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Father’s Day started more than 100 years ago but if anything, the event’s popularity is just as strong as ever. Probably unsurprisingly, the event started in America: The ‘Mother of Father’s Day’ is the grand title bestowed on Sonara Smart Dodd from Spokane in Washington, a daughter aggrieved by the fact there was no specific day to mark the achievements of fathers.
She had a reason to feel so passionate about the day; Dodd was one of six siblings brought up by their father after their mother died in childbirth. Dodd and other campaigners managed to get their voices heard by the mid-20s, but according to History.com, a movement arose to scrap Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in favour of a single ‘Parents’ Day’. That idea was eventually vetoed and in 1972 president Richard Nixon signed a proclamation to make Father’s Day a federal holiday.
Americans spend more than $1bn on Father’s Day gifts each year, but are generally joined by the rest of the world in embracing the commercial aspect of the event. Indeed, buying gifts for dads in the form of Father’s Day Gifts such as gadgets, drinks, foods or clothes is a fairly universal aspect, even if the date is not. Father’s Day itself falls on different dates across the world, with the third Sunday of June being the most popular. In Brazil it is celebrated in August, in Russia it’s held in February.
In Thailand Father’s Day is celebrated on December 5, the birthdate of the current king Bhumibol Adulyadej. Citizens wear items of clothing in yellow, the traditional colour for Monday which is the day the king was born, while candles are lit across the country.
The Canna flower, which is considered to symbolize masculinity, is given as a gift.
Another Asian country, Nepal, has designated the event as the ‘Day for looking at Father’s Face’. The various religions of the small mountainous country mark the day in late August or early September in similar ways in their own respective temples, paying respects to fathers who have passed on as much as those who are still alive.
Germans mark the day with a little more frivolity than most; like many countries, dads in Germany are excused from their duties on Mannertag – Man’s Day – giving them licence to fill up with huge volumes of booze in fields and tents across the country 40 days after Easter. The excess, celebrated by men of all ages and not just fathers, became so debauched that some cities and towns have tried to impose public drinking bans. They didn’t work.
Meanwhile, some Mexicans celebrate in a manner that is the complete opposite of their Teutonic cousins. Some do settle down to a feast and a few tequilas, but thousands of others participate in the 21km race through Mexico City known as ‘Carrera Día del Padre 21K Bosque de Tlalpan’.
There are also rounds for boys and girls, giving a real family feel to the occasion. In 2015 more than 16,000 people took part in the event which supports conservation in the Tlalpan Forest. Perhaps the Mexican example is the most complete of all the ways the world celebrates, as it marks those things that are most important to all of us: good health, good times, and being with one’s family.
This is an editorial information post.
After more years in the wilderness than was frankly bearable – with the added cruelty of being sandwiched between streets where the future had already landed, superfast broadband finally made it to our home this winter. While the reality of the house being filled with teenagers these days meant that top of their list was to start mainlining streamed Glee episodes, there have been some other major benefits to no longer having to take it in turns to watch or play something online. The two home educated children may be regretting my newly rekindled enthusiasm for interactive learning but I’m thoroughly enjoying being able to access the content that the new decade has made available – it’s so very different to the early days of home educating when everything was on CD-roms!
I’ve teamed up with Broadband Choices to bring you some tips.
Getting the Basics Covered.
Top of the list has certainly been finding a way to access maths support easily; since Josie left school she has needed a way of working independently at this subject She’s been working her way through some of the websites on our maths resources page and has settled on IXL as the best one for her. Fast broadband means she can do timed tests, look up help topics quickly and not layer the frustration of a slow loading page on top of the horror of equations!
For reading and English practice we’ve long been a fan of Reading Eggs and Education City which combine reward systems and an interactive environment with silly games and fun animations, keeping the attention of languid learners and with the added bonus that both are used in schools and so a child can also use them for homework or find something familiar if the join school after being home educated.
Finding Out Stuff.
Our home educating style has always been to do projects, immersing ourselves in topics and finding out everything we can about them. These days websites have taken the place of books here in many respects but the great bonus for us is being able to load a page of images quickly, download favourites and print them out for scrap-booking. As sites get better and more and more paper media moves online, sites which artfully pull together content, link to YouTube channels and provide quizzes and resources make educating using the internet even easier.
Which leads me on to streaming, the absolute pinnacle of perfection when it comes to fast internet connections. While I moan about the brain drain of boxed set watching that I occasionally have to stamp my feet about – and as an aside did you know it is REALLY easy to limit the connection on a device and even something like Apple TV so they can’t do too much of that? – there are plenty of benefits too. Our Netflix and Amazon Prime accounts get plenty of watching for wildlife documentaries, science shows and, in the case of the small boy, binge watching of whatever his favourite TV show is while I try to fit in a bit extra educating of his sister! iPlayer is great for catching up on programmes you only heard about after the event, or watching a full series on a topic that has become fascinating. While I rant about them at times, I’ve seen enormous inspiration for one of my kids come from following YouTubers, working on emulating their style and trying out filming, scriptwriting or performing to camera.
The World in your Hands.
One of the biggest differences to the childhood my eldest girls had is the arrival of handheld devices and apps. These days we can all google for information we want instantly and while this robs them of the endless “oh, who on earth is that actress???” debates, there is so much to learn when you can research on the spot and discuss the findings. For the younger two, apps that explore everything from basic numeracy to geometry and simultaneous equations using dragon eggs add so much to their experience. Other apps such as Duolingo offer a wealth of interactive language practice and there is plenty to be gained from even trivial gaming, especially ones that encourage planning, organising and sequencing of events such as farm or cafe games. The benefits of Minecraft (definitely better if your download speed is good!) are well documented.
The recent craze in blogging means the internet is now filled with art, craft and educational blogs and the accompanying social media. It is easier than ever to fill Pinterest boards full of ideas, neatly organised to come back to and use ready curated ideas rather than worrying about coming up with your own. Home educating and parenting is a less lonely task now that communities can support and inspire each other so easily and, even if you hit difficulties, there will normally be information and ideas readily available to help you past the hump.
My eldest girls are now looking towards their futures and planning what they might like to do; it has been strange to see 2 of them move naturally into part time jobs that involve teaching and coaching children – you might think that their formative years out of school wouldn’t equip them for that – but yet again, home education proves itself as an amazing grounding for life. With the first uni offer in for that little girl who this website started for, she’s looking to become a sports coach and many of her ‘home ed cohort’ are now also at uni or looking towards their future. No doubt some of them will end up teaching, a career likely to undergo considerable evolution over the next ten years. Here is some career advice for anyone considering teaching as their vocation.
A good primary school teacher can change the lives of children, inspiring them to be confident, capable and hardworking individuals. Schools are constantly on the lookout for dedicated, well-educated staff that can shape the next generation in a creative and imaginative way, so if you think you’ve got what it takes to teach primary-aged kids – here are seven ways to enter the profession.
- Choose the right degree
If you’ve always dreamed of seeing children skip in and out of your classroom, book bags in hand, choosing the right degree could make this a reality. These days, it’s possible to study for a university degree and gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) at the same time, so keep a look out for the following: BA (Hons) degree or BSc (Hons) degree with QTS or Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree courses.
- Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
If you already have an undergraduate degree in a subject relevant to the primary education such as English, Science or Maths, you can gain QTS by doing a PGCE. This is a one-year course offered at many UK institutions including colleges and universities and, while intense, is a great option for those who have higher education qualifications but are now looking for a more focussed career.
- School-led teacher training
Looking for something a bit more hands on? Then a school-led teacher training programme might suit your personality. There are many different routes you can take but the School-Centred Initial Teacher Training Programme (SCITT) lasts for one year and will lead to QTS. This option is aimed at people who already have a degree related to a national curriculum subject.
- School Direct
Like SCITT, School Direct course offer suitable applicants the perfect opportunity to learn on the job with schools offering two main options – the School Direct Training Programme and the School Direct Training Programme (with salary). You will need a degree for either of the options and at least three years of work experience for the latter. You’ll find more information via the UCAS Teacher Training website.
- Teach First
If you’re up for a challenge and not afraid to work in schools that are facing difficult social and economic problems, it might be worth considering the courses offered by Teach First – a charity which aims to provide all children with a decent education no matter what their background. Two-year teaching and leadership programmes are available to graduates with a degree of 2:1 or higher.
- Researchers in Schools
Aimed at people who have finished or are completing their research doctorate, Researchers in Schools is a two-year training route which leads to QTS. It’s currently a pilot scheme operating in London schools and all successful applicants will receive a salary while they train.
- Troops to Teachers
The Troops to Teachers training initiative is the ideal way for people leaving the armed forces to retrain as a primary or secondary school teacher. Aimed at non-graduates, this is a two-year course that combines work in the classroom with university study and you would receive a training salary over the two years. In order to apply you must have some training experience from your time in the armed forces and or qualifications as well as at least a week’s work experience at a school.
There are many routes into primary school teaching, so look what suits you best and follow your dream.
This is an editorial post.
These days we are a family split between home education and school and, having been caught in the cross fire of politic opinions regarding home education once, I now like to keep a much closer eye on what politicians are up to. Watching the turmoil visited on my children doing GCSEs and A Levels in school over the last 3 years has been an eye opener and, like many parents and teachers, I constantly wonder what will be the next change of policy that has to be navigated. Current government seem very determined on their path but could a radically different education system shape up if Labour got in next time? And what would be the impact?
Tim Aldiss writes on behalf of Enjoy Education – London private tuition consultants.
Jeremy Corbyn is now the head of the Labour Party and as we all know, his policy concepts are characteristically left wing. Whilst the Labour Party has occupied the close to centre left position for over a decade now, Jeremy Corbyn is making a stir by suggesting policies that hark back to much more traditional Labour values. Whether this is good or bad is up to the individual but it is certainly a direction that has got people talking.
High on the list of Corbyn’s policy priorities is the nationalisation of education. Now you might imagine that this is a moot point as education is almost universally free for any child up to the age of 16 and predominantly for anyone up to the age of 19. What Corbyn is suggesting though is a unified education body that offers free services right up to and including further education that’s accessible and free to all. This would make it much more in line with the NHS which as an organisation offers free health care to any UK citizen on point of access.
It is a lofty ideal and perhaps one that should be lauded but it doesn’t come without it’s own obvious set of problems. As with all major policy changes, budget is one of the key factors and with funding for further education being cut year on year to make money available for other budgetary concerns, where exactly will the money for free education come from? Corbyn’s proposal is to introduce a two percent increase in corporation tax that he suggests will work in conjunction with the introduction of the nationalised education system. Corbyn suggests that with free education would come a more skilled work force which would in turn pay for itself via the extra two percent corporation tax. There is a logic there but skeptics might question where the initial funding would come from as current applications for further and higher education are at an all time high.
Again it is up to the electorate to decide whether a nationalised education service is feasible or even beneficial. Most people would agree that the National Health Service is a good thing and as a banner to wave for the UK, it’s certainly one to be proud of. Are the stopping blocks in the way of a National Education Service to big to overcome though? Is the money available to fund it initially and will it pay for itself in the long run? Free education for all is an admirable goal of course but we will have to wait and see how these policies develop now that Corbyn is head of the Labour Party.
This is a collaborative post.