Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Teaching and Learning

Over the last few days we have done quite a lot.

K decided to make a warning sign to let J know when we are using the axe. I was planning something for the van so drew a scale plan and, after deciding on the shape of the sign and how it would stand up, K drew her plan. K then screwed the wood pieces together. They had been used before so already had screw holes.

K enjoyed hammering the screws in to start and tried different ways of applying pressure whilst turning the screw. I had to finish off but I was impressed with how little I needed to do.

Of course the only thing she says she learnt today was standing on her pedals and putting her arm out before turning on her bike. Mind you, I've forgotten what we did this morning as well! We'll see what's in the photos.

Grandma used to be a primary school teacher so is not happy with K not going to school. I imagine it seems like a personal insult that we think we can do what she trained for and did as a living for decades.

But I don't think of it as teaching, just helping to learn by answering questions, suggesting things and asking leading questions.

A couple of years ago when we started thinking about "education otherwise" we met someone who had been doing it for years and she told us one of the biggest developments to help home educators was the web. I agree absolutely. In my years as a school IT manager I spent a lot of time trying to get schools good quality internet connections as the various "Grids" were always poor quality compared to commercial connections and what is necessary for schools to operate properly. For any educationalist the web is the biggest resource available. Maybe not the best, but close. K asked how things were cut before knives, and after waiting a minute for the computer to startup youtube showed us. A video of flint knapping and a stone axe was easy to find. We also watched blues harpist paul lamb, who I saw a few weeks ago, to show her what i'd seen.

In case anyone is worried, we do also use books, K has a pictorial dictionary which is fabulous. She even has a piece of paper which she wrote page numbers to go back to!


  1. We've home educated for 11 years & still get negative comments from people, though our extended family have finally accepted that we made the right decision.

    We haven't done any formal teaching, but have always found the kids to be naturally inquisitive & creative. Learning & growing together has been a wonderful experience for our family & we all continue to be really close.

    Just go with the flow & enjoy yourselves - that's what life's all about!

    Kay :)

  2. Thanks for positive vibes Kay, very much appreciated!

    We are very confident we are doing the right thing, but going against the flow always creates waves. Especially as by big sister and my best friend teach in secondary schools as well :)