Friday, 8 June 2012

Learning from the everyday...

It's pretty clear if you've read any of this blog that I believe my children are learning all the time, and are learning from everything they do. This morning we were playing a game of running up and down the hallway having races (very typical here) and I got thinking about something I read somewhere once about stop/go games and how they can prepare children for understanding punctuation, perhaps I'll find the source some time! I started to film them with this in mind and just let it run for about 4 minutes. It captures a very typical glimpse of life in this house and really reminded me just how much learning is available to children of this age in any given moment. It also reminds me of the flow to their learning that I think is so important. Play flows from one activity to another, one thought flows to another if they are given the time and space for this to happen. The boys had been eating breakfast and we were about to start drawing when the running game started. Have a look at the video below...

I'm not using a curriculum for learning and this video reminds me why I don't need to. I love the moment when they open the front door, that moment of stillness as they all stand with the wind blowing their faces!! There they are, just taking it in for a moment before Charlie comments about how it is moving his hair. But they don't just want to look at it, talk about it or read about it, they want to get out there and be in it, experience in it! I'm not going to pull apart everything they may have learned in the 4 minutes of this video, I sort of think it's up to them to decide what to take away from any experience, I just enjoy stepping back and watching them as I'm able to do with this video, pondering the hundred-and-one things they could have been thinking in any one of these moments. The moments they become interested in can shape the whole day if we want them to, getting dressed and standing in the wind just being there, or chatting about how it moves the clouds or takes our breath away.

This was four minutes of a single day. As it happens we spent the rest of the day going out in the wind to play with friends, and then while his brothers had a nap Joseph made a picture of volcanos and lightening to put his dinosaur stickers on, started making a model car and liquidated some roasted veg to make a pasta sauce! When Callum and Charlie woke we had dinner and read a Thomas the Tank Engine book about a hot air balloon. The boys were interested in the balloon, so we watched some YouTube videos of hot air balloons filling up and taking off and even saw some films of people free-falling from them. I don't need to point out the amount of science involved in the casual chit chat that accompanied our viewing!

The interest and fascination my children have in the world around them never fails to amaze me. When I take their lead and see the world through their eyes it's clear there is learning everywhere.

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