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If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. ~ Adlai Stevenson

Monday, May 4, 2015

Monday Musings... Project-Based Learning...

Project based learning (PBL) is big right now, across the board... in homeschools, public schools, private schools. I've been reading this blog on project based homeschooling for quite some time, and bought the author's book a couple of years ago. Still, it wasn't something I/we really implemented, as I was never positive how to begin, where to start, what to do to get my kids going with it, though I think the idea of it is brilliant.

Then I was browsing through old posts on my own blog, and came across this one from 2012, in which I planned to use our old SpiralScout handbooks for some PBL ideas... which we didn't do. And so we are trying again, because I think while we are learning plenty these days from books and documentaries, we need a hands-on aspect, something individual, and that has definite learning goals and outcomes. So I went through the table of contents for the regular SpiralScout Handbook (roughly ages 10-13) with The Girl, and the one for PathFinders (14-18) with The Boy, and had them each choose a project. The Boy chose photography, and The Girl has  narrowed it down to  chosen   sewing,   cooking  , and entomology.

If you'd like to see what I mean by "definite learning goals and outcomes", while allowing room for creative exploration, you can see samples of their "badge" activities here.

Other than that, I am thinking of reviving our Afternoon Basket! I'd like to get back to rotational readings across several disciplines, and the kids are happy with the idea too.

Have you tried project based learning? How did it work for you?

Yesterday, we had a very busy, productive, and interesting afternoon, at the local junior college's open house. The Boy got to explore different departments, ranging from automotive technology, to art, to physics and engineering. He chatted with professors, picked up brochures, and discussed career possibilities. The Girl enjoyed the variety offered by the life sciences department, stopping to check out everything from plants to chicks, to pigs and sheep. She handled rocks and fossils, watched ice cream being made with liquid nitrogen, and admired the native American dancers. We all enjoyed a physics demonstration, had some yummy food (nachos for the kids, while M and I shared an Indian taco), and walked around checking out exhibits and displays for much of the day. The Boy is more determined than ever to start at least one class there this fall!

Other than that, it's pretty much the same old thing going on... math, writing, learning about California's history and wildlife, finishing our own journey through Alice's Wonderland, fencing, derby practice, tutoring, volunteer hours... truthfully, I cannot wait for this semester to be over and done! The volunteer time on top of everything else is just too much. Just a couple of weeks to go....

Have a good week!

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What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Emerson

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