Of puddings and chocolate (and kids learning things too)

Admin

Administrator
Found on facebook and too good not to share. :)

This is a brilliant comment by "Navier" on an article from the Independent online. It's actually a response to someone else's comment criticising home ed from a schools-based understanding of education.

The original article, comments and context can be found here.

We don't need a massive science lab with fume cupboards and gas on tap. We splashed out and spent $200 on a Thames and Kosmos chemistry set. As a side rant, it's just about the only 'proper' chemistry set around these days and had to be shipped in from the States as it involves incredibly dangerous things like naked flames and stuff that might give you a rash if you rubbed it into your skin really hard for an hour. But that's it for chemistry resources right through to GCSE. We don't need anything else and we use most of the glassware etc that came in that for biology and physics as well.

But you don't even need that. First example. We took the turntable out of the microwave in the kitchen and zapped a bar of Cadbury's for 30 seconds. Measure the distance between the hot spots and you can calculate the speed of light while you get your daily chocolate fix. Seriously. How cool is that? Using chocolate to work out the speed of light.

You don't need an expensive gyroscope to study conservation of angular momentum either. Go for a bike ride on some old railway line through the woods. Stop somewhere nice for a pub lunch. Drop the front wheel out of your bike. Get it spinning and then try to turn it sideways. Job done. As well as PE, geography, poetry writing, ecology, photography, art, industrial archaeology, history and whatever else you did on the way to the pub.

We thought we'd need loads of resources and loads of knowledge til we actually started doing it ourselves. It pretty quickly dawns on you that the methods suited to a school are not necessarily applicable to one on one education. It turns out that pretty much all you really need is Google and a sense of adventure. Schools do it one way. Home educators do it another.

Of course very few parents have the same knowledge and skills as a school full of GCSE teachers. But HE is about more than teaching. For us, and for many other HE families, it's not so much about teaching the subject, it's about learning the subject. We do often do conventional teaching of a subject we know but frequently it means simply facilitating research or investigation by the child and sometimes it means a joint effort between parent and child to discover the knowledge first hand.

Fundamentally though it means being able to say "I dunno. Let's Google it and find out." Teachers can't do that. It's not efficient with a class of 25 kids and no doubt they would be shredded by parents for not having the requisite subject knowledge immediately to hand. And yet that journey of discovery, all the backwater tangents you end up exploring and the skill of learning how to learn and learning how to enjoy learning is the most fulfilling part of an education. It's what sets a person up for a lifetime of learning rather than a race to a finish line at 16 or 18 or 21 or whenever. I think the school system, both state and private, is in danger of losing that.

So, while I'm certainly not saying that HE is a perfect solution for anyone, let alone everyone, some of the things that are often cited as problems turn out not to be or are in fact benefits when viewed in the context of a family that has taken on the not inconsiderable challenge of home educating their children. It's all about adapting to a radically different way of learning and until you actually start doing it and letting the implications of those differences soak into the way you approach it, it's very difficult to see how it works in practice or even how it could possibly work in theory. At the end of the day the proof of the pudding is in the eating and every time we ask our daughter if she wants to go back to school the answer is always "Shyeah, riiiight". She also bakes exceedingly good puddings now as well.
 
Brilliant. Just slightly wary of the heavy reliance on Google as an answer to our detractors, knowing how this Government is moving towards seeing internet access as some kind of basic human right, especially for home educated children, and how they are likely to view families who choose not to use computers as somehow neglecting their children. This comment, although very good reading, does tend to lend weight to the strange idea that you need internet access to be able to home educate.
 

Helen_A

HEdups
I think that its worse than that though - they are viewing families who don't use Microsoft products on a Microsoft windows running computer as somehow neglecting their children...*

They also don't seem to realise that its really quite 'easy' to make a windows machine work as if you are there so you can continue to 'do' your daily 'work' and register should you need to. So ultimately we get the last laugh either way...


*I keep having conversations with software companies who are convinced that there is no call for Mac versions of their software for education. And then there are the increasing numbers o schools who are going over to macs only to find that they then have to use them to run windows on because the govt. supported software *isn't allowed* to be made in mac versions
 
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Qualitee

HEdups
Brilliant. Just slightly wary of the heavy reliance on Google as an answer to our detractors, knowing how this Government is moving towards seeing internet access as some kind of basic human right, especially for home educated children, and how they are likely to view families who choose not to use computers as somehow neglecting their children. This comment, although very good reading, does tend to lend weight to the strange idea that you need internet access to be able to home educate.
It's ok, you do not have to rely on Google anymore!

Ninetendo DS...Kids Braintrainer and Wii...Horrible Histories

All thanks to Santa!:lol:

Happy New Year.

Pauline
 
Can I add as well? - Whitaker's Almanack Little Book of Infinity

Also from Santa, but those who Santa forgot can find it in The Works discount bookshop or

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Whitakers-Almanack-Little-Infinity-WhitakerS/dp/071367539X/ref=pd_sim_b_1

Also Microsoft machines will also run Kubuntu or Ubuntu. I'm working on a Gateway Laptop that was installed with Vista - but it was unstable (thought the hard drive was dying :wacko: ) so I did a clean install of Kubuntu 9.10 (karmic Koala - love the name) and it's brilliant! Any programme I want is available FREE! and the support is second to none :yo: all my personal stuff was saved to disc but Kubuntu imported it seamlessly :clap2:

It's a part of my "anti control by others" drive, Mr Gates no longer controls my computer and there is no longer a backdoor by which anything can be downloaded :whoo:
 
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