Monday, 20 July 2015

Academic subjects alone won't set every child up for life

Academic subjects alone won't set every child up for life

"OK – a good fistful of the EBacc five should set you up for A-levels, and a good fistful of A-levels might set you up for a good university, and a good degree might – just might – set you up for a job that uses a tiny bit of what you’ve spent 10 years learning (if it’s not mostly redundant by then). But what successful employers, big and small, hi-tech and no-tech, are crying out for are recruits who are innovative and creative, who can think laterally, communicate clearly and work as part of a team. These are all abilities that are most effectively developed for children through the arts and music. But these subjects aren’t included in the EBacc measure – they’re not “academic” enough. In the future being adaptable, able to learn how to learn, rather than learn how to remember, will be the only way of staying afloat in a swirling labour market. But it seems we’ve decided the future isn’t happening."

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Thursday, 2 July 2015

Nature Study

This colourful splash of poppies at our roadside cheered me last month and, with some encouragement, the boys photographed, sketched and painted them ...

Yesterday, we were struck by the beautiful passion flowers blooming on our back fence and, this time unprompted, my second son was out there with his camera. We are noticing small things, small beauties. The flowers closed up overnight, and reopened in the morning. "They go to sleep," observed our 3 year old. These unusual flowers were the focus of some more lovely artwork by sons 2 and 3 this afternoon ....

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Home Ed suddenly trendy?

A couple of articles from today's Telegraph suggest home edding in affluent north London could be rather trendy ...

We're all going on a family gap year

Emma Thompson and husband decide to educate daughter at home

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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

The lack of a primary school place ...

Interesting comments on why modern education is irrelevant from Giles Coren in this article from Time Out London, "Giles Coren: "I'm not going to send my kids to school". His fury is provoked by the lack of an offer for a primary school place for his little daughter this week, a problem in which he is seemingly not alone. "What’s the point?" he asks, "If the state won’t offer us a decent school, why should we obey its stupid laws? For in truth a formal education has no relevance at all in twenty-first-century London." Interestingly, Southend Borough Council say here that "you can’t use Elective Home Education whilst you wait for a place at your chosen school" but, in actual fact, you can! :)
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Times Tables - But not as you know them!

As part of our exploration of Natural Maths through the Multiplication Explorers course (described in my post here), we made multiplication manipulatives out of pieces of board, nails and wool. It was a maths lesson in itself for the boys to use a protractor to divide a circle into 10. They then enjoyed banging the nails into the wood, and then winding the wool around in patterns to show the multiplication tables. For me, it was such a different way to see these number patters, and particularly helpful to my second son, who isn't a great fan of numbers, but is a visual learner. For a demonstration of circular multiplication tables, follow this link: Waldorf Maths Lesson: Circle Multiplication Table

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Thursday, 23 April 2015

Creative Schools Review

Another article from today's Guardian, this time shadow secretary of state, Tristram Hunt, on Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica's, "Creative Schools: Revolutionising Education from the Ground Up".
"Creative Schools Review: We Need to Call Time on Exam-factory Education".

What a shame that he fails to see home education as an expression of the educational transformation Robinson so applauds, as a stream of educational expression which can contribute to the educational debate and inform educational policy; his only reference is negative: "If, occasionally, Robinson gets a bit too Californian – with his call for “organic education” and extensive flirtation with home-schooling – his driving critique of the “exam factory” model of schooling is well worth reflecting on." I wish Tristram Hunt and others could have sat in on the Engineers Without Borders workshop we ran yesterday for 24 home educated children in which they designed and tested wind turbines, or seen the excellent examples of project based learning going on in our house at the moment. I wish he could have seen the community celebrations of St George's Day in town today, including a dramatisation complete with fire-breathing dragon, at which home-educated children - the only school-age children amongst the crowd - were well represented. Sigh. I wish politicians could just get out of the school box!

I applaud Robinson's work, though, for inspiring Hunt's conclusion: "We need to call time on the exam-factory model, ensure a broad and balanced curriculum in our schools, and focus on improving teaching rather than fruitlessly reforming school structures – not only because a childhood at school should be a rich, enjoyable and challenging time; but also because the coming economy demands exactly the kind of rigorous creativity and personal resilience that Robinson advocates."
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State must raise its game to protect home-educated children

State must raise its game to protect home-educated children, judge insists in this article from today's Guardian.
I do not like their chosen image ... How about this one to create a different impression?

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