Monday, June 23, 2008

I am tired of blogging!

We had a day the other week when lots of "educational" things went on but I never made a note of them and now I can only remember bits. This is something I want to work on sorting out. I think it is a shame to feel I have to make a note of everything educational that just happens. Work books and schooling are so much easier in many ways. It is the things discussed that I forget.

Someone once said that even though autonomously educated children are chatting about educational topics, living life, doing days out etc, that so are schooled children AND they are doing academic work too.

I no longer class myself as autonomous - well maybe part time but I have been doing structured stuff with the kids. Autonomy doesn't work for us it just leads to a life of more struggle. I can honestly say if I could go back I would either purchase a curriculum or design one myself. I have done too many things out of guilt and reading the autonomous propaganda about letting kids play, they learn anyway. Well they do learn - maybe the exact channel and time of Hollyoaks every day and the plots of said soaps, but that is in my mind not an education.

I wish I had read autonomous articles that state to be successful you have to take every opportunity you have to teach, teach, teach. If you come from working class routes as I do that isn't part of your natural make up and you have to make it become so. This is why most autonomous middle class educators say they don't teach but that is because they don't think what they do naturally is teaching but it is. I will write this up as an article and send it to some newsletters as I wish to help other newbies that think if you are available and have a rich environment your kids will just want to read/write/play with maths etc because it just is not true.

Ok off my soap box now.

My modem is not working so I am hardly getting on-line. I am at my Mum's but am off home shortly to do some reading instruction and workbooks with my kids.

The older girls are broadcasting live at 3pm today on All FM. I am looking forward to that!


Gill said...

I still don't think I teach, but maybe I do more than I think. Can't be much though, otherwise I'd notice, surely? LOL. And I don't think of myself as middle class either, but then I suspect this post wasn't aimed at me, or at anyone in particular(?)

I think everyone probably has a slightly different idea of what constitutes an education and what priorities they have for their children.

Crunchy said...

Hey Lou the girls were great on the radio, we really enjoyed listening to them, it brought tears to my eyes xxx

Tansy said...

Your post is, for many reasons, why I have gone semi structured here. Autonomy worked in many respects for my oldest 2 but they already had a school mindset cos all had been. It doesn't work for the boys cos they have never been to school and do not see any need whatsoever to be educated in a subjects type of way:) It is hit and miss with the younger girls. Now we have moved house life is one long social whirl with other autonomous kids with no formal learning taking place. However I feel they need that more then workbooks at the moment. fiiw your kids seem lovely to me.

Sally said...

Don't believe it! In my experience as a school child and as a teacher ... very little talking is encouraged.

9 minutes, on average, of broken time with an adult per day doesn't bode well for any sort of education.

Only an average of 15% of time spent actually on learning tasks, and those are tasks chosen by someone other than the learner ... and maybe taught ineffectually too ... and maybe they didn't check and are teaching that gravity is caused by a magnet in the middle of the earth, like the rather sweet headmaster I met on teaching practice who wanted to sit in on my science lessons so he could understand gravity!

Maybe you are having one of those home ed wobbles we all have ... It is really tough to stay confident when you are doing something so radically different that it is hard to measure it and see if it is working.

I just try to arm myself, for those moments, with statistics about institutional and/or structured education ... thoughts about how I'd enjoy having my own education structured for me ... and when I get really wobbly I start a diary and find all the national curriculum codes for what my kids did that day ... and marvel at what they manage to cover in a day under their own steam that would have taken us 4 - 6 weeks of broken scheme of work sessions in school ... and tons of effort on my part writing the scheme and teaching it! What's more, it's not all instantly forgotten and meaningless.

My conclusion is usually that such a lot of energy is used in trying to get kids to learn things that they can teach themselves more effectively, I can only conclude that school is based on an economic model rather than an educational one ... and something more to do with liberating larger numbers of adults into the workforce, and socializing the new workforce.

I think it is clear that the structure of school has more to do with dealing with large numbers than it does to do with effective education. However, we are so used to that structure for education, and have been so well indoctrinated that it is difficult to be confident doing anything differently, and trusting our kids to be able to direct their own learning.

Take heart.