Monday, 26 March 2012

Clay cake, ancient civilization, maps, etc

Terrible news, my dear sympathetic reader.

Dig has taken steps to extract the ipad of heaven from my bent and twisted claws.

I know! I am bereft. GRIEF STRICKEN is not too strong a sentiment.

However, I can report that he came off worse in the violence. He never suspected the dustbin lid attack. No! And if I don't get back the ipad of heaven forthwith I shall ambush him with the creosote.

But I suppose he has assisted me through the cruelty he has inflicted. He has reminded me that today I agreed to run a home ed co-op, therefore I must put down the ipad of heaven and pick up Ellen McHenry's Mapping the World through Art.*

Well, while I now plot the return of the ipad of heaven to my winsome arms, feel at home to share what it is to be a home educating parent who has said she will do something.

Here it is.

Cake. All home educating parents know that education = cake and cake = education. They are natural partners in life's endeavours. (A little bit like Grit and her ipad.)

This cake mix makes edible Mesopotamian clay tablets. (I bet I could command all knowledge about Babylon if I had the modern-day equivalent tablet of gorgeousness.)

Spot the cuneiform and tell me this is not learning!

Then there was books, talk, and map drawings. (Alright, I admit, for this bit no-one needed an ipad. Although I think Shark choosing to use a quill pen is pushing the affection for the ancient a little.)


If there is an education point, it is that learning is easily achieved if the approach is not conducted as a laboured requirement, involving pain, suffering and misery. Learning comes easy when it is a natural, normal, activity involving play, laughter, games, and cake.

(And not necessarily with an ipad, although one would of course be preferable, if only to quietly stroke in a corner when no-one is looking.)

Satisfying education. I shall now pin up maps (and fetch creosote).

* Yes, fantastic. Buy it.

Look, let's put it like this. I respect very few people in the education world. McHenry is one woman I do respect. She's an excellent educator. She's not interested in leading the kids to pre-determined outcomes. The materials are open-ended, inquiring, and invite exploration. We could free-range with them in a hundred different ways. She's not even paying me to say this. Nope. She charges an extremely modest amount for what is clearly hours of work. And I bet her videos look lovely on an ipad.

1 comment:

Irene said...

The only thing I ever learned about Babylon was that it had hanging gardens and how in the world did they manage to water them? All the theories about that. I'm sure I missed out on a lot more. It's never too late to learn, however. xox