Monday, August 27, 2007

Monkeying Around, or Learning?

I'm sure that people who are not home educators must sometimes listen to our description of "learning" with a large degree of scepticism.

I mean, take today. Joshua saw that Planet of the Apes was on, and wanted to watch it because he'd heard of it. I counted it as learning, but I appreciate why my explanation could sound forced, or over the top to someone who hasn't actually experienced it first hand; someone for whom the penny hasn't dropped.

During the course of the film we discussed lots of things, such as:

- films - how they have changed. That is, why is this film so scary, so attention grabbing, when it is an "old" film, with no stunning special effects or multi-million dollar stunts. Its precisely BECAUSE of those things! Stripped down. The affects relying on the actors, and the script. That's not to say that today's films aren't good. But did anyone ever see The Birds? Or Psycho? Or watch Day of the Triffids?! They are SCARY!

- why the apes were throwing stones at Charlton Heston's character. We discussed how an ape running up and down our high street would cause people to be scared, try to capture it etc. We discussed how the film makes one look at our treatment of animals (when the apes were hosing him down, trying to subdue him whilst they removed "Nova" from the cage). We discussed the trial scene.

- we discussed the ending of the film and the significance of him seeing the Statue, and how the film leaves you thinking/working out what has happened.

I hope perhaps to find him the original book to read.

Now, for me, there was so much learning in that, so many vibrant images and great discussion points. I remember watching it as a child, and yes I guess I "got" some of the points. But not as much as Joshua has by us discussing it. And we only discussed it because we are home ed. Because he has an enquiring mind that has had two years of freedom, and because he has learnt to ask. And I've learnt to look beyond the surface of "every day" things for their meaning, their significance, their history etc, and to share this with the boys.

I'm thinking of cashing in on Samuel's cooking obsession at the moment, by getting him to look at some websites, such as The Science of Cooking, Food - A Fact of Life, and for us to work through some of the Active Kids Get Cooking resources. I'm sure there are more "learning" cooking sites outs there, but those are the ones I have previously used with Joshua.

Talking of websites, I've started work again on adding to the Educational Websites section of my group's website. I had a rough count up, and I've still got over 800 website links to add!! May take me a while...

I'll do it in my spare time..

(I'm here now because they are all watching Dr Who, and Jonathan has fallen asleep on Roarke!)

The little lad has been under the weather for the past day and a half, which has meant little sleep for me, but at the same time he has started to go longer between feeds. His first section of the night now is usually between 4 1/2 to 6 hrs between feeds, and the rest of the night and day he goes at least 3 hours now. Up until now its only been 3 hours at night and 2 hrs during the day! But he's growing so much (hardly surprising, all that feeding!). He's nearly 3 months, but looks about the size of a 4-5 month old.

Must take some more piccies.

1 comment:

Wobblymoo said...

Oh I so get this, we watched valiant today and the things we have discussed and learned will stay with them. Also I find the birds one of the most sacry films ever, especially as I was once attacked by a bird (that's my story and I'm sticking to it/