” …Watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who do not believe in magic will never find it” – Roald Dahl
Friday was Roald Dahl’s birthday and we attended a workshop at Search in Gosport.
This place is a bit of a gem. Calling it a museum is wrong as it is unlike any other museum we have been in. In many museums the hands on element can often feel ‘gimmicky’, they have been told to engage kids so they have buttons to press. Search isn’t a place to walk around and look at the exhibits, and isn’t open to the public generally. It is more like a series of classrooms with very good props. The learning element comes from the work the staff put in planning activities that encourage children to interact with the museum collections.
Over the years we have done many sessions both with the home ed group and public sessions, on a whole host of subjects and they have all been excellent. And the staff ‘get’ home educators and their quirks! Nice touch are the university students (at least I assume that is what they are) who work there, roll back the years and I spent many of the summer workshops leaving Jack in the friendly hands of one while I chased toddler Sam along the corridors and they are very good at helping with the shyer child in a group, being younger they aren’t as scary.
We will almost definitely stop by the Animals in Winter/Victorian Christmas public session on 30th Nov if anyone wants to join us http://www3.hants.gov.uk/gdc/gdc-events-detail.htm?id=197845
Anyway to Friday’s workshop. They started off with whole group activity looking at sets of objects and guessing the book they were supposed to represent. Apparently our kids were far and away the best group all week at this. Can’t say I was surprised by that. I suspect most home ed kids are quite widely read and read to purely from the having more time perspective and also each family will have read different books. But probably the biggest reason is that by choosing to book on the trip as individuals it was the kids who were enthusiastic (and some of them were bouncing literally 😉 ) about Dahl’s books or those whose parents got them confused with their older brother who were on the trip.
Then it was group work exploring the individual books – using the stuffed animals to look at animal adaptations for digging (Fantastic Mr Fox), looking at creepy crawlies under the microscope and catagorising them (James and the Giant Peach), backwards writing (Esio Trot) and more.
About a week before the workshop I realised Sam had only read one Dahl book (it is J who has read them all – 2 kids are obviously too many to keep track of 😉 ) and that had been several years ago – found them scary. So we have been on a bit of a blitz and managed to read Esio Trot and James and the Giant Peach and are now into The Enormous Crocodile.
I know Roald Dahl Day is gone but here are some links to activities for anyone interested,