Tuesday 21 February 2017

“People say graffiti is ugly, irresponsible and childish... but that's only if it's done properly.”

Making the decision to homeschool Opeie wasn't something we just dived into without thinking a lot about it. There was a huge build up to taking the plunge and many things that were steering us in that direction. Both Mrs M and I have very strong views on how we wanted Opeie's learning to be during his formative years. In my opinion (and I know I'm not the only one) there is far to much pressure put on children at an early age and I strongly believe that the education system in this country is failing these amazing little minds.  Home Education gives us so much freedom to adventure and it is this kind of organic learning that is the reason why we have a 5-year-old who is always happy and excited about learning.

The last few weeks have been exceptionally fun as we have visited a few museums that we've not been to before. It's been a while since I have been to Walsall but while I was online looking for interesting places to visit around the Midlands, the new Art Gallery popped up. As it is only 40 minutes drive from ours, we loaded the Micro Scooters into the car and set out on an arty adventure.

When we're out investigating places we don't know well, the scooters are a must. They are great for manoeuvring around quickly and if we do happen to get lost a distance from the car then it takes the strain off of those little legs if he's been walking around the museums etc. The great thing about visiting art museums is listening to Opeie's opinions on each piece. I've got to admit that the two exhibitions that were on (as some of the floors were closed) were really not my cup of tea at all, apart from some of the Idris Khan pieces. The gallery was somewhere different to visit though and even if you have a negative opinion about certain art or you simply just don't understand what is going on, it sparks conversation or debate which is great for learning.

While walking around the gallery we passed a window and noticed some graffiti covered walls out back. So after looking at the exhibitions, we headed outside for more Micro Scooter adventuring. Graffiti is definitely an art form that interests Opeie more and I can see why. The vibrant eye catching colours in places that you don't expect them is really fun. We had tried some graffiti at home on slabs a while back during an 'Art week' and I think it is something we will be looking into again very soon.

Opeie was really excited to see a Pokémon piece on a wall as we scooted by and couldn't wait to get a picture with Gyarados to show Seth when he got home.

Our scooting adventure then hit the streets and we continued looking for things of interest, all the while Opeie was asking question after question, it was the sort of effortless home schooling day that I love. We passed a war memorial while scooting along the street and Opeie stopped and asked if the statue was of the same person who is in St Peter's Gardens in Wolverhampton as they wore the same uniform and hat. It was great that he had remembered the memorial so we checked online and it turns out that both Douglas Morris Henry HARRIS A.B., R.N.V.R. and John Henry Carless VC sadly lost their lives in 1917. I was genuinely impressed that Opeie had paid that much attention to both memorials.

As much as I loved visiting the art gallery, sometimes we get so much more out of investigating a city on our scooters. Home education opens up doors that state schooling can not offer and in my opinion being outdoors and learning from experiences for some children is so much more productive and natural. If I had had this style of learning from a young age I think I would have been a lot more focused and motivated. Like many children, school never interested me, I didn't feel inspired by my teachers and that was something that I feel hindered me at the start of my adult life. Things are definitely different these days though and Opeie's home schooling is opening my eyes to many things I never thought I'd be interested in myself.

Scooters and Home education go hand in hand and I can't wait for our next adventure.

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