15 March 2010
unschool monday :: proof
Next week we have our monitoring visit with a representative from the local home ed advisory council. They provide us with our registration. We have to discuss our program with them and show evidence that big owlet has learned something in the last 12 months. Time to gather everything together and make sure we have all areas covered... How do we do that with unschooling? Our evidence exists on restaurant napkins, letters to the faeries, emails to family, crosswords, dot to dots, activity books and artwork. Oh and about a million photos. There's lots of it. Evidence coming out of our ears. For the next week its my job to go through the archive and make sure it makes some sense and is ordered chronologically. Somewhat fortunately for us, big owlet doesn't mind the odd activity book or worksheet, so it gives her portfolio that schoolie edge. Problem is that she will sit down and complete the book in a morning, so what might take a term or two in school is completed before lunch. Food for thought there. Suffice to say we encourage the use of different coloured pens along the way... often she will not return to similar work for a while, but process it in other ways or come back to it when she's ready for a new concept. Its like that with numeracy mostly, but also her writing at the moment. She's just had a long break, then some worksheets, then a break and a flurry of writing happening independently, often as part of her drawings, as she gains confidence with forming words. Her artwork fascinates me as it shows the development of line and characterisation along with an improvement in her writing skills. The artwork the owlets are creating above is a seasonal picture that seems to have become a theme. Big owlet likes to mark a new season with a picture of a tree. In spring we had a huge pastel mural. The autumn painting above is a tree painted, with footprint leaves falling down. All her idea and little owlet and I were happy to play along. Nothing like the feeling of paint between your toes!! So the monitoring meeting will likely involve a quick look through the artwork and books, then a slideshow look through all our pictures.
Pictures fill the gaps and show some the bits of unschooling that are hard to record on paper. Like spending yesterday afternoon at the Greek festival, learning about a culture which is completely new to the owlets. As for the conversations we have, well you'd have to be a fly on the wall for that. I keep a notebook where I note big milestones and brainwaves, but its usually not looked at. Big owlet will most likely do all the talking at the meeting next week, so I'm sure some of those brilliant brainwaves will be noted. So much to fit into an hour long visit!!