Happy Home Ed: Questions and quiet

The only time they're usually quiet (even when they're pretending)
The only time they’re usually quiet (even when they’re pretending)

I saw the following on Twitter: @ckingwriter Apparently, mums are asked an average of 23 questions an hour by their kids, says @bbcr2zoeball on @BBCRadio2 Sounds about right.

My first thought was “and yet of course they can’t learn without school…” but I’ve gone on about that enough, I think. What it did make me think about is just how much they talk. I wouldn’t say it’s a downside of home ed – because I love to listen to them, I love chatting with them, I love their questions – more that it’s a tiring side of home ed.

Last week we ended up in McDonalds (it’s a long story – so long that I started writing it here, bored myself and deleted it) and, as the boys started to eat, they fell silent. Both of them. At the same time. I looked from one to the other and thought about how weird it was that they were quiet.

And because they were quiet, I was quiet too. I wasn’t answering any questions. I wasn’t saying “Just a minute…” or “Hang on…” I wasn’t shushing one while answering the other and then shushing the second while dealing with the first (walking to town the other day I felt like I was in a conversational tennis match – two entirely separate conversations, one on each side, me in the middle trying to keep up with both).

In McDonald’s they were probably quiet for two minutes before they noticed me grinning at them and said, “What?” I told them that’s the longest I can remember them being quiet perhaps ever and they both burst out laughing. They then both tried to stay quiet, with me timing them on my phone. Joe managed 13 seconds. Harry – who likes a challenge – lasted 12 minutes.

I missed the chatter, of course I did, but I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the peace. (In McDonald’s!)