Monday, 7 December 2009

We did it our way…

Been a while since my last Blog, been trying to get our heads around where/how to start our home-ed, trying to get into a rhythm which took longer than I anticipated (maybe that was just my naivety), but in the end it just kinda feel into place by itself…

College began in September: I’ve had one daytime class to teach and one (out of possibly two) nightclasses to teach. Add to that one course (nightclass) I’ve had to do. Try to squeeze in some Design Work. Clinic on a Tuesday (trying to build up a Healing Practice) and most important of all, home-edding ’B’.

Now I feel we’re left ironing out the bumps!

I have to be honest, it didn’t all go smoothly in the very beginning. Gave her 6 weeks to get school and school-ways out of her head (and mine!). After half-term it was time to get cracking but to my horror I was faced with a very resistant daughter! I told her that if this was going to work then she needed to co-operate and work with me.

As a teacher I am aware of different learning styles and it seemed logical to work out ‘B’s style so I could deliver her education in the most effective way. We’ve taken a few weeks trying different methods and I think we finally cracked it at the weekend.

’B’ struggles to write anything down, her brain goes faster than her hands, she sees it in her head how she wants it to look and it never comes out that way. With ‘B’, it has to be right, there is no compromise, no inbetween, if it doesn’t come out like it looks in her head then she gets cross with herself and inevitably stomps off! Also the sound of a pencil/pen on the paper is akin to us hearing someone scrape chalk across a chalkboard, it’s a painful audio experience, remember ’B’s got incredibly sensitive hearing!

She can type really fast for a 10 year old so most of the time I get her to type out her work.

We’ve been studying blood this week and used one of her favourite resources, the whiteboard. I’ve found delivering her work in bitesize pieces works best for us, just dig out the hard facts, forget about ifs, ands and buts and enhancements. We created a kind of flowchart and it worked great. She retained the information and enjoyed the whole process!

So here’s where I nearly came unstuck, OK so how to save this flowchart so we can build up learning evidence for the Local Education Authority? Obviously too big to scan! Tried photographing it, couldn’t get it all in focus – it’s an A2 whiteboard! Tried to get her to try and write it in her book – not going to work either.

Was talking to my sis-in-law about how to proceed. She said what about sticky labels? Went home pondering on that one, mmm, had potential but needed more thought. Anyway I was wandering around Tesco on Sunday and there it was, right in front of me, Post-It Notes!!!!!!!

Arrived home with a very large supply of Post-It Notes. Simple, just recreate the flowchart using Post-It’s. She loved it, said it was fun and when could we do the next one? Sorted!!!!!

It’s so simple that it should have been the first thing I thought of. If she made a mess or a mistake it was easily remedied, new Post-It Note. If it didn’t all fit properly on the page when she finished, we simply repositioned it. Then all she had to do was put in the connecting lines. And it looked really neat too (she hates it if it doesn’t look neat).

We have our first meeting with the LEA on her birthday in a few days. I was dreading it, thinking they were going to crucify us because we hadn’t done enough work etc etc but now I feel we’re going to be OK. We now have a plan of action in place. So wish us luck, we’ll let you know how it goes!

Till next time
’B’s Mum