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Nine months ago Victor and Sally Wilkings withdrew1 their two elder children from a small country school which, Sally says, «had nice teachers and a friendly atmosphere.» It was not this particular school but a belief that all schools have a damaging effect that prompted the withdrawal of Seth, aged nine, and Esther, aged six and a half.

Sally feels that schools rob children of the personal responsibility for use of their own time. She also thinks that children are exposed2 to conflicting opinions and examples which confuse3 them. The influence of television also worries her.

A typical education-at-home day begins with a few domestic chores. These done, Seth and Esther settle down at the table in their cosy kitchen. The children usually choose what they do, select three or four subjects from a list which includes story-writing, reading, maths games and puzzles, science, history and music. The children keep a daily diary of their work and Sally corrects the balance if on occasions she feels something is being neglected. She also encourages them to finish whatever they begin. After a couple of hours it's time for refreshments and a story. The afternoons, when Victor is sometimes free to join them, are usually spent out of doors — gardening, or enjoying an outing or nature walk. During the evenings and at week-ends the children often attend local clubs.

Victor admits that he was a bit uneasy about home education when Sally first talked about it. «I suppose I thought that other people might think we were being irresponsible. In fact it's quite the opposite. I was also worried that it would be too much for Sally to take on. What made the decision easier for me was going to a conference organised by Education Otherwise and finding that even academics were disillusioned with the school system. After that we decided to give it a year's trial.

Now that I see how happy the children are I wouldn't dream of sending them back to school.»

1 withdraw—забирать

2 to be exposed to—быть незащищенным от

3 to confuse—запутывать

Test № 22

I. Определите, верны (True) или неверны (False) сле­дующие утверждения.

1. Victor and Sally withdrew their children from school because it was a small country school.

2. Sally believes that watching television does the children a lot of good.

3. When Sally finds that something is neglected she makes the children keep a diary.

4. Sally was the first to think about educating their children at home.

II. Ответьте на следующие вопросы.

1. Why, according to Sally, is it not good for children to hear conflicting opinions?

2. What does a typical education-at-home day begin with?

3. Who recommends the children which subjects from the list they should select?

4. Why was Victor uneasy about home education at first?

III. Исправьте предложения в соответствии с содержани­ем текста.

1. At week-ends the children often attend the local cinema.

2. Going to a conference made Victor feel uneasy about home education.


Прочитайте текст два раза и выполните следующие задания.

Bert Rogers has two sons. His younger son, Howard, is an artist; he is married and has two small daughters.

BERT: «I missed out on quite a big part of Howard's childhood. When he was little I was working very long hours. I had to be content with seeing my children at week-ends.»

«From an early age he was always working with paints and pencils. He had a natural talent for it — all I needed to do was guide and encourage him. We used to draw together because I, too, had always enjoyed painting and drawing.

«By the time he was 13, Howard had made up his mind that he wanted to be an artist. I would have preferred him to have followed a more academic career, but he left school at 16 and went to art college; I was disappointed, but I had no choice but to support him and try to take pride in his achievements.

«Even now, we still argue. Howard is impulsive and volatile1; temperamentally, he's far more like his mother than he is like me. He has quite strong left-wing views and we often clash. When we're arguing he gets quite emotional, but I respect him for his views, even though I think he's often wrong.

«As an artist and a man who's expressing himself, he's on top of things. In a way, I envy him because he was able to do what he wanted to do. I'd hoped to train as an engraver2, but my father wouldn't support my apprenticeship3. I suppose because my own talent was wasted I made a point of encouraging Howard's, and I think it has been well worthwhile.»

HOWARD: «My childhood memories of my father are pretty vague. He wasn't a powerful presence because he wasn't at home much. It's only now that I'm a father myself that I can understand what sort of person he is. He's kind and very understanding. I can talk to him more openly than Г ve ever done.

«Since my children were born, I've seen much more of Dad than I used to. I love to see the pleasure he gets from them. The children have bridged some of the gap between us.

«Despite all the difficulties we've had in the past, I do love my father very much, and I think it's only quite recently that I've realised this.»

Test № 23

I. Определите, верны (True) или неверны (False) сле­дующие утверждения.

1. Bert used to draw together with his son to teach him to use paints and pencils.

2. Howard takes after his mother in character.

3. Bert failed to become an engraver because he was less talented than his son.

4. Father and son have been seeing less of each other since the birth of Howard's children.

II. Ответьте на следующие вопросы.

1. Why was Bert disappointed when Howard went to art college?

2. Why does Bert envy his son in a way?

3. At what time in his life did Howard understand what sort of person his father is?

4. What features of character does Howard value in his father?

III. Исправьте предложения в соответствии с содержани­ем текста.

1. Howard got interested in painting and drawing at the age of 13.

2. In spite of all the difficulties father and son have had lately Howard loves his father very much.


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