Friday, 28 August 2009

Thought of the day ...

I'm getting a little jittery about autonomous learning!

The holidays have proved that Katie and Ben are good at amusing themselves and learning in the process. I'm sure not a day goes by when they haven't educated themselves in one way or another. Questions are always being asked, answers are always given and further research (that sounds so boring doesn't it?) is often carried out. Books are read constantly, educational programmes are watched/played occasionally and, in the case of Ben, a spontaneous project has materialised on the subject of trains. For Katie, there's the continuous equine learning, daily crafting (including attempts at marketing her goods) and a new found interest in embellishing clothing (more on this when I have some evidence).

So, why am I nervous about full autonomous learning in this household?

Katie will be 13 in January and I'm fully aware that time is ticking by, soon it'll be the moment when we need to think hard about those so called all important exams. Can she really just be at home doing the odd bit of maths here and there (or none at all if she gets her way), pottering away in a world of horses and crafts? Alot of people in the HE community would say "yes", surley bettering herself in her favourite topics is the best thing to do. We have had some fabulous GSCE, IGCSE, A-level and university entry news from the local HE group. For some of these youngsters, they didn't knuckle down to study for their exams until the last 6 months beforehand (and came out with A*s and Bs). Their parents have all stressed how they've picked up their love of learning along the way, usually autonomously, making it much easier to realise their personal need for a qualification and work hard towards it.

[sigh] perhaps I could try it for one year. She wouldn't be starting an exam course at school just yet anyway. The thing is, in my opinion, Katie really doesn't seem to have a love of learning (apart from horses). In fact, whenever anything remotely educational comes up, even in light conversation, she backs off! Having said that, it's amazing what information/facts/trivia she has picked up, learnt about, read about during her tender years. She realises that she needs at least three GCSEs to get into an equine college, but the conversation is never allowed to go any further. I shouldn't push it. I think she's hoping a lucky star will fall on her head - perhaps it will, she does seem to be a lucky child!

Anyway, in case I get the wobbles, or the kids seem completely and utterly driving me berserk bored, here's what we (as a family) have come up with for possible learning ideas. Some are carried forward from the previous term as we seem pretty slow at completing projects these days, life and other interesting things get in the way!!

Maths and English. KS3 maths and a GSCE Foundation English (just want to add that the children didn't come up with this LOL!)
Geography - country per month
History - brief but interesting timeline to include lots of crafts (this really helps drum things home I find)
Nature - finish the RSPB bronze award (only three more challenges to go)
Science - Krampf and study of materials (from SEP) (this sounded really interesting with lots of hands on experiments, right up Ben's street)
Languages - Latin
Art - read on Julie's blog about HS:MS:HS which I think we'll have a bash at this time rather than Sketch Tuesday. Sounds fun - they provide a word, you take a photo and put it on your blog
Other - have been reading a book all about money so thought we may look at that together. Also, very importantly - Christmas - craft hat needs to go back on and this, naturally, makes me realise I've wasted another year without starting Ellie's Treasures, the craft business! Perhaps 2010 ....?


Hannah said...

Have you seen these animal courses?

I saw them mentioned on an email list and I've been told there are more courses in the paper copy of the prospectus which you can order.

Elaine said...

That link looks very interest - thanks for that.