Thursday, 8 December 2011

Carbon Chemistry for kids

It isn't often I recommend any paid-for course or curriculum, is it? Mostly because, until now, we haven't followed any.

Well, Shark, Squirrel and Tiger have now followed one - just a weeny one - and I want to recommend it.

Hmm. I feel strangely guarded about recommending any 'learning product' to the home ed community.

I'm not sure why. Maybe because the community is so diverse, any recommendation is likely to be pointless. Or perhaps I just don't want to cause any fuss.

I know it seems a modest enough thing to do - recommend a course - but in my experience the home ed world is filled with individuals who have very strong opinions about hearing things like this. Usually they are more than willing to share those opinions. Vigorously. It's what I sometimes love and hate about this community, you wonderfully irritating people.

I mean, if I chose to recommend a paid-for curriculum on a discussion list for example, and I picked the wrong list, the reactions I might get are various.

Contempt might be one of them. Someone will tut here is an example of trying to turn an income from need. Education is already free, and people are always trying to make money from it.

Someone else will caution how any course is all very well but you have to watch the American ones. They seem normal, yes. Really the author has an underlying political goal to promote a Christian right-wing agenda.

The woman who is bonkers might pop up at that point to say the author is actually a follower of Satan. Evidence, right there in Chapter 3. What's more, you can find videos on YouTube to prove it. (Someone usually suggests psychiatric help.)

Another voice will pip up then that if you're following a structured curriculum, why don't you go live in the offices of the Local Authority? And didn't you know it would all be for nothing, because all exams are pointless?

That suggestion might be added to by someone hinting darkly that if you follow a structured, paid-for, local authority sanctioned curriculum today, then the government will make it law for everyone tomorrow.

Finally, someone will brightly add their autonomously educated son has 15 A Levels and an offer at Cambridge.

At that point everyone agrees it's a totally individual choice and a wonderful way to conduct an education.

All of which is a long way of saying, I'm not recommending this weeny course on any home ed discussion list. Fortunately, I have a blog.

I can say Boo. Our Carbon Chemistry Co-op is finished. The final workshop was held today. I am forlorn without the Carbon Chemistry Co-op. It has been brilliant. Big smackeroos to our weekly host Kriss, and to author Ellen McHenry.

I thoroughly recommend it.

The course, the experiments, and especially the coming together of a dozen kids once a week to follow the structure and create a chemical chaos. It stood up well to their assaults.

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