Thursday, December 20, 2007

Groups and stuff

Kids had their last session at Kids’ Club before the festive break. I realised today that I usually mention the kids’ various groups without much explanation. Kids’ Club runs three times a week. Pearl goes twice and Leo once, at the moment. In the new year, all being well, Leo will go twice too.

The group is for home educated kids between the ages of six and (roughly) eleven. There is a play worker to lead each session. The session lasts for two and a half hours. The play worker prepares things for the kids to do, based on topics which the kids choose by discussion and voting. No-one has to do those things – there is always scope for an alternative activity. The kids eat lunch together and there is space outdoors to play. I’m very grateful to the home educators who set it up, as it is great for our kids just now.

The kids are performing in the fabulous Squeezebox Rocks gig tomorrow. These gigs happen twice a year, and are an opportunity for the kids who learn music at Squeezebox to perform in a big venue. Squeezebox is just the sort of music learning environment I wish I’d had access to as a child/teenager. The kids choose songs they want to play and have fun, productive sessions working together to achieve that end. It is very much about the here and now, which suits our educational philosophy well.

I learned to play the flute as a child, playing pieces I didn’t like, over and over again, to prepare for exams. I was deemed ‘good at it’ and took grades three, four and five between the ages of ten and twelve. I didn’t develop a love of classical music – and classical music was all that was on offer. In my teenage years I found music I really loved and lost all my enthusiasm for learning the flute. I hated the endless competitive festivals, exams, and bitching in the orchestras.

Tonight we’re off to see Pearlie in some skits at her Woodcraft group. Her group is led by a very experienced woman who appears to be loved by the kids. Pearlie enjoys the sessions and the opportunities for trips and camps. It’s a shame that Leo’s group folded but I actually think that Woodcraft probably comes into its own when the kids are older and can enjoy it more independently of their parents. I’m not sure if Leo will want to re-join when he’s old enough for Pioneers (nine) but if he does then he can.

The kids are taking a break from capoeira at the moment and Leo and I have just left our other weekly home ed group. I’m glad the week has a few more ‘group free’ windows in it now as we had definitely got over-stretched. We all appreciate more time for other things.

I must go and make some early tea for everyone. Tomorrow we have cousins arriving to stay. Aunt, uncle and grandparents are staying in a flat at the marina. They are all here until Christmas Eve.

1 comment:

Gill said...

I really love the Squeezebox idea too! Your home ed group sounds great. Very inspiring. Hope you have fun with the relatives! Nice that they're staying nearby :-)