I'm sitting in my back garden as I type this. Miraculously, although the wireless internet won't reach my bedroom, it will reach the end of the garden which is thirty feet further away in the same direction. So I'm sitting here in a very small patch of sunshine, typing up my notes from last night's school Parents' Consultations for my oldest son.
He takes his GCSEs in a few months, and has quite a few problems to overcome, not least his own attitude and that of his teachers. Being - finally - allowed to use a laptop in classes and exams has made a lot of difference and he now has time to think in class as well as just concentrating on writing. However, there are still some teachers who think he's just lazy, which really annoys me. For example his French "speaking assessment" involves talking for four minutes on a given topic (we don't yet know what it is, but they get two weeks to prepare). As an ASD student he would have difficulty achieving that on a topic of his own choosing IN ENGLISH, but this woman sits there and tells him he's just not trying. And they wonder why he doesn't have much confidence or motivation.
Anyway, this isn't supposed to be an edu-rant, just a brief diary entry to say: the sun is shining, the tiny patch of flower-bed middle-son and I cleared on Sunday has bulbs coming up, a robin just walked past me and there are loads of birds singing all around. Thank you, world, for wireless internet and sons who demand fancy new laptops, leaving me with the old one to use when I get fed up of being stuck indoors.
And now I must get back to work; I have a lot of very careful talking to do over the next week or so if eldest-son is going to do any work at all over the next few months, never mind more than usual. He'll need to if he hopes to get decent marks in his GCSEs, but two of the less understanding teachers really damaged his motivation last night. Six really good ones, and you could see his face lighting up and his confidence growing. Then two nasty ones (unfortunately the last two) and he just withdrew into himself and this morning it's back to "There's no point in working." So now I have to try to talk him round. It's not possible to persuade him; it's just a case of being very artful in choosing which facts to place before him so that he comes to the right conclusions.