Tuesday, 26 February 2008

All quiet on the Home Ed Front...

Well, it's been a deliberately quiet few days wrt home education. After a visit from friends and their daughter 2 weeks ago and some rather intense socialising the previous few weeks (enough to put paid to all the 'what about socialisation' quesions!) we had a week of hiding at home during our local half term, avoiding the crowds.

That's not to say that the kids haven't been occupied. Ds1 and 2 spent a couple of saturdays at a local free animation class. I'd seen the poster the day before the first session and on finding there were hardly any children attending (why?) I phoned round some of our local home educators who soon filled the group with their kids. As always, the boys' animation had a rather violent theme - there's usually a killer mutant 'something' trying to take over the world - but having seen a quick draft version of their mutant killer rabbits (in plasticine) it looked fantastic for 8 hours of teamwork. There's still the sound to be edited on, apparently one of the adults does this, and then we will get to see the finished result plus other children's efforts during a screening this Saturday.

I need to get my head around the couple of animation programmes we have on our pc at home. the kids use two drawing ones (from http://www.2simple.com/). There is also the facility to do stopframe animation using one of our basic windows packages, but I'm yet to work out how. They're all fairly clunky programmes and our pc seems to struggle with anything at the moment, so it may be a case of having to buy a new pc for the kids before we can get anything to work. As I have a new laptop my personal urge to buy a new efficient pc is rather diminished, but I think there will come a point when the kids are totally fed up with it's constant misbehaviour and refusal to play their favourite games.

After a long period of little structured 'work' I'm hoping to start up 'The story of the world' again soon, a really good children's history book/curriculum. Although I've been progressively getting rid of workbooks off the shelves, and we're mostly autonomous in our educational style, I think the kids are missing a bit of structure and direct adult interaction. Ds1 even asked when we were going to do some more history, so I think that's probably a good sign (there are obviously some positive advantages to leaving them to their own devices for a few months). Japan during the middle ages was our last theme that we were working on and there's still plenty of scope for doing more on this. I've plans to look at Japanese art and also try out some Haiku (have I got the spelling correct?) with the kids. We might even get to do some reading about Samurai. Then I have ambitions for the kids to go sketching in a local museum, an anthropological museum that has literally thousands of little and large artefacts from all over the world and I'm sure they have a Samurai 'outfit'. Is 'outfit' the right word? - uniform?- oh I dunno. At least if they have weapons of some sort it will please the boys. Of course these are all possible plans and in the world of home educating very little goes according to plan. FLEXIBILITY and the patience of a Saint seems to be the key to a calm home educating life.

2 comments:

CJ said...

Hi,

Great blog :-)

I came via Elle's place.

I noticed about the animation, there is a great post on animation you might find useful here:

http://www.he-resources.co.uk/2008/02/14/animation-and-filmaking/

You have a great way of writing,I shall pop back and read more.

regards

CJ

Big mamma frog said...

Hi, thanks for this tip. Have checked it out and downloaded a few programmes. Found a very simple stop frame animation package which seems to work with our rather basic web cam so this may be enough to get the kids started with what they want to do.