About Me

I am a Christian mother of five, and our highest goal as a family is to serve God in every aspect of our lives. Jesus promised His disciples 'life in all its abundance' (John 10:10) - that has been our story, a rich life, not devoid of challenges, but certainly abundant. Previously writing at www.homeeducationnovice.blogspot.com, we have come to realise that education is just one area where our faith shapes our choices and direction in life. This blog seeks to share our adventure (using font only to enable access in settings with poor internet)

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Play as an educational tool. Important?

The past couple of months have been busy, and hence I haven’t written much on the blog. It has been all for good reasons, but lots of moving around between different places – which lends itself beautifully to a home education lifestyle, but does get a little tiring. Internet connectivity is also somewhat erratic.

I saw this post on the recent tendency to neglect play as an educational tool for the under fives. I was quite surprised reading it; how on earth do you educate young children without a component of play? I think of most of the things I do with the boys, and play forms a part of almost all of them. It is through imaginative play that ideas and questions start to flow, and these are followed by trips to the library, art gallery or museum (or other relevant location) to further explore those ideas. These are then built upon and consolidated, but in almost everything, there is a strong component of interactive play. I’ve posted recently about languages, and they are doing well with their Spanish; again, songs, dances, games and other activities that could be considered ‘play’ have a major role in the method used. I do not think my children are backwards or childish through having this style of education, but rather I believe we are embracing their discovery of the world in an age-appropriate manner. Even the building blocks of literacy and numeracy include games – often impromptu ones, involving addition or subtraction of different kinds of duck, recognising bus numbers, working out the cost of items and the change expected.

When I first explored home education, I read a paper which in part mentioned Brazillian street children, who could do incredible mental arithmetic in the marketplace, yet who floundered at far more basic activities done with pen and paper in a classroom style setting. One of my boys has that type of mind. If you ask him something off the cuff whilst out and about, he is almost always correct. But as soon as he knows you are testing him, he either gets anxious and makes foolish errors, or just pretends to be a bit daft and says the opposite of what is right. He flourishes when learning is seamless with enjoyable, fun, day to day activities which include a large amount of exploring, adventure, and yes, ‘play’.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Worldview: Global citizens

A good friend just shared with me this article on raising children to be global citizens.

To me, it was a breath of fresh air to read. I've recently reflected a bit on whether and how we should include children during times of corporate worship. I've pondered issues relating to worldview. I've asked questions regarding what things really matter in this world, and what the best use of our time is. On several occasions, I have expressed frustration that we sometimes feel more misunderstood among our church family than in the wider community (where there is an attitude that 'anything goes', and a certain amount of freedom to 'do what works best for you'). It is far easier to be a default parent, or perhaps an overprotective one, but harder to carefully consider what God wants you to do.

Read this article and be inspired!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

50 things to do before you are 11 and 3 quarters

We recently joined the National Trust. I have been quite impressed by the range of properties and activities that are managed by them, and in particular, the recent drive to get children more involved with the outdoors. One campaign is entitled, '50 things to do before you are 11 3/4', and this forms the basis of many activities and events across the country.

It was a breath of fresh air to see some of this. Just a couple of months ago, I asked the question of whether children these days were allowed to play outside in the snow, having spent several beautiful, but lonely mornings with my boys in snowy parks across our city. It almost seems sad that 'play in the snow' gets onto a list like that produced by the National Trust because I would have hoped that every child in a country where the snow falls would have opportunity to play in it.

I'm looking forward to making the most of the NT membership, and I am encouraged that several other local home educators are also members and keen for group activities. As the children grow, and interaction with others becomes more important, this will become even more beneficial.

I'll post as we continue to enjoy adventures!