Sunday, 19 February 2017

Nightmares of Sensory Perception


"I'm definitely going to homeschool my children " I announced to my mother the other night, curled up in front of The Moorside (though admittedly, the family we were watching onscreen did not provide a great example for a lack of formal education.) "It's worked better for me."

"But school was important for your social skills" Mum pointed out, taking a sip of tea.

"Yeah. But there's clubs and stuff for that. And it's just-"

One of the sensations that come to mind when I think about school is the sensations of the collar of my blouse itching like mad and the rasp of the material under my arms. Having AS in a school blouse is a nightmare for your sensory perception.

"I don't know. The feeling of being trapped there. Not able to leave when you want. And the education changes all the time. I mean, K has 3 hours of homework a night and she's 14."

I curled up on the couch. "I don't want my kids' lives to consist of homework. If I sent them to a school, I'd send them to one like The King Alfred School."

"Where's that?"

"London. The kids don't have homework until they're eleven. And they don't take exams until Year Ten. So they get to actually be kids. And a lot of them get into Oxbridge."

"That might be because of who they know."

"Nah. Oxbridge is impressed by the fact they don't just recite an essay structure. They think creatively."

The truth is, I'd rather my kids think creatively than be able to recite the exact essay structure of PEE. And yes, that acronym is as ridiculous as it sounds.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Homeschooling Via Music Video


Part of homeschooling is me finding and watching music videos. Which sounds like a cop-out on my education, I know, but for a writer, they're actually pretty beneficial.

I was unsure for a bit if I technically counted as being "homeschooled", being towards the later end of my teenage years, but I suppose I do, given that I was at least partly-homeschooled for my last couple of years in education. And now that I aim to gain my qualifications at home, I suppose it counts.

But at the minute, I suppose a lot of it's sort of what you'd call "unschooling." I.e, me learning the best way I can, which sometimes happens to be tooling around on the Internet, watching music videos and watching the way they tell stories.

To be fair, Caitlin Moran was homeschooled similarly and she seems to have turned out all right.

But, given that I'm working on a novel and on a writing course, homeschooling is more workable for me than a lot of other options. And today, a lot of my education consisted of watching this music video over and over again, which contributed far more towards my education than any amount of reading a textbook would, because:

a) It introduced me to Wolf Alice.

b) The two girls and the atmosphere in the video almost EXACTLY fits my novel, and I genuinely can't believe how perfectly it fits.

c) It's set in London. There aren't enough music videos set in London because the whole world's American.

d) It manages to show a platonic female friendship that doesn't fall to pieces without having them fall in love with a guy.

Also, it very, very much reminds me of mine and my cousins' childhood. And, honestly, I'd rather diet on nostalgia and chunks of novel-inspiring sunlight than stare at a comprehensive plan that won't do anything except kill off a few more of my brain cells.

So a lot of my education today consisted of  listening to Wolf Alice and also arranging a playlist for my novel. Which I think is a pretty good day.

And also watching Apple Tree Yard and reflecting on the accuracy of its' depiction of the treatment of women by the legal system. Which makes it a better day.