As we come into the last phase of our 14 days of ‘Self Isolating’ during the Coronavirus epidemic and the somewhat remnants of a crumbling initial week of Home School I wonder whether my child is this frustrated in school. I have literally felt like bashing my head against a brick wall at times as for all my best intentions and encouragement the reality has been like ‘Pulling Teeth’. The truth be told I have learnt a few things from the first week I have undertaken of Homeschooling.
Day one of Home School began with what I thought was an exciting topic and one that my child could relish; capital ‘A’ for adventure as I read the brief which was to write a short story on a ‘Secret Agent’. I began in giving guidance on research topics such as finding suitable inspirational material, I gave advice on using the internet and sites such as U-Tube that he could watch factual and fictional visual information on, I turned to sharing advice on ‘Mind Mapping’ where he could write his ideas down and develop them in short bursts. A perfect start some might say but the reality was I had friction from the very first moment and it has been difficult to keep my patience; which I have a lot of, and although there is friction I am not prepared to quit teaching my child just yet as I feel I have a lot to offer him.
Day one consisted of a short Documentary on a Summer Camp in America for FBI Agents of the future and an old favourite cartoon Inspector Gadget, and to begin with he was avoiding watching any of the video research. As I let them play his interest started to grow and as we continued on the topic he had watched almost 3 episodes of Inspector Gadget to which I exclaimed “Research can be fun”…
What my child is exhibiting at the moment is frustration so getting a solid 30 minutes out of him is very difficult full of Pouting, Huffing and Frustration however what my child does not realise is I will not quit and we will do the same 30 minutes tomorrow with the hope that we can grow to 1 hour by the end of the week.
Mind Maps are a wonderful thing even at any age they are a great tool to plan academic work into bite sized chunks and easily achievable sections. I kept repeating to my child “It is always hard starting but when you start the finish is in sight”, and as we broke down his introduction, his plot, his characters and more his short story formed its very first building blocks and bit by bit we stepped over the finishing line…
The second task was to write a Biography on someone famous (he picked a footballer) there was a lot of reading and writing again, and he found it difficult to use his own words and ideas and became frustrated.
What I have realised in this short period is that my child is not so much of a ‘Verbal Learner’ but learns visually through lots of graphics, videos, images and things that help explain tasks. He also leans towards an Auditory approach when a lot of discussion is required and by talking things through he understand better. This realisation of his basic leaning needs became clear during the work we completed and on comparing which task was more successful it became apparent how to teach him.
Tomorrow is a new day and we will now focus more learning through the visual, physical and audible with the hope that we can enjoy this experience together.