School offers so much more than just facts and figures

I was watching a TV item about a woman who had decided to educate her two children at home as she apparently '˜didn't agree with the traditional educational system'.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 6th February 2017, 6:01 am
Six of David Bowie's albums are in the Top 40 best sellers of the year so far. YPN-170118-125122067
Six of David Bowie's albums are in the Top 40 best sellers of the year so far. YPN-170118-125122067

Neither of the children has been to any sort of formal schooling but, instead, stay at home with their mother all day.

She was defensive and borderline aggressive from the moment the interview began, possibly as her intriguing method of education involved her two children – aged 10 and 12, I believe – being allowed to virtually self-educate by playing video games non-stop!

In a somewhat superior manner, she claimed ‘video games’ cover virtually every aspect of education and ‘they are interested in video games right now so it they holds their attention far better than traditional methods of education would.’

She then went on to explain how video games are really positive as they include numeric skills, problem-solving and various other attributes.

According to her, the children were also ‘far happier at home’ than they would be interacting with children of their own ages. Apparently schools don’t aim to socialise children; children are just there to work.

How appalling! Surely the rough and tumble of school is all about learning to socialise and adapt, how to deal with difficult people, how to negotiate and how to learn about your own and others’ strengths and weaknesses?

At school you are grouped together to learn competition, how to handle friendship issues, how to interact with adults and children outside your family circle, understand deadlines, losing and winning as well as general education.

Schools offer a unique route of self-discovery, conformity and routine that’s necessary to become a useful member of society.

Her pasty-faced children were indoors most days, occasionally going on trips with their deluded mother but mainly socialising with unknown online gamers which can’t be healthy and could potentially be dangerous.

But mother knows best and they are apparently experts at Minecraft. I’m sure that will be a real benefit to future employers.


Once again, legendary performer David Bowie has achieved a ‘first’.

This time it’s in relation to a set of 10 Royal Mail commemorative stamps – apparently the first time an entire issue has been dedicated to just one musician.

As a lifelong Bowie fan, I’m happy there’s a tribute even if some of the live pictures aren’t the best quality (I personally think they should have only featured album covers).

In contrast, I think the Belgian astronomers who created a lightning bolt-shaped constellation – recorded at the exact time of his death and in the vicinity of Mars – were spot on with something far more appropriate.

But, better still would be a posthumous knighthood. How about it, Your Majesty?


When I was a child, Easter revolved around chocolate eggs, hot cross buns and maybe roast lamb because my mum thought it was ‘traditional’.

Not coming from a religious background, there was little else. Easter-ness was confined to colouring in cute little chicks or bunnies at school or doing projects with a vaguely Easter-like theme. But certainly not sending or receiving Easter cards!

You really have to congratulate the card shops because sending Easter cards to all and sundry has now become the norm.

I don’t see the point. I’m just waiting for May Day cards, Summer Solstice cards or even Halloween cards to hit the shops next – after all, there’s quite a gap to fill before Christmas...