Saturday, July 16, 2011

So....Changing Education Paradigms

So I watched a talk Sir Ken Robinson did on creativity in Education for TED a while back, and enjoyed it so much that I watched again with The Dad that evening.

So when I came across another talk of his I immediately downloaded it.
Imagine my delight to discover that not only is it a great talk but the whole thing is beautifully illustrated in front of your eyes, all in the time span of about 10 minutes, until you get this!

I can highly recommend watching/listening to his talks. And you don't have to be a homeschooler, his talks are relevant to everyone.

Here's the link to the video for Changing Education Paradigms
And here's the other talk I mentioned Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Enjoy!

ETA: while I was posting the links to his talks earlier I saw he's done a follow up to his 2006 TED talk so I downloaded it and have just finished watching it. So if you enjoyed the other talks check it out
Bring on the Learning Revolution!

Friday, July 15, 2011

So...Brainy Blocks

This week we've had our Brainy Blocks out again, it's been a little while and Bear asked for them so out they came.

For a day or two though he kept claiming he couldn't do them (I have no idea why) and instead of attempting any himself just wanted to watch me doing them. I did one or two but the moment I said he should have a go he packed it away and said he was done.

Frustrating to say the least...but I'm trying hard to be patient and let him do things in his own time. I have to, I couldn't force him to if I wanted, there's a reason one of his other nicknames is Stubs!

Anyway, day 3 dawned and suddenly he was ready!

Bear busy putting the right shapes in place all by himself
With a small hand or 2 from Mom it was soon done!

Brainy blocks are great for learning different shapes, and also problem solving...with this rocket we had used up all our big triangles but there was still place for one more. I asked how we could make another triangle...Bear got the answer straight away, with the little triangles!

They're also great for fine motor skills, getting the blocks in place without knocking the others out the way takes some patience & skill!
Voila!
And then I just had to share. I've been dying to get the kids a play tent, but just haven't find the right one at the right price. Then this week a moment of inspiration while drying some washing...put a sheet over one of drying racks and you have a nice big tent!
The kids had fun playing in it and running through it like maniacs for a while
Agent Bear coming at ya!

Friday, July 8, 2011

So - Pen Pals & Writing Letters

Recently Bear's favourite playmate (and my very dear friend) moved away, which was a very sad day for us. But I thought it would be a nice opportunity to send some letters ala pen pal kind of style.

So we agreed and swopped addresses...and then life happened and we were busy and then one day we cleared out the post box and there was our very first letter!

And what a special letter it was,including a picture of Bear's favourite things, an airplane loaded with guns!




Bear really enjoyed getting his own post but when I suggested writing back he was strangely reluctant.
I kept suggesting and he kept saying no...until I realised he thought he had to write himself, so after I explained that he could draw whatever he wanted and that I would write the words for him he was much happier to participate.


I let him pick through the art supplies and he chose
  • Paper
  • Coloured pencils
  • Stickers
  • A stencil




This was the first time he's used a stencil, and it was chosen because of the transport theme it has.
I showed him quickly how it worked and away he went.
It only took him a moment to realise my pen would work better than his pencils so he appropriated the pen for me and set to it, with a little help from mom to hold the stencil steady and point out any missing lines












Then it was time to use our pencils to colour in all our trucks, helicopters, boats and cars.











I also had it on good authority that our pen pal has fondness for stick on tattoos, something which I happen to have a lot of via some marketing ploy through The Dad's work. So we were going to include some with our letter, but of course Bear needed to know what they were all about so we tried one out on the back of his hand.








< waiting patiently for The Mom to say it's ok to remove the paper





Then it was time to decorate with stickers.






I tried to get him to pause and pose with his tattoo for a moment, but the split second he conceded I couldn;t get the camera to focus and the moment was lost...so instead here is a pic of it while he was doing the stickers













Once Bear was happy with the final results I turned over the page and started the letter.









He helped me address it ( I held and guided his hand)





And then it was time for him to dictate the letter to me. At first he didn;t really understand, but after we read our letter again and then talked about what we wanted to tell our friend he got the hang right away.

And he also wanted to break the exciting news that he's going to have another little brother or sister soon!

Once I'd written he decided more stencilling was needed and had another go.
This time he really did a sterling job I thought, and with minimal help from me!
And we signed his name together to finished it off.


And so our letter was done, popped into the envelope with the temporary tattoos and a letter from The Mom to the other Mom.
Bear accomapnied me to the post office and helped send the letter on it's way across the country to our friends.

And we're looking forward to getting our next letter one day soon we hope!









After all that a well deserved nap on the bean bags was in order!