Rowling recently and thinks she is “the most interesting writer ever”. He set to work and has been doing the biography every day and drawings [for art class]. There were two and a half long pages on just her primary school years. So far we have only got to the university years.

Only son was very struck by reports that JK Rowling’s parents wanted a boy. He is very up on equal rights and believes this is plain wrong and an example of neanderthal thinking. He wrote: “When they found out she was a girl they were disappointed [probably because this was before Martin Luther King made his speech].” Only son has watched Martin Luther King’s speech and divides the world into before and after the speech. Martin Luther King’s word is final. People should move on.

I told him that we have to keep fighting for equal rights and gave him a bit more background on the civil rights movement and then feminism, but he cannot understand how anyone sane could possibly not be convinced that we are all created equal.

Meanwhile, daughter three has been working away at all the stuff her school is sending – mainly from her bed in her pjs, but, nevertheless, the work is being done. Perhaps a bit more quickly than it should be as she seems to clock off quite early [and start quite late]. Daughter two claims she cannot work without an A4 lined notepad to order her thinking. Said notepad is hopefully winging its way to our door. I bought a batch-load on eBay. No excuses.

We had a stand-off earlier in the week where I was trying to get her to do some work and explaining that it was better to do a bit every day rather than face a mountain whenever schools re-start. She accused me of saying she was stupid and would fail. An hour of in-depth child psychology followed in which I realised once again that child psychology is not my strong point.

Only three more months to the summer ‘holidays’…

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