Thursday, April 3, 2014

Project Based Homeschooling: Day 1

 A few weeks ago a friend thrust a book into my hands and said "Read this!  I don't have time right now."  As it turned out 'this' was "Projet-Based Homeschooling - mentoring self directed learners" by Lori Pickert.  From page one I loved it!  The book is a discussion on fostering creative, sustained, self driven project work in children.  I almost wish she'd left 'homeschooling' out of the title because I'm afraid she'll miss a whole group of potential proponents - those who don't homeschool!  A far as I'm concerned this book is applicable to all children homeschooled or otherwise.  

I haven't actually finished the book yet but I got so excited about it I decided to start right away.  Lori spends a lot of time discussing how the child has to pick a topic and pursue it.  The adult is available to help procure supplies, help obtain research materials and read them for non readers, and to take notes and photos.  But the involved adult is not supposed to direct the project in any way.  Thus getting the children to choose topics they wanted to pursue seemed daunting to me.  I decided to plant a seed at the breakfast table on Tuesday morning to see what would happen.  I told them I was thinking of dedicating some time to individual, self directed projects.  Then I told them it would mean they would choose a project that interested them and decide how to proceed with it.  I told them I would be available for questions and to take notes and photos but that I would not tell them if they were right or wrong or take control in any way.

Funny enough I didn't have to say one word more.  They got so excited about 'project time' that projects were chosen and the breakfast dishes were cleared within about two minutes.  Lillian decided to make a shower and has so far sketched and written plans complete with water pump and tubes for carrying water.  Sidonia went through two or three ideas before she set upon making art for the wall and then making a frame to put it in.  Eoghan for his part spent a good deal of time painting and then pealing and eating oranges.

Now I'm not entirely sure how 'project time' will end up.  But for now I'm planning on making Tuesday project day.  I'll keep you posted on how projects progress.  Right now I'm hopeful this will become a long standing part of our curriculum.

p.s. Lori has a great blog here. Check it out!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! I skimmed that book but haven't really applied it. Have you read "Legendary Learning"? It'll continue fanning the flames of your projects (at least that's that it's doing for me, though I haven't finished it yet).