Monday, March 30, 2009

project week :: 1

Well we are a well and truley into the our 'scheduled' learning and every 4 weeks we take one week off to do anything ..I call it project week. Anything each child wants to do with me or spend more concentrated periods of time doing. Some makin, some project type work, a craft that focuses on a particular interest- whatever they want really. I am going to note down our process of having an idea and how that emerges and what that emerges into as well as the obstacles that each child(and myself) may have and our responses to that.
Our first stop, after having a round the table talk about the week and noting down things of interest such as cooking, sewing, making with boxes, cityscape, zooscape and looking at the Crafty crow and our various books of inspiration; was a visit to Reverse Garbage where you can pick up all sorts of materials perfect for projects. The children walked the aisles and probably were a little overwhelmed by how much stuff there is to choose from, but in the end we came home with boxes, hessian bags, tubes, circuits, fabric, old appliances and lots of bits. We had a few more errands to run so didn't get home till late afternoon.
5yob was so excited about his newly acquired..appliance. He got out the screwdrivers and started pulling pieces off with "look mum see how this moves this and fits in there" every time something came loose.
9yob needed a little help focusing on one aspect of his idea to start with , but once started got into a good roll and ended up finishing the Zookeepers home-3 stories mind you.
7yog started with trying to nail plastic 'wheels' onto a piece of wood and seemed to be having trouble as there were groans and sighs coming from the room she was working in. I offered to help, questioned her on what she was trying to do but she seemed to have given up and lost interest. She started looking at some of the books I had put out on the table--nothing seemed to grab her. She went outside to play with Missy and cool down in the blow-up pool. Perhaps it was the wrong time of day, perhaps she needs more help working out what she is interested in, perhaps I need to focus her on something to get her started and then she'll be more inspired.
As I try to stop, listen and watch I hope I'll discover more about-
How my children learn,
How I stand in their way,
How I can facilitate their learning better,
What works for them and what doesn't,
What do I find difficult about the unstructured learning path.


milkandhoney said...

Great post. I love natural learning.
We haven't been to reverse garbage for ages. I should take Jack on a trip in there.

Lori said...

this looks wonderful :^)