Archive for August 20th, 2007

Education?

August 20, 2007

I have assumed, perhaps naturally, in light of some opposition, a somewhat defensive – and idealistic – attitude to my homeschooling efforts.

There are times – though – when I wonder whether I’m getting my messages across.

A science lesson. And I pose a question, as per my weighty Teaching Manual, ”why is it easier to remove a metal lid from a jam jar when you run warm water over the lid?”

Hat ponders this for a moment. Trying not to yawn. I am hoping she might tell me what the manual indicates I ought to hear: that the warm water causes the metal to expand which makes loosening the lid easier.

She doesn’t. She says ”because if you’ve left all sticky honey on the inside, the warm water will wash it off and you can unstick the lid”.

Not what the academics were looking for, I grant you, but hardly incorrect. Espeically given own housekeeping skills or lack of: Bovril jar in particular is a bugger to get off on account of sticky lid scenario.

Today, during history, we examined what earlier civilisations had brought us: Icarus a passion for flight; the Mexcans rubber, Leonardo da Vinci what eventually became the bicycle chain. Hat was enthralled. Less yawning.

Later – after school – she demanded a box, so, she informed me, “I can make an old fashioned chariot”.

I congratulated myself for getting message across apparently effortlessly and her for pursuing historical interest outside of the classroom.

She cut a door in the box, made cardboard strips to simulate yoke, added string as a harness and furnished her chariot with a pink silk cushion. Then she attempted to push Cat 1, Orlanda, into the box in order to give her a ride around the house. Needless to say Orlanda wasn’t keen to partake of Hat’s historical adventure and reversed back out. Unfazed Hat began to cut what she called a ”drop hole” in the top of the box but no sooner had she ”dropped” Orlanda in than she shot out. Still determined to give the cat the ride of her life, Hat gathered up a handful of dagaa – the small dried fish we get here – posted them thru the drop hole and pushed temptation into Orlanda’s path. Cat sniffed, shot in and grabbed bounty and bolted.

Hat gave up with her and – bravely I thought – went in search of foul temptered Cat 2, Moshi, who had obviously already been alerted as to waiting fate by Orlanda’s complaining for she began to struggle and growl the moment Hat picked her up. Hat – wisely – before cat took her nose off, dropped her. Moshi ran away to hide and now Hat is entertaining herself with a game of Hide and Seek with two cats.

If nothing, Hat has honed her cardboard cutting prowess and is now learning something about animal behaviour: namely that cats aren’t into history.

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