Interactive home ed
Lyddie is playing on a Tigger PC game which has stages that she gets stuck on sometimes. I can't help her: I'm no good at those kinds of games, so she goes to fetch an older sibling who immediately breaks off from what they're doing and comes to do that bit of the game for her.
I'm not sure what Ali is doing re: his own work, but he's currently in the basement teaching his older brother Tom how to do a tricky bit of 'coding' at Tom's request. I don't even know for sure what 'coding' is. Something to do with programming. For the Internet? I don't know.
Earlier Tom tried to explain it to me but we got sidetracked into discussing the merits of Windows OS (none, according to Tom) compared to the rapidly evolving shareware and also the Apple system. The conversation got very deep on his part, about the international financial and political repercussions of Microsoft's stranglehold on the market, and the effects on programming development in general, including the difficulties software developers face in writing programmes that can be compatable with the various operating systems.
I have to say that my contribution to the above discussion amounted to nothing more than asking a couple of questions and it was definitely I, not Tom, who came out of it the more enlightened.
Zara is communicating with someone online this afternoon using her new graphics tablet. This involves games like chess and mah-jong, somehow. I'm not sure quite how, but it's obviously compelling and important to her because she's been at it for hours.
And I'm blogging, doing some housework, some reading, some facilitating, some discussing. Just whatever needs doing.
I love the fact that our home ed doesn't involve someone being in charge, or setting the pace, activities or goals for other people, or people being too proud to ask for help or to admit they don't know something. Sometimes debates can get heated. But that's ok, it's soon peaceful again and heated debates are fun and exciting. Sometimes people get frustrated. But someone else helps them or they work out how to do the thing in the end.
As a family we keep coming back, this week, to one theme of discussion: is it good or bad to contribute to a state you might not agree with? Is a better system than our current political one even possible? If so, what would it be and how would it work? Every day this rolls on to another stage, with Tom, Ali and me taking slightly different lines and Zara throwing in the odd challenging question or pearl of wisdom.
Teaching and learning works best in this organic way, in my experience. Better than restricting it to a linear, ageist structure. And the learning that's taking place is rapid, exciting and 100% relevant.
I just wish I could think of a better name for it. Suggestions, anyone?