FUN

Since I’ve been a parent watching my son go through the school system I have heard many things. Many things from those in charge of our school system. I’ve heard things like

The school day is too short

The children get too many holidays

We need to test and test again from as early as 5 years old

Schools fail not because of the system but because of poor classroom discipline

We need to bring back Victorian school values

Time off for bereavement is just an extended holiday for kids

Learning has to be about the needs of the economy

Teaching materials need to be carefully controlled so that pupils learn the right things

Smaller class sizes are overrated

Pupils taking a stand on climate change is really just an excuse to miss lessons

The school lunch break is too long

Pupils get too many breaks during the school day

Not enough children are taking part in after school learning activities

Not enough homework is issued

Ok you get the picture. Now ok I understand some parents will agree with those above statements but not me. I wouldn’t let this bunch of charlatans pretending to be a Government run a bath never mind our children’s schools.

But here’s the key thing. I’m hearing discipline, testing, work pupils harder…. One word I don’t hear is

FUN

What happened to childhood being the happiest time of our life’s.

Another word I don’t hear is

PLAY

What happened to childhood being about dreaming and playing.

Another word I don’t hear is

IMAGINATION

What happened to childhood being about dreaming and learning to think big.

Maybe that’s why we have such a huge mental health crisis amongst our young. Too much pressure. The world is changing rapidly so to me the last thing we need as a society is forcing our children through a factory school based system. Factory Education Farming based on values from over 100 years ago. It’s time to free up our schools. Let’s make schooling FUN again.

Schools out for Summer

The school gates close for just under seven weeks and Hawklad wanted a celebratory car ride. To mark his freedom from school work, exams and having to get up before midday (😂😂) he came up with his own music playlist for the car ride.

So here’s Hawklads End of School playlist.

He had to sneak one song in just to wind up his old Dad….. But I will settle for 15 out of 16 good ones. So in the words of the Mr Alice Cooper

School’s out for Summer!!!

5 years

As I’m writing this, it is almost 5 years to the minute that I last spoke to my mum. She was in hospital and planning to go home. Ok the doctors weren’t planning on her going home for another week or so, but mum was stubborn. A battle of wills was brewing. I can’t remember what we talked about that evening. How often is that the case. I can remember being given a shopping list to fill her home refrigerator – remember she was going home.

We didn’t see the overnight relapse coming.

Yes I really miss her. My sibling do as well. She was the gravity that held us together.

But I’m not sad. Not today. She would have used a Yorkshire cricket expression – ‘had a long innings‘. She did. Lots of great memories. Lots of smiles. That’s what I see now. And today lots of ‘tea and biscuits’. That’s exactly what you got every time you went to see mum. Within seconds you found a biscuit in your hand, as if by magic. Even if you were on a diet that biscuit founds it’s way into your hand. Followed by a reassuring ‘that diet can start tomorrow, how about a piece of apple pie…”

Times have changed

How times change….

When I was at school you did no work on the final day of the summer term. It was bring a game in day. Or play football all day. Or bring a pet into school (actually in my day it was bring a Dinosaur into school). It would end up with the ceremonial burning of the school exercise books behind the bike shed. The teachers never venturing too far from the staff common room all day, unless that was for an emergency replenish the stock trip to the alcohol off licence. Basically a more unruly version of The Purge.

Times have changed….

Hawklad received a class email this morning. The class has to revise for a science test. Two days to revise for the examination on Friday. The last day of the Summer term.

Wow times have changed.

moaning

The weekly missing shopping item update. This week we have gone up to 24 missing or items substituted with something completely different. Some good ones. The mildest korma replaced with the hottest and nastiest one available….. Or cream crackers substituted with Jammy Dodgers….. The delivery guy was really apologetic (not his fault). He was saying the supermarket has a growing number of empty sections.

I had to send an item to France for work. Before Brexit I would have just plonked it over the post office counter and paid the small postal cost. Now it’s shed loads of paper work and the cost has gone up ten fold. It’s then more paperwork for the poor person receiving it,

So in a word. Brexit is going really well for some of us…..The missing food items, the bureaucratic nightmares and increased costs are so worth it. Think of what we have gained. Hawklad and I have lost our right to travel freely in 27 European countries. So worth it.

But apparently I’m not supposed to talk about this. I’m far too negative. I’m just a remoaner. Even the head of my countries church tells me to ‘stop whinging’ and respect democracy. When did losing a vote mean that you have to stop believing in a principle. Standing up when things are clearly going so badly wrong. I’m not doing anything to disrupt Brexit. I want it to work. I want it to work for my son. For the next generation. But does that mean I have to just ignore what is going on. Just accept it. Fall into line. If that was the case then after an election any party not winning should just fold. Give up.

Tell you what. I will stop whinging when Brexit starts working. That’s a promise. Until then I will keep MOANING and keep fighting for what I believe in.

Masks

A simple trip out to the local Post Office. Ok it’s a 6 mile round trip but it’s the only option unless you want to venture much further into town or city. I went with my work parcel, money and mask.

On Monday the Government lifted Covid Restrictions across England. Clearly infections aren’t rapidly rising and we don’t have the highest infection rate currently in the world.

I counted 7 other people in the shop/post office. I was the only one wearing a mask. The bloke next to me helpfully reminded me that masks weren’t required anymore because the Prime Minister had said so. I kindly reminded him that was not the message our A&E doctors and nurses are desperately trying to get across. That’s the thing. While our NHS teams are having leave cancelled to cover reopening COVID wards the Government and its MPs are just about to start their summer holidays. I also asked the chap to back away as he was now within 1 metre of my face. For some reason he seemed to take great offence at that.

Just like with most things the one thing our Government is great at is creating divisions in society. One group against the next. Well they have just done it again…..

4.33am

You know that sleep is going well when you find yourself outside in the cool Yorkshire air. Outside at 4.33am. Ok I could be sleep walking with a touch of sleep photography, but unlikely. Not great when the alarm is set for 6.30am. But if I was in bed I wouldn’t be seeing this. You can still dream when your awake.

Big Step Tuesday

Tomorrow could be called Big Step Tuesday.

Hawklad hasn’t been to school since March 2020. Not been within one mile of the site. That’s a long time to be away. School at home has replaced it. But tomorrow maybe that starts to change.

We have tentatively setup a school visit. After school closes tomorrow, we will drive through the school gates and park up. Just doing that would be a huge step forward. Then just maybe Hawklad will venture into school. A school with no other pupils and have a walk round. A teacher will walk with him if it helps. Or his muppet dad can. Or he can walk around himself. Whatever he feels most comfortable with. He could stay for an hour or he could spend just a couple of minutes. It’s all about trying to rebuild bridges.

Yes it could be a big step towards a school return in September. Or it could confirmation that September is too soon. Or even it could be further evidence that full homeschooling is the way forward.

Yes Big Step Tuesday.

End of school year

We received an email from school. When the school reopens in September all COVID restrictions will go, in line with Government instructions. No masks, no support bubbles, no social distancing. Not the best time for Hawklad to potentially return. Hawklad who because of his anxieties will be looking for the reassurance of masks, space and safety measures.

How much social pressure will Hawklad be under to ditch his mask. Too much. It’s like the idea that he would put up his hand in class and ask for help with reading words. As much as he needed the help, putting that hand up in front of 30 other pupils was never an option.

It’s such an unnecessary mess.