English literature is going surprisingly well – Emily’s now half way through Lord of the Flies and has been working hard, chapter by chapter, on the analysis questions we found in this book from the library. She’s not exactly enthusiastic ( = understatement) but she’s doing it, and she really does “get it” with regards to analysing the underlying themes and so on of the book, even though she thinks she doesn’t. We’ll be moving on to Pride and Prejudice soon, which I am *not* looking forward to, although doing my best not to turn her against the damn book before we’ve even read it I love LOTF. I’ve been bored rigid every time I’ve opened P&P. What can I say?
There’s been lots more economics and business studies, looking at employment and inflation in economics, as well as the legacy of the Thatcher years. As far as “politics” or “citizenship” in its loosest terms goes – well, with her Dad Emily has been devouring In The Name of the Father by Gerry Conlon, which is the at times traumatic, harrowing and shocking story of the wrongful imprisonment of the Guildford Four and particularly of Gerry Conlon, who spent 15 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit – even though in 1977 a convicted group of real IRA men instructed their lawyers to draw attention to the wrongful imprisonment of the Guildford Four and effectively provided proof that they were innocent – shamefully, the British chose to ignore this, and Conlon remained in prison for a further 12 years, during which time his father died in prison. This a book which sheds huge light on the hysteria of the 80’s and the mainland IRA activity, and on the darkest corners of our “justice” system. For someone who was brought up in an era when it was thought “no smoke without fire” about those wrongfully imprisoned for IRA activity, it’s a real eye opener. I’m pleased and proud that Emily’s reading the truth and learning that nothing, not “even” British justice is infallible. It’s important to be able to question.
In history, we’ve changed tack, yet again. We’re now going for this approach: work through this Remember, Remember book, which is bite sized chunks of British history, plus the Great Tales from British History book – for each major event, Emily is creating a page with a bullet point summary, opinion and various images, hopefully creating a nearly chronological history of Britain from the English civil war onwards, with backup from various encyclopedias and so forth.
In maths, we’re making progress, usually accompanied by semi-hysterical laughter! We’ve now finished the algebra chapter in this (huge) GCSE higher maths book, much to Emily’s relief. She’s always had a bit of a mental block about maths, but she is actually good at it. Case in point: in the last few exercises of the chapter, there was a question which I couldn’t do. We’d looked at the answer, but couldn’t make it fit. And then suddenly, ten minutes later, she’d got it. She’d worked it out where I couldn’t. I think a lightbulb went on in her head at that moment, and it wasn’t all just pride at being able to do something Mum had given up on 😉
What else? Oh, masses of stuff. We’ve had a few days out recently too, notably to the 2011 International Horse Trials at Osberton, which included the Young Event Horse of the Year Championships. That was a fabulous (and very hot) day out when we got to watch international dressage, showjumping and eventing. Emily took some wonderful photographs which you can see here – some amazing photos there of horses mid water-jump and so forth.