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You know who’s struggled most with home schooling? Me!


Socrates believed that all wisdom begins with an admission of ignorance. With the knowledge that one knows nothing. “I do not know,” begins Plato’s telling of Socrates’ great speech.

Victorian parents have faced the challenge of home schooling.

Victorian parents have faced the challenge of home schooling.Credit:Tanya Macheda

I’ve been thinking about this a lot in recent weeks because of a consistent feeling that, well, I know nothing. And the reason I have this feeling is because I’ve been trying to help my stepson Rafferty with his year 6 school work.

How many times have I looked at the question being asked on work sheets sent from the school and thought, jeez not sure I know the answer to that one? (This is a rhetorical question, readers, and you will not be tested on it.)

An exercise on decimals, for example, asks for answers to be displayed on a decimat. Hmm, OK. Are decimats a new thing, I wonder, confused, or was I away the day a teacher explained them in 1982? I try to get my head around them, but get distracted. I decide to colour my decimat in to make a yellow brick road, a daydreamy act that reminds me exactly why my own time at school was not a glittering parade of academic excellence.

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