Making it 'fun '?!?(14 Posts)
So I am going to pull ds out of school. As his first topic he has chosen Australia. I was thinking of doing a map up with the different climates and learning about the different types, aboriginal art and learning about the settlers, the money and how it is different to ours and about who was on them etc.
I laid out the plan to ds and he said it was 'boring'
So, back to the drawing board! How do you make things 'fun'?
We unschool. We don't do topics. We don't do top-down formal learning at all. Instead, when the children ask questions, I answer them. When they want resources, I get them (within reason). When I recognise an incipient interest, I run with it. And they play play play play play. And that play is educational - not in an adult-directed way, but in a genuine, completely natural human way.
A child is a much much better judge of whether something is fun for themselves or not than an adult will ever be. When we are having fun, we learn really efficiently.
What about packing for a pretend move to Australia? Get him to think about all the different aspects of Australia that are different and what changes he would need to make to accommodate this. You could finish the day with bbq and maybe some Australia food. Another fun aspect could be animals in Australia as they have so many interesting ones. Do you live by the coast? What about a water sport session? Surfing lesson?
If he has chosen Australia, is it possible for you to lead on from that in a "what sort of things interst you about Australia?" kind of way? There it would open up either a certain area, say food, animals, what people do every day, sports (I don't know how old DS is here so just giving random examples of what my young ones might say!) that you could explore together, either by simple conversation, which may well be enough, or more in depth if he is into writing, drawing, researching online etc...
Might be that he says "dunno", in which case is he possibly choosing a topic because he feels he has to..
Sometimes how we as parents might prefer to do things and our ideals aren't anything like how our children prefer to learn - we unschool here and they get their fun by following their own interests and seeing where it takes them...and it really takes them! We've had lots of fun 'topics', but not in a lapbook/written work way - I tired (wrongly) and it put them off instantly.
The bottom line for us is that conversation is the key, both in terms of conversation about things they are interested in which forms such a major part of their learning and also conversation about how best to plan our day and things they would like to specifically do.
It's really early days for you all...keep talking and you will find out what works for you both
My eldest is only 3.5y so I'm no expert but... we do topics but in a very relaxed sort of way. Recently I bought some caterpillars online & we watched them grow, I
looked up answers answered his questions & we did various butterfly-related crafts. I collated them into a project book, including noting the questions he asked/things he noticed & now he loves showing off his project to everyone who comes round. This all came about though because of his fascination with bugs in the garden. I'd be useless with coming up with ideas for random projects but I can do extension activities when I notice something he's interested in! For us, projects are more about recording the learning than completing a set list of activities.
I agree with others though, if he's been in school it's probably going to take both of you a while to figure out his learning style & for him to realise that he doesn't necessarily have to just move the "school" attitude of learning to home. Take some time out to let him adjust & he'll start showing an interest in something eventually that you can use to help him learn.
I took my daughter out of school a few months ago, she's 8. And a 5 year old son who's not been to school. So I'm new to home ed. Still unschooling. What I've learnt is that sometimes my aspirations for what their learning should look like get in the way of their learning. I can still get a bit frustrated with their lack of enthusiasm for things I think they should like. I'm inclined to agree with Ommmward's comment. Playing is so important. And maybe just hanging out and seeing what comes up and going with it a bit.
Thanks all. Some good ideas here, and yes I will talk more rather than lead.
It is hard though as we really would like to do a more structured approach.
Might it be helpful to talk a little more about why you've taken him out of school, what he is like, what sort of structured approach you have in mind and why you think that is a good fit for him and you? We will help you work your way through the options
Oh, wait, if you haven't actually pulled him out of school yet, then when you do, the first thing you'll need - whatever approach you intend to take - is a period of deschooling. Rule of thumb is one month for every year in school, assuming school was not traumatic in any way. After that, you will both be ready to embark on formal or informal learning. He has got a whole mind set to escape from - that education is something done to you rather than with you, and that adults are there to provide cabaret. In that deschooling period, just hang out, go on trips, build social networks. If he wants to do something that looks educational in that period, support but don't push. Allow him to find his feet.
We are taking him out for a number if reasons... A lot if them are here on mn under various names (I will PM you as I am paranoid about stalkers due to various irl events showing me what I say on here is being watched)
However, it is mostly that school are refusing to make reasonable adjustments, we won't get an ehcp when they don't think there is anything wrong, they talk the talk so ppl come in a and say he is being catered for but then in reality they can't even find the time to ask him to use his prompt sheets to help him. His stress is off the scale and he takes it out in his siblings and me.
And meant to say, thank you for taking the time to talk through this with me and respond.
If you are running with the Australia topic, why not start by looking for field trips - zoo animals, surfing lessons, whatever you can find thats relevant in your area. Or organise a BBQ and invite your local home ed group?
If you are wanting a more structured approach, you could join a forum for people who are more structured. There is 'A Little Bit of Structure' - it's a closed forum, so you have to wait to be accepted but someone usually goes on fairly regularly to spot newcomers. It's a bit quiet on there at the moment but there's a lot of experience of different ways of doing things/resources etc. Link here!
There are also facebook groups for structured HE, usually closed.
Evan Moor do a nice set of resources on the different continents - you can buy each continent individually or get the full set. I bought a 'Geography Through Art' resource from Currclick which is fun and not too difficult. Currclick generally are very good.
How about getting some holiday brochures about Australia and doing a collage then you could talk about the pictures and take it from there.
Or take it in turns to google some pictures of animals, houses, places, sea life etc in Australia and see what develops interest wise.
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