Yesterday , being Saturday, we decided to go out all together. The top choice for the majority was the city - two sons were not keen on going out, however. I was not keen on staying home and I knew we'd be gone most of the day, so was uncertain about leaving the youngest two alone at home.
We compromised, we would go where they wanted if they gave us a chance to go where we wanted. And lunch out sweetened the pot!
Along the way to the city, we walked to Chinatown. I was able to recall my childhood memories of visiting the then obscure Chinatown area, and having how pastries from the Chinese bakery on a Sunday morning.
Chinatown has two lions and gables at the entrance now. Every second store is a restaurant or some form of eatery. We all tried some Emporer's puffs - small batter pastries, with a sweet custard filling. And we discussed the history of Chinatown, the history of Chinese peoples in Australia, the communist government and the Chinese Revolution. I have recently read Mao's Last Dancer and I think the "abridged edition" might make a good read aloud. Hopefully, all will be interested. Perhaps when we finish The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe?
Anny was distressed by the homeless people asking for money, and kept digging into my purse to find coins to give. He also noticed another child wearing a t-shirt with the slogan "Children don't belong in detention centres." He asked me about this slogan.
It is a topical issue here, since we have "detention cntres" where illegal refugees are kept, until their papers are checked out.
Anthony agreed with the t-shirt - he felt it would be terrible to be "locked up" as a child. We had a long discussion about the laws and refugees.
It is such a hard issue and I fear that Australia may be creating a generation who will hate the government ,who will have resentment....
J, who doesn't like detention centres, still felt outrage at a child wearing a t-shirt with a political slogan. As the child was about four, J felt that the parent was using the child to make a political statement and thought this was wrong.
Our political discussions ended, we split up - G to the Maritime Museum for research; J and A to CD stores and bookshops; Anny,T and I to bookstores and toy stores. We met at a department store to find a work shirt for J and than caught up with G at the Chinese Gardens.
But our discusssions were not yet finished.
I decided to cook curry, rice, dahl, poppadums for a late dinner. T helped with cooking the poppadums. He wondered aloud what would happen if we tried to cook them in hot water instead of in hot oil. Our discussion centred on the properties of oil and water.
The number of topics we discuss in any one day is amazing. I am always surprised at the depth and breadth of our discussions. What Alan Thomas, a researcher into home education, calls "the informal, conversational style of learning."