Thursday, 12 February 2009

What Does Autonomous Learning at Home Look Like?

Well, to answer that question here is post by Bernadette, a mother of 4 children who learn at home. She is describing a day at her house.
You can find this post here

Yesterday, Isobel was sitting playing with our Connect Four set, making patterns with the counters. She told me "When you start a row with red and do alternate colours, you finish with red, that's how I know it's an odd number. There are four reds and three yellows in this row and four yellows and three reds in the next row, so there are the same number of each colour in two rows and there are six rows so there are the same number of each colour in all of it. that means there must be a red one missing because I have two yellows left and only one red". Then she counted them and told me she had been right, there were 22 reds and 23 yellows, a red counter wwas definitely missing.

A little while later David was sitting playing with a plastic carrier bag, when he suddenly leapt to his feet and said "The more air is in a parachute the more slowly it goes!". He then rushed off try making a parachute to test his theory.

Emily spent some time playing Wii Sports as usual, beating me at a game of tennis; she also spent a long time singing a song from a TV programme she's watched a couple of times and gradually evolving a dance to go with it as she repeated it over and over again.

At bedtime Charlotte came and asked me a question about the Great Barrier Reef so I found her some videos online. She watched them with me, identifying most of the fish she saw and telling me interesting things about them.

I love the way Isobel notices things and works out logical proofs for her observations. I love that David can figure out how parachutes work just from messing around with a bag, and that he gets so excited by his discoveries that he has to test them straight away. I love that Emily learns songs so easily, even though she can't pronounce the words properly yet. I love the way Charlotte can acquire and retain such huge amounts of knowledge about the subjects she finds interesting.

I love love love autonomous education and the effect it has had on our lives.