Sunday, 13 April 2014

Tapping into the Council

Bikeability Begins
It isn't often that we ask the local council for anything, other than to be left alone a la rights for homeschooling families. This last week, however, we worked with some very nice people at the county who helped us to provide cycling proficiency classes for twelve local homeschoolers.

The Tutor with her Watchful Eye

Since most kids in England are put through cycling proficiency at their schools, it's sometimes hard to pin down the same opportunity for the home-ed community. When my eldest wanted to do it, she had to carpool with a neighbour to Banbury, a town about 16 miles away. This time, we made arrangements for it to happen right on our doorstep.

Raring to go!

Monday was a bleary, dreary morning -- the first day of schools' Easter holiday period, but we were up and out the door for a (generous) 10:30 am start, meeting at the car park to the local Bowls club. Bike checks. Helmet checks.  How's them brakes? A bit of obstacle course, and then over the next few days, the kids were even sent to tackle THE BIG HILL.

Navigating real roads.

By Friday, they were all duly passed for their right turns, their left turns, their stops and signals, their road sense and judgment.  Yes, even Rocky passed on all these skills, and now I have only one more child to make safe on the roads before my job can be considered done.

Happy Trails.

That's not for another few years yet.

Thanks to all the local homeschooling families who took part, and to another home-ed mum who took the lead on the afternoon group of 6. The process was all very painless in the end, and I'm happier to let my kids pop to the shops on their bikes, knowing that they will be visible and communicative to the other vehicles around them.

(Now if we could just get the same support for exam centres and fees for our secondary students, we'd be quids in!)

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