Okay, I realise these are somewhat disparate topics but it just so happens that I had contact with both yesterday and thought I would say how good they are.
First; The Open University: Last week we sent off the application form for Iona to start one of their level 1, 10 point courses. She turns 16 in Jan and the course starts Feb so she would just be over the 16 mark in time.
Yesterday Iona received a call from a lady at the OU who co-ordinates the Youth Access scheme and so contacts all the under 18 applicants to talk it through with them. She was brilliant. She was concerned about the transition from being ‘taught’ to the self discipline of a more autonomous approach. She asked how much actual teaching I gave her and Iona said she was more or less fully autonomous now. The lady actually told Iona they find home educated young people are better equipped to deal with the requirements of the course because they have usually had to work autonomously quite a bit, whereas schooled children are used to being taught directly.
She went on to explain how the online course works and about the importance of getting TMAs in on time.
I was very impressed.
We are hoping that if all goes well Iona could manage 120 points over the next couple of years-possibly even more- and then she would have a good head start for any degree she was interested in. (If she was interested in doing a degree; that remains undecided at this point).
And then there was Morton’s Funeral Directors. I know most people wouldn’t really notice the people who do the funeral-and that is how it should be, but they do it so well. The lady who has organised everything with me was patient, gentle and very professional. When I went to collect Donna’s things yesterday they had all been carefully bagged and her ring was in a proper little ring bag so I can give it nicely back to her family.
It is the little details that make life less stressful when you are already going through a bad time. I think there is a real skill in being able to handle grieving people doing the most difficult task of arranging all the bits and pieces of a funeral. Anyway I am truly grateful to them.
Finally then, priase is due to the tutors of the Art Dept at college where Alex has received some excellent support. The head tutor there is very sensible and has offered Alex proper care and support as he goes through the grief of losing Donna and the fact that he must be there for his girlfriend. I was concerned there may have been a lack of understanding because she was “just” his girlfriend’s mother-some places think you can’t have a close relationship with anyone other than a direct relative-but even without the explanation of how close Alex and Donna were, the tutors have been brilliant. He has even been offered some bereavement counselling there if he feels he needs it.