Friday, November 2, 2012

I asked them to make more avocado babies, but...

What makes a child learn? that is a question that facilitators often ask themselves. If you look at a ten random homeschooling/ unschooling, waldorf, reggio, montessori whatever will find ten different opinions on making kids learn. They are all right, But probably none of them will work like a charm on your kid.

In our home, Sophia is the prime example of why it is not necessarily a good idea to teach. Ninety nine percent of the time, she goes completely tangential to what I am trying to teach her and then she ends up learning a lot more than I would ever teach her. 

I wrote sometime ago about how the girls transformed an invitation to play with animals and blocks to a multi learning experience involving Math, Business Management, Engineering, Storytelling etc. Well, here is another. I had minimal participation in this one too, in-fact this was a  completely tangential learning session

So I was home for the afternoon, and the girls didnt want to take their nap. Anjali was raining on the bathroom floor and Sophia was doing what Sophia only knows. I had avocado shells and seeds and as a time filler that may relax the kids I pt them out and asked if the girls wanted to make avocado babies. They said yes, but not very enthusiastically, so I let it drop, kept the materials on hand.

Then Anjali wanted to rain on Sophia, which Sophia didnt want. So I gave her a dog.

She bathed the dog
Towelled him (Anjali has a lot of experience towelling Guines pigs and the dog is not much different)
The girls gave the dog a well deserved cuddle
And then decided to put him to bed, upon which we realised that he had no dog basket. What can we do? Make him one ofcourse.

I dug out a box. Anjali designed the bed. She measured and cut out newspaper  to line it

Then she used the newspaper to measure and cut out felt for the pillows
Then she lined the bed
And designed a blanket. I kept walked around like some kind of overgrown leprachaun and dropping things on the girls. I dug out a number of things, some the girls used, like the fruit wrapper thing, and the old crochet flowers
Others, they didnt use, like the scrap of blue cotton.

this is how our workspace looked. Play is very serious business

From the front. I used the time to cut out triangles for the fractal playeum workshop

Sophia, as Sophia always does, came up with her own discoveries. She learnt that she could draw with markers on felt and had a good half an hour of doing this. I admit, I didn't think that she could draw on felt and I didnt even assume that she would have so much fun doing it.
The girls then found out that the bed spread that Sophia had designed was too big for the box. More measuring and cutting.

The dog was finally ready to be tucked in. He was waiting so patiently. 
And he was still tucked in when I returned from work last night

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