Thursday, 2 April 2009

Darwin does it for home education...

Have I mentioned before that we've been having a bit of a Darwin/Evolution theme recently?

Seeing as it's his 200th anniversary I thought we'd make the most of any workshops, tv programmes, books etc. Well we went to the Darwin exhibition at The Natural History Museum in London a few weekends back. There was huge amounts of stuff to be seen just in the museum, let alone at the exhibition, and the kids were really good. But it was a long day...a long weekend.


Watch out! There's a scary scorpion behind you!

The entrance hall of the National History Museum

Pose for your mother outside the museum then...

And again...

Ooh go on, humour me, just one more photo...

Alright then..last time.

Yep, that's the Darwin guy!
(Ok, we've seen him, can we go home now mum?)
We've also been working on a -shhh - 'project'. I kinda hate the P word, cos it sounds all big and important and, yes, so unachievable.
Well in reality it's not so much of a P thing, but more of a lapbook thing. I've resisted the lapbook stuff before, thinking that my kids would see past my attempts to make something 'educational' as something more palatable. But...I thought for this Darwin/Evolution theme that we'd give it a go. After all, I'd spent a fortune on books from Amazon, even bought a couple of DVDs. It seems a waste to just look at them sitting on the shelves. So this was my lounge on the first day of our lapbook thing:

I think on days like these you just have to grit your teeth, forget about the mess, and accept that you're going to have a lot of clearing up to do at the end of the day. And - most importantly - you have to accept that there might not be alot to show for all that mess. Why does so much mess equal so little product? Answers on a postcard...
Of course there are some home educators who do this sort of nice structured thing every day (in a more controlled, table sort of way). As you may have guessed from my blog entries so far, I'm not one of them...
So, how did we start these lapbooks on Darwin/Evolution? Well, first a large piece of stiff paper folded into a wallet/book shape. Then we photocopied bits and pieces out of books and then the kids started sticking in.
We're working our way round where Darwin travelled on The Beagle. Tuesday we looked at The Beagle and all the equipment and crew that went on it. Today we read a chapter about Ecuador and Uraguay, and Fossils, and then the kids watched a fossils DVD by David Attenborough. (Ok, big tick of box.).
Am I sounding smug? Oops sorry. Those who read my blog will know that our bursts of educational activity are just that - bursts - and when they happen I feel compelled to write about it. It's not smugness...it's giving myself a teeny tiny pat on the back (well if I don't, who will?)
What you mean I'm meant to enjoy this??!!
oh, ok then if you insist...

Quiet children! Now then, I'm going to point at the map with my nose.
Can any of you find Ecuador for me?
[Edited on 6 April to correct spelling of David Attenborough's surname]

3 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Did you go into the exhibit? We were wondering if it would be worth the extra cost. We've been trying to finish our lapbooks since that session we went to--wonder if we'll ever finish ours!

Big mamma frog said...

Yes we did go into the exhibition. Was it worth the extra cost? Hmm.. hard to say. About half of the exhibition was about Darwin's life and the Beagle voyage. The other half was more focused on evolution and natural selection and was a little more child-friendly with push-button stuff. There were short films showing and some computer interaction things. Personally I found it interesting to see some of Darwin's personal bits and pieces, real items from his collection etc, I guess that's my thing; the kids were more interested in the push-button stuff on evolution. To be honest the kids could have learned as much about evolution just from visiting the museum itself - there's so much to see - but if we hadn't gone specifically because of the exhibition, we wouldn't have gone to London at all!

Elizabeth said...

We've done the normal exhibits, and probably will do so again--but won't worry now about going to the paid exhibit.

I'm surprised you haven't been to the Royal Institute Lectures--they're fairly good and the kids all seem to enjoy them.