In our local town they have what is called a ‘hands on centre’. It runs workshops for schools, reminiscence sessions for the elderly and family open days. It really is an absolute gem of a place, a chance to get to touch and feel and role play with real objects.
It is one of those places where your heart is in your mouth a little bit in anticipation of the visit as there is so much in the way of expensive, fragile kit and it doesn’t lend itself to the mayhem, chaos and boisterousness that can often accompany home ed. But the kids always come good and they do us proud and I have known the staff (actually they were telling me yesterday there is only 1 permanent staff member left of the 9 when I first started going 10 years ago) for a long time and there is a lot of mutual give and take. I do my best to slot us into a school style model that doesn’t really work for HE and they acknowledge that and do their best to accommodate our quirks.
Sam (and I) did a workshop on animal classification. They learnt about the hierarchy -kingdom, class, family etc. Used and then made simple and then more complicated keys. Did some observational drawing. They were also given plenty of time and scope to just explore the animals and other items. It felt a lot more laid back and chilled than many of the workshops, probably because they had less activities to do and free range to explore they were all focussed for the entire session. It’s a nice bunch of kids too, most of them are very used to doing activities together and have known each other for years. As the workshop coordinator said ‘it disproves the doubters and shows that they do socialise and with consistency’. Workshop ended with a 20 questions style game in teams.
When we got home Sam sat and read the paper. Before he read the Beano! He’s taken to reading the Times daily at the moment. Giving rise to lots of interesting questions. His latest How It Works magazine had arrived too so lots more reading and questions.
We watched Shrek and set up advent calendars.
Should also mention we managed narration, handwriting, prep for a creative writing activity, a lot of work on functions and patterns, Latin, Spanish, a bit of geography and some reading on Indian history before we went out.
An incredibly full, productive and good day.