This year has just flown by! It has been such a learning curve for me; sometimes I have panicked about whether my students are learning enough. Fortunately, I have managed to shut myself up and to go with the flow.
I made sure that the kids at least did some maths and English before going on to the freestyle form of learning. Often they learned more in the second part of the day than in the first, without even realising that they were learning anything!
One thing became obvious (people have told me this, I have read this, but I never believed it) is that kids’ natural curiosity comes to the fore when you stop trying to force information down their throats. To give an example – we have been doing ‘work’ around the Titanic, such as building a 3D puzzle, watching the movie, etc. Sean piped up, while spinning the globe around, “How far was the Titanic supposed to sail?” This gave me an opportunity to show him where Southampton, Great Britain was, and to mention that the ship had had to sail to New York. He had to find New York. We googled the distance – over 3,000 miles. Which led to the conversion of miles to kilometers….
I am sad about the kids who had to leave due to various personal reasons. Their parents assure me that they enjoyed every single day of school.
My six-year-old, who has already advanced a year, is really upset with her mom when she cannot attend for some reason or another. Daniella has told me that she will be coming to my school until she is twenty! I gently expressed my wish that she should maybe try and finish sooner. 😀
I still have room for some students for next year. At present, I am only making space for a total of ten kids, so – sign up quickly!
I have added the GED Online matric equivalent to my curriculum, with the approval of the service provider, Shirley Erwee.
This means that you can acquire your school leaving qualification in record time, depending on your prior qualifications and your willingness to work. Your previous grade is irrelevant, but obviously the higher the grade you have passed, the better your chances of finishing earlier.
It is recognised by SAQA, and accepted by the major universities and many well-known colleges, depending on the course you wish to follow. If you want to study medicine, for example, you will need additional qualifications.
There are only four subjects: English, Social Studies, Science and Physics.
I will attach a document with a link to the website, as well as an enrolment form, within the next two weeks.
You can start the course at any time and write when you are ready, at a centre near you.
Email me for more information: email@example.com
The year is about half-way, and I yet have to find myself getting bored. I get up with joy and a prayer of gratitude every morning – this is not “work”; it is pure, unadulterated pleasure! Besides doing some “school work”, we have gone on several excursions. We have visited the library and taken out books, have baked muffins, did gardening, visited Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens, played Monopoly …
On 1 June we will be attending an Aerobuddies session, where the kids will do flight simulation. Then we are going on a nature walk and have a picnic. At the same time, we will be socialising with other cottage schools.
We had some lovely rain, which has made our garden go green and bursting with flowers.
Next week Wednesday the kids and I are setting out on our new adventure … they are as excited as I am, if not more! Tyler even asked if we could not perhaps start on Monday!
This no-grade, no-test system is totally new for me, and quite daunting, being the institutionalised teacher that I am. I have to restrain myself from purchasing every educational toy and book in the stationery shops … although I did indulge a little.
I found a lovely Children’s Bible at Bargain books, which is also a colouring book. In order to be able to re-use it, I am photocopying the pages. I also found a Dr Seuss four-puzzle set with a little storybook.
Now I need to say it like a mantra: “You do not teach, let the children learn.”
I am excited about the New Year and the new dream that is about to come true! My own school!
My aim is to make school such fun, that the kids will ask me when they are actually going to start working…
There will be no rigid sitting behind books and writing reams of paper. I will bring the practical side into every aspect of what the child is learning. I will continuously add on interesting activities… playing Monopoly is learning about EMS, isn’t it? Especially if the child has to keep book of his income and expenses, and makes loans, has to buy supplies. And building 3D puzzles is an excellent way of learning about Technology. Scrabble is English or Afrikaans vocabulary. We write a play and perform it. We e-mail letters to our parents or friends (for real). We design birthday cards.
Officially, we will be following the Footprints on Our Land curriculum, for ages four to sixteen. At the age of 16, the learner can follow the GED online course, which will culminate in a matric certificate that is SAQA accredited and allows for university entrance. If the learner wishes to study more advanced courses, such as medicine, or the parents prefer, the Cambridge Curriculum will be incorporated.
Each child will be developed to his/her full potential – if they want to study medicine, they could. The curriculum will be flexible enough to accommodate that.
The possibilities are endless – what about all the educational sites one could visit – Maropeng, Sci-Bono …
To see my resumé, you type CV or resumé into the SEARCH field .
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact me for fees – each phase is different. I have added the page “Enrolment forms…”, which you can also search for.
You are welcome to email me or visit my facebook page. See below.