As part of our de-schooling one of the hardest things I’ve found is trying to convince the boy that he could learn anywhere and everywhere. It doesn’t just happen in a classroom. It’s everywhere. He’s accepted this with aplomb when it comes to Lego funnily enough. As he announces to me most mornings, he’s off to do Lego maths. However, it’s been slightly tougher showing him beyond that bucket of brightly coloured bricks, that there’s a whole world he can learn from.
What we have found works for us whilst we are in this transitional phase is a question and answer exercise. Here is a typical example from a recent jaunt.
Q. Can you remember the names of two different birds that we saw on our walk?
A. Kingfisher and a seagull
Q. How do boats move from one part of the river to another?
A. The lock opens
Q. Can you explain how the answer to the previous question works?
A. They close the first lock and open the second lock so the water flows down, and the open the first lock and the boat gets across and both of the locks close.
Q. Do you know why the meads are important?
A. Because the floods can go on the meads.
Q. Why do you think the river is sometimes higher than others?
A. The rain fills it.
Q. What was your favourite part of the dog walk and why?
A. The kingfisher because I learnt how fast it flies.
What I love about these type of questions is that they work in a number of ways. There are some that have an exact answer, which always boosts the boys confidence by knowing the answer. He is at a stage where he loves to know that he has got something right, and doesn’t rely on hefty interpretation. Then we have started to introduce questions where he needs to reference another source. For example we watched a short clip about how locks work to back up what we knew about locks. We are learning to use books and technology as research tools, how to build our referencing skills, and getting out in the great outdoors. What better way to learn?