Monday, 15 April 2013

Fun, fearless and free. And it's only Monday

Seriously, people. You don't need - unless there's a special and specific reason - to fork out your hard-earned cash for tutors supplied by your local Educational Services Supply Company on anything you can do yourself, supported by a group of like minds. Gather together your own skills, wit, wisdom, and intelligence to the matter. Save your cash for when it gets exam-based.

Today, it's Mapping workshop, with no tutor, because we can sort this one out ourselves, thanks to Ellen McHenry, Neil MacGregor, a stack of books, some open-minded mamas, a bunch of curious kid brains, some biscuits and a fistful of plasticine.

Mapping Mondays have become to us like hand in glove; thoughts and talks and hours passing easily. Best of all, Mapping Mondays roll on from our former years effortlessly, building on that time-honoured approach we used long ago - thematic, child-led, research-inspired fun for kids, all day long - pick a country, any country, and explore everything you can about it, places, paintings, and people. Eat it, listen to it, dance it, fashion the animal life and make a stop-go film with it.

These days, with our kids skirting the teen years, our inquiries become more advanced - religious influences, political discussions, Can you draw a relationship between the words conquest and civilization? - encouraging kids to think out their own opinions, angles, and lines of inquiry, then bring them together to challenge the ideas of others.

We have these free-flowing segueing Mapping Mondays and I can say - having had my own classroom lessons scrutinised, watched the lessons of others, sat round tables discussing best practice, picked over learning and teaching approaches - I can see, these kids are growing hugely wise about the world; home ed is a world ahead for education. And Mapping Mondays, still fine without the tutor.

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