Just loving my new twist on homework

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Well, hard on the heels – or should that be stalks? – of the hill of raspberries, the lettuce mountain and the veritable himalayas of courgette, comes the latest crop to be harvested.

Ooooh, harvested. Makes me sound like a farmer. The sad truth is I ‘harvest’ the bounty from my two raised beds, and not from a couple of hundred acres. But bounty it is, nevertheless.

Like many farmers nearby, I have harvested the bulk of our potato crop. All five rows of it. Oh, and the two big tubs out the front of the house which had a tuber each in them.

Not only have the tatties been harvested, but they have also been scrubbed clean, patted dry, par-boiled and frozen.

Unlike the farmers, who send their precious potatoes off to the crisp factory, I haven’t attempted any savoury snacks.

Crisp manufacture is well beyond my capabilities. Even slicing potatoes finely enough to make them into crisps would be.

Good old-fashioned roast tatties and not-so-old-fashioned wedges are my limit.

And making the wee ones that are no use for anything else at all into delish potato salad with sea salt and chopped fresh chives. Yum yum.

Standing sweating buckets on a sunny afternoon, boiling endless amounts of potatoes for freezing, might seem a bit crackers.

Well, if you haven’t actually done it, it does sound a bit crackers.

But it’s totally worth it when you taste beautiful, home-grown potatoes.

Sucking the air out of the freezer bags with a drinking straw before quickly sealing them really tickled the Young Master’s fancy.

He is currently being home-schooled in the afternoons, the idea is that he has a more Steiner-esque education for part of the day.

You know the sort of thing – gardening, crafts, knitting your own pets, etc.

To my way of thinking, it’s a new twist on homework – it’s work at home.

I am finding a lot of normal household or garden tasks encourage all the skills we need to be encouraging him to use, during these afternoon sessions.

Stuff like concentration, seeing tasks through to the end, following instructions, not capering. All the stuff that kids can struggle with.

But I’m also acutely aware that it’s a very, very fine line between ‘practical’ home schooling and child labour.

However, it’s extremely useful when it’s Gamford’s day off.

Better go, that’s the YM just coming in with the washing, must get him to make me a cuppa before he makes the supper.

Only joking, Education Department.