Written by Hazel Davis


Hey! Teachers! I’ll leave my kids at home

Hazel Davis and her fella are home-educating their kids. This week it’s been about the appliance of science, and things falling into place.

Illustration by Louise Boulter.

Illustration by Louise Boulter.

Oh my god I bloody love science. Who knew? I spent the whole of the other morning learning teaching all about the human body and I loved it.

Did you know there are 206 bones in the human body BUT, BUT we are born with 300. They fuse, you see!

As a child I was a science refusenik. I don’t know why. I think it didn’t suit my self-image. I fancied myself as an artist and all the cool kids were into science. At GCSE level I was put in the top set because of being clever in other ways and so I had no idea what was going on and barely scraped through.

To top it all off my biology teacher HATED me. Something about me rubbed her up the wrong way. I remember during a sixth-form General Studies lesson her telling me that I would never be able to wear DMs and stripy tights when I got a proper job.

Well I’m not wearing them now, Mrs Johnson*, so in a way you were right (actually in no ways, even in my other proper jobs I’ve worn whatever the hell I liked) as I am currently writing this virtually naked so you can stick your shoulder pads up my urethral opening, which you could totally see if you were in the room with me. But you can’t because I went and got me a job where it didn’t matter what I wore. Suck it. No, wait, don’t suck it.
*NOT HER REAL NAME. That was Mrs Shoulderpadsbitch.

“She’s been telling strangers the things she’s learned; she’s telling her sister ‘facts’ about her body, like how many vertebrae she has and which animals have spines.”

But biology is brilliant. And I got to start learning it all over again. I began the journey around the body with my oldest child. She was equally fascinated. We watched a couple of YouTube docs about bones and organs (including an awesome Canadian rap-singer, who Clem insisted was the lead singer from Weezer. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t him but I am enjoying the thought of Rivers Cuomo lying in the bath and making up rhymes about his body parts).

I’ll be honest, the home-edding thing took a while to get going, at least in a concrete sense. We’ve always been behind it 200 per cent (apart from the maths, obviously) but until we started actually teaching, we weren’t really sure how it would pan out. Possibly because some of the five-year-old’s friends are all starting school and possibly because the summer is over, this week it’s properly started to fall into place.

She’s eager for knowledge. She’s been telling strangers the things she’s learned; she’s telling her sister ‘facts’ about her body, like how many vertebrae she has and which animals have spines. Now she has books with stuff stuck in. Completed wordsearches as evidence and typed out stories. Bring it on, LEA…

I’ll be honest again, we sort of picked a topic at random to start this week’s learning with. While we are mindful of the curriculum’s requirements, we’re also very happy to be able to pick subjects with our children’s interests in mind.

The youngest is obsessed with what’s under her skin, what her bones are made of and what’s inside fingers, so finding out about how humans work was a natural start.

There are abundant videos about the body, there are artistic opportunities aplenty and physical manifestations right here under our noses/in our noses/on our faces. We could pretty much teach this in a vacuum (that is, a space entirely devoid of matter). And that’s the joy of home-edding.

Read all of Hazel’s adventures in home-edding here.


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Written by Hazel Davis

Hazel Davis is a freelance writer from West Yorkshire. She has two tiny children but the majority of her hours are taken up with thinking about Alec Baldwin singing sea shanties and the time someone once called her "moreishly interesting".