Home education diary, July-September 2005

July 2005

Tim was going to do some of his NCSC curriculum during July, while Daniel was away on the Doulos. He really wanted to finish what he's doing, and preferably get to the end of the second level, so he can concentrate on more interesting things. 

However the first weeks were taken up with youth group activities, and he didn't wake up before about 10am any day, so decided against it. It was hot and humid, and he simply didn't feel inspired towards academics. Instead he helped out with various things at Richard's office, and spent quite a bit of time online.

To read about what Daniel got up to in July, you can check his Doulos blog; noting, as with most blogs, that the earliest posts in the month are right at the bottom of the page.

August 2005

In August, we didn't even consider doing anything academic. We did jigsaws, and read books, and spent time on the computers. Tim went out a few times with the youth, and towards the end of the month, Daniel returned from his two-month training course on the Doulos.  His BrummieatSea blog for August describes in plenty of detail what he did. 

Overall, he had a wonderful time. Apparently several people had suggested that he should really return for a two-year period. 

This time next year? That was my suggestion. No... he really felt that he should apply to begin next January. Just five months away. 

I am NOT ready for him to leave home, but he's an adult - he will be 19 in October - and must do whatever is right. So he started the application process immediately.

September 2005

In September, Tim did a bit more of his ACE curriculum work, and Daniel popped in and out of Antidote Theatre, although trying to reduce his involvement significantly, since he hopes to join the Doulos in January. He also tried to sort out his room in preparation for a lengthy move to the ship, and also to back up and organise his computer.  

Since Dan was able to go on the STEP in July and August, we applied for him to go on a woodwind repair course in Wales during October, since he's still thinking he would like to do musical instrument repair as a career long-term, after he finishes on the Doulos. So we arranged to be in the UK as a family. He needs to spend a day at the international office of the organisation he'll be joining (if he's accepted for the Doulos), to have an interview and a medical checkup, so that's factored into our plans too. 

We were a bit suprised that we had heard nothing from the woodwind repair course, a few days before we flew; so Daniel phoned them, and was rather upset to learn that the course he was booked for had to be cancelled, as the instructor was suddenly unavailable. They offered him a different one, but that was no good: it didn't work with our flight dates. It was disappointing, but they promised to return the money we had paid. Dan had hoped to learn enough to be able to service his own clarinet while on the Doulos (and any other woodwind instruments that anyone else might have). 

At the end of September, we flew to the UK. Both the boys had inherited some money from my grandmother, and both had decided to buy good quality musical instruments: a wooden clarinet for Daniel, and a decent touch-sensitive full-size keyboard for Tim. They were also both pondering buying laptop computers. 

So our first few days in the UK were spent visiting a large number of music shops, and trying out a large number of instruments. 

Tim eventually decided on a keyboard which required a computer to produce the sounds, so he also bought himself a MAC notebook - something he had been considering for a while anyway. Daniel decided, after much thought, that a notebook would be very useful for him while away on the Doulos, too - so he bought one the same. 

The clarinet was more difficult, though the assistants in shops were helpful, and Daniel was able to rule out several which he didn't particularly like. He also realised, after much discussion, that it would probably be better to get a 'greenline' which is similar, but less likely to crack in a humid environment such as we have in Cyprus. He had been in contact with various showrooms earlier in the month, so had plenty of contacts. 

And in the end, he fell in love with a Hanson RC clarinet. If anyone wants to know more, Dan wrote a long and detailed description of how he came to choose the Hanson clarinet on his blog.  

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