Last Saturday, my dh was busy working so I got the job of driving my son to his archery lesson again. We had a full car because, as well as taking Emma & Blake too, we always stop to pick up another young lad who lives close to us. This fellow is almost 15 years old and talks like a wind-up toy, except that his batteries never go flat! He's very likeable but quite amazing. I think he's one of the few people I've met who can keep up a running monologue and call it a conversation. He only needs a few prompts, such as mmm, yeah, wow, and little laughs to keep him going for the whole 25 minute car drive. In fact, we've never tried the drive in total silence, so it's very possible that he doesn't even need that!
Here's a list of some of the topics he was talking about on Saturday.
1) Funny little clips he'd found on "You Tube"
2) Humorous pictures and signs he'd read.
3) What he did during his last family holiday into the country.
4) Run-downs of all the movies he's seen at the cinema recently.
5) Some of the vandalism which has taken place in the toilets and Science lab at his school.
It was only after I'd dropped him home that the question, "What about school?" occurred to me. He's a fairly bright boy who loves to talk about anything and everything that he finds interesting, so it struck me that nothing he learns in his classroom appeals to him enough to even mention. All of the bits of trivia he picks up seem to be learned outside of school. And he only ever mentions school when he talks about what the rebels are doing to annoy teachers and make their lives difficult. His school is quite an expensive private school that Andrew and I decided we could never afford way back in the days when we were still considering "normal" school for our kids. I thought it very revealing that someone as interested in the world and talkative would dismiss school lessons in his own mind as not worth talking about.
Makes me think John Taylor Gatto has quite a valid point when he calls schools, "Institutions where we farm out our kids and keep them from taking a useful part in society because we've been so brainwashed that we don't know what else to do with them," or words to that effect, (I wrote that from memory.) It reinforces my relief that we've chosen not to be part of it for now.