Home education diary, March 2002

March 7th 

Life seems to get progressively more hectic with Daniel now having drama rehearsals three days a week, as well as the usual band practice for two evenings each week, plus Greek lessons, helping at church clubs, and so on.  However he is still thriving and very happy, particularly loving the drama. He's going to take the Guildhall Grade 5 drama exam in May. It seems very quick as he only joined the group towards the end of January, but apparently four others in the group are going to do it with him, while others will be taking Grade 6.  Apparently this qualification will count as an elective in the NCSC, so that's very encouraging that he can do it so quickly. 

My parents are coming out this weekend to stay for a fortnight. A few days after they leave, some friends from England are coming out for another couple of weeks. We routinely take time off the ACE work, or any structured home education, when we have guests. So this week the boys are winding down their current NCSC coursework - just finishing off the particular workbooks they're on and doing the tests. As they'll be having 5 weeks 'off' (including Easter) they didn't want to carry anything over till after that. 

After our friends go we'll have another six weeks to do a bit more coursework, and see how it goes. We're not planning to go away this Summer, although we might possibly go to England in September for a couple of weeks to see relatives. As July/August are so hot and we can't do anything much in the daytime, we might continue with coursework
then - or part of it - and then take more time off in September. It's great being able to be flexible like this, but for some reason, I still find myself thinking in terms of school term-times and holidays. The thought of doing academic 'work' during August seems very odd.. I suppose I still need some de-schooling!

We've been talking about the future, once again, in a random kind of way. Daniel says currently that he doesn't actually want to go away to university. He was talking about doing an Open University degree while working at his commercial web-sites, but looking through the OU site there wasn't anything appropriate. Then we saw an advert for the Cyprus graphic art college, which is here in Larnaka, and apparently does rather a good course in graphic designat degree level - exactly what he wants to do.

Maybe we'll go and investigate in a year or so, although he'd almost certainly need to be at least 18 and may need to have done NCSC level 3, which is equivalent to A-levels. He hasn't even finished level 1 yet, although he'd hoped to have done so by now, so it's still a way off. But it's encouraging to see something that he might want to do in future.  He has no wish to leave Cyprus, and wants to spend some of his time helping Richard with web and graphic stuff (as he does already on occasion). 

I know all this may well change drastically in a few years but Daniel's already talking about when he's 16 (next October) when he would theoretically be able to work full-time, particularly if Cyprus goes into the EU.

I think it would be great if he stayed living here - I'm no great fan of university, except for careers that require degrees (such as law or medicine). I can't see the point of going 'just for the sake of it'. Richard never went to university and hasn't missed it. I went, because nobody really told me there was any alternative. I enjoyed some of it, of course, and I guess it helped me get my first job as a programmer; but I don't remember anything I learned there. All it really taught me is that pure maths further than A-level standard is way beyond my capabilities.

We've no idea what Tim will do in the future but he's only thirteen. He changes his mind about a possible career every few months. Recently he was enthusiastic about medicine, but then he started on the NCSC biology... by the third PACE he was saying he definitely doesn't want to be a doctor! I think he'll probably end up in the computer/sound/technical world, and again he may not need a degree. 

I see that the NCSC now has an 'honours' level that's above level 3, and equivalent to S-levels - so he may well do that. as he actually likes the ACE way of working. At present he's likely to have completed level 3 by the time he's about 16 so it would be good to have an extra year of home study, assuming that's what he wants to do. But I'm not going to worry about it just yet.

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