Most definitely Autumn. Most definitely the last week before the half term school week. It’s an odd time. Our son is trying to do classroom schooling but at home. The school is trying to deliver education with a number of pupils and teachers isolating. The government is trying to make an wreck everything – and sadly succeeding. It’s all a bit of a mess. So amongst this mess we are living in our own little bubble. So within that little bubble what have I learned as the at home teacher and school administrator over the last few weeks.

  • Apparently some lessons and certain subjects are best studied in bed….
  • When a teacher commits to giving more feedback apparently replying ‘I have received your work’ counts as a step forward,
  • It’s perfectly acceptable to be a home teacher wearing shorts and an Alice Cooper T-shirt,
  • Citizenship should be renamed Drink Awareness,
  • Computing should be renamed Cartoon Sketching,
  • Biology should be renamed Let’s Scare Kids About Diseases,
  • French should be renamed We Have Worked Really Hard to Make this Subject So Very Boring,
  • Apparently the answer ‘NO’ is not the right reply to the question ‘Dad have we got any watercolour paints?’
  • Why was algebra so pigging difficult when I was at school (and impossible during my exams) yet I am now a wizard at it,
  • Playing Minecraft is a key method of learning within many subjects,
  • 6 weeks of examining the Memphis Style Design for furniture is rather boring for a teenage boy and mind numbingly tedious to dad. Maybe a one hour shopping trip to IKEA would be more beneficial,
  • I am not much use when helping someone to label a plant cell diagram. Mitochondrion is apparently a real word and not a race of people in Star Trek,
  • Watching a video about nineteenth century British politics is a cure for my insomnia,
  • Trying to explain how to write a planets mass in standard notation is impossible without me swearing at least once,
  • Food Technology seems to not involve actually cooking anything,
  • It’s good to see Geography has moved on since my day. I think our school had only one map. So we basically spent 3 years just studying the Northern Pennines, no where else. Hawklad has been looking at China this week. That would be a big map in my old school.
  • Not sure the Games Teacher is aware of the logistical issues involved in a request to do some sprints in the garden. Mole and Dog holes have to repaired. Then dog toys, balls, garden furniture and fallen apples have to be removed. Then finally the delightful job of picking up the dog poo. Then it rains….. All to do 5 minutes sprints,
  • We had a quick school uniform test – not one single item fits anymore. If and when he does go back it’s going to be expensive,
  • Since March I’ve not had to mend one trouser knee hole – that’s a result.

We are definitely ready for a week off schooling at home. Definitely needs to be replaced with a week of Have Fun At Home.

61 thoughts on “It’s school but not as we know it.

  1. I was an algebra dunce. I had two algebra teachers swear I’d never get it, yet I always somehow managed to get enough of it to pass – barely – their classes. “Why do I need to know this and who cares what ‘x’ is???” Oh, youth!

    Many years later, I worked in a hose factory where I did analysis of daily scrap and hose compliance with certain parameters. The floor data came in raw chunks that had to be manipulated to get to the truth of the daily production issues. Doggedly, steadily, daily, I punched those numbers, tortured them till they squealed “The power steering braider operators are fudging on how they connect one reel of tube to the next, causing lots of braid backs” or other arcane information.

    After months of this routine, I had an epiphany: Doug, you are using algebra to sort the hose scrap values from the mandrel scrap inside the hose! Good grief! Two algebra teachers rolled in their graves, I realized how wrong I had been about the usefulness of algebra, and birds tweeted in the Disneyesque trees! I swear angels sang Haendel’s Hallelujah Chorus, praising the gods of maths for one more acolyte’s arrival at the Throne of All Mighty Algebra! It was some day, let me tell you. “X” finally have value, many, in fact, daily and for the rest of my time analyzing data manually.

    Once computers took over the task of torturing numbers till they confessed to anything, some of the joy of numbers was lost till I realized “Hey! I can sort out tons of new numbers I couldn’t before1” I’m a slow adaptor.

    There is no short to this comment, sorry, but I thoroughly enjoyed you post today! Hang in there, don’t bother to change the t-shirt, and stay safe.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. It well could be just that! Algebra should be taught at any early age when children don’t yet understand they are supposed to resist it at any cost. Anyway, hope the caffeine pops your maths eyes wide open to the wonderful world of number torture!

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      2. I know what you mean. In the hospital once, I was forced to drink caffeine-free hot drinks, and nothing came of it but the warmth of the drinks! Tea or coffee without the caffeine? NEVER AGAIN! LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Isn’t that the way it goes! I need to watch my fluid intake, so that puts anything liquid or with a high water content on the “watch quantities consumed” list. Of course, those “watch it” list items include practically everything!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The gym classes get me too. D just has to do his online during zoom. The big kids have it worse – Bobby has to videotape himself doing an entire workout and submit it for gym credit. Catelyn has to write her own workout, take a picture of her before and then another picture after to prove she got a workout in. And then home ec! “Mom, I need to make snickerdoodles today.” Then “Mom, I need to make salsa today.” So, I have to get in the car with a recipe so Bobby doesn’t fail home ec. I do have choice words on those car rides to and from the store!

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  3. Somewhere I heard that Rossini composed music in bed, so why not school work? Must try your insomnia cure. I’m sure there’s an American version. As for geography…I hope it’s different these days, but when I was obliged to attend an American school, geography was not offered:(

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  4. Each time I read your blog I am entertained. This line really struck me as funny: “Mitochondrion is apparently a real word and not a race of people in Star Trek”. It is so good that your have a sense of humor. Many would be tearing their hair out in a similar situation. God bless you both with many happy moments in the week ahead. Enjoy the break!

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  5. Oh this made me laugh. I must say though, I think the first point is fact. My 13 yr old insist that his maths and french homework are supposed to be carried out on his iPad, under his duvet. It can involve lying on the bed or on his bedroom floor, but the duvet and being horizontal are essential components for success. Who knew? X

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Geography has definitely changed… back when I was in school there was a great big area called China, and another great big area called USSR, or the Soviet Union. Now there’s like 400 countries there. Geography would be really difficult now.

    EVERY day should be have fun at home day!! PJ’s all day long! 💌💌💌

    Liked by 1 person

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