16 August 2011

silent learning

I haven't written a post about home ed for some time.  I guess we get caught up in life and are so busy some weeks that blogging falls to the bottom of the 'to do' list.

Yesterday Nienna said something about not working that prompted me to share what exactly we have been up to.  Although, to be honest she (and Beren) often mention to others how they love home school because they don't do anything other than play!  Of course, this is usually met with a disapproving look from the other person, who I am sure is going to race home and look up the number for the ed department to report our truancy LOL

Over the last couple of months I think our home schooling has changed dramatically.  Prior to this we would probably have been described as fairly eclectic in our approach. By this I mean we did some structured 'lessons' such as diary writing, workbooks or projects plus some child led activities, usually play based.  Recently though I have tended to 'let go' and see where the kids lead us.  This has been hard (especially for a control freak like myself) as there is always that small worry that you are doing wrong by your child.  The old saying "give them an inch and they will take a mile" also comes to mind.  If I let them choose what to do (or not do) will they run with it and go feral??

So, yesterday morning as I lay in bed the kids were downstairs playing poker and go fish with their dad. This seems to be a morning ritual now with Nienna keeping a written record of wins and losses (and I have to say I don't mind that early morning doze!).   A bit later we were all up and ready for the day, breakfast was done and our day proceeded something like this:

Kelli-sewing, tidying, fixing ironing board
Beren- made birthday card for friend, played with lego
Nienna- relocated barbies, doll house and littlest pet shops to a cubby behind sofa corner

Kelli- sewing, reading, housework, gave lesson in DSLR use
Beren- started making lego stop motion film
Nienna- stop motion film with barbies and helped Beren
Nienna/Kelli- shared a bath and chatted about the house and Bridport in general.
Discussion and planning what is to happen this week for set activities and any appointments.

Kelli- dinner preparation
Beren- helped with dinner for a while, played on computer
Nienna- tidied up and set table, watched an episode of smurfs
Both kids went to first session of Taekwondo with their dad
Story time and day reflection with kids.

Last night after they went to bed I reflected on the day and I realised that we had achieved natural learning in a very organic way.  Now, this is all well and good and most home schoolers will nod and smile. However, there will be the naysayer who shake their head and wonder just what my children are learning.
Again, using yesterday as an example here is what was covered:

English - Reading, Writing, Listening & Speaking (card games, card making, story time)
Mathematics - Number, Measurement,  counting  (film making, lego and card games)
Science - Earth & Space, Energy, Living Things, Investigating, Chemistry, Physics, Biology (cooking, lego, computer game)
Social Sciences - History, Geography, Commerce, Cultures, Indigenous Studies, Environmental Studies (chatting, cooking)
The Arts - Dance, Drama, Media, Music, Visual Arts (film making, barbie play)
Health & Physical Education - Health, Drug Education, Physical Education, Sport (taekwondo)
Languages - Core languages are Chinese, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese (explored where taekwondo came from and language it is from etc)
Technology - computer use and camera use
I have tended to think both Beren and Nienna learn best through auditory methods but recently I have seen them embrace other methods and left to their own devises I tend to think they are exhibiting multiple intelligence more and more.  Learning methods are explained well at this site.
The above examples are pretty much how our days flow.  On the days they are with their dad, they go for long walks that encompass the history trail in Bridport and lots of opportunity for discussions and exercise.  They are both enthusiastic about tennis atm as we have a free court nearby.  We walk to the local library once or twice a week and sit and read and talk.  Once a week we meet with other home schoolers in Launceston and I have found out there is a group at Scottsdale starting up too!  Nienna does highland dancing and Beren does trampolining once a week and both are keen to start surf life saving here in the summer.  
Nienna has always had a natural curiosity and motivation to 'do' where as Beren has been a bit slower in developing these skills.   However, since getting lego he has really started to follow Nienna and has been motivated to do things such as make stop motion films, research lego, budget and manage money to buy more lego.
It is ironic that for my children to REALLY learn I had to stop TEACHING them :)


Tanya Wade said...

well said Kelli.....its nice to have someone else remind me just how much we are also doing...yet don't have the need to open a book....and so so true about what you said we have to stop teaching for them to learn......

san diego landscape designers said...

well said Kelli.....its nice to have someone else remind me just how much we are also doing...yet don't have the need to open a book....and so so true about what you said we have to stop teaching for them to learn