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The Power and the Education · Sunday December 3, 2006 by Abbie

I am a bit behind at the moment. We had a ten hour power outage today! It wasn’t too difficult for Ram to adjust though, as all he wanted me to do was read aloud to him!

But it also gave us a chance to clean the oil lamps, and get them ready in case the power didn’t come back on. He got a chance to realise just what the electricity does. We can take modern conveniences for granted so much that it isn’t until we don’t have them that we realise what life would be like before electricity. We are pretty well off in this house as when we converted it we knew that it would be prone to power failures, so we have a large wood burning stove and gas hob, along with candles in every room. In fact it was the candles that gave us something to do! I had some bee’s was sheets saved for a rainy day and today was it! Ram made half a dozen candles.

We have also come across another learning opportunity in the book, Mystery Manor. Actually, this is really a tie in more than a new opportunity. We have been watching the Accidental Angler over the past few weeks. The chap in it is a fly fisherman, and goes round the world trying to catch fish, and in the process takes a look at the people, natural history and wildlife of the areas. It is a sort of David Attenborough meets the Holiday show!

So how does this tie in with a book written in 1937? Well, in Mystery Manor Oliver and Bill, the main children in the book, go spying on Mr Hugh, the main suspect. It starts at Mr Hugh’s cottage, where he shows them his fly fishing equipment and tells them all about it. He then goes off saying that they can’t come with him. Of course they don’t believe he is really going fishing him, so they follow him. But much to their surprise he really does go fishing, and there is a couple of pages where it is all explained very clearly.

I didn’t learn the first thing about fly fishing from the TV programme, but I do know all about it now!

I call this type of learning learning by proxy. It is the children in the book that are being taught all about fly fishing, but by ‘listening in’ on their experiences, Ram can learn about it too. Because he is so oppositional if someone tried to ‘teach’ him something like that he would just turn off and stop listening.

Tonight is the last episode of The Accidental Angler so now we can what what he is doing with more understanding. As it takes place in the London area we can also find out more about our capital city. And after that we will be watching the excellent Planet Earth.

That is, if the electricity board can manage to keep the juice flowing!

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