Saturday, November 13, 2010

Teaching or Learning?

And here we come to one of the really damaging myths of education, namely, that learning is the result of teaching; that the progress of the child bears a direct relation to methods of instruction and internal relationships of curriculum. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The Story of the First Street School
By George Dennison"

This quote is so true. As I "teach" my children and really begin to understand how they learn I have found that most of their learning is not due to my teaching but despite it. As a mother and a homeschool teacher my ego would like me to think that I am Very Important in the process of my children learning but I have learnt that I am here to facilitate, encourage, guide and love only, not to teach. What teaches my children is not inside me but is inately within them. Their strengths, their interests, their view of the world!! All this is a much bigger part of what they learn and how, than what I am as a teacher or the curriculum I use.

Best wishes

Monday, November 8, 2010

Technical Drawing

This is a particular passion of mine. All my boys will be doing at least level one outlined below. I think these skills are just so necessary to be able to communicate to someone what you want or need from an item in three dimensions.

My opinion of what needs to be covered:

First level (and almost essential IMO)
- plane geometry (possibly covered elsewhere if you have a good maths program), things like dividing a line of unknown length in to 5 even segments, or dividing an unknown angle evenly in half, proportionals, polygons, tangents, little tricks for doing things like drawing a line parallel a certain distance from a line you already know
- involutes, archimedian spirals, cycloids, epicycloids, hypocycloids (at least an understanding if not necessarily a strong knowledge)
- orthographic projection - at least first angle, ie plans, elevations, sections and an understanding of the different line styles used to represent hidden parts etc
- understanding of scales, tolerances and fits
- basic architectural drawing (just in case they ever choose to build or extend their home)
- basic isometric drawing (horizontal lines represented as 30 deg to right and left to show a 3D image)
- how to create either orthographic projections from isometric drawings and vice versa
- basic perspective drawing with only straight lines

Second level and beyond
- any of the above that will require circles and curves, could be hard for a fine motor skills challenged kid
- more complex orthographic projections of two solids intersecting and being able to show the shape of the cut into one to fit the other, think gutters intersecting and knowing the shape of the "hole" if the main shape is rolled out flat
- true shapes of truncated simple solids

I am currently looking into what text to use. This may take some research but I will get back to you on this.

Best wishes

PS Aha, found the text I used in a slighter younger version. Check out this one available through Booktopia in Australia.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Project List

I recently updated my list of projects. I use the basic system outlined by Mark in this post.

I realised that it wasn't working as effectively as I would have liked. The main problem was flicking through nine pages of writing to find the odd things still needing work. I did what I call a restart and rewrote all the things still needing work onto fresh pages. I managed to shrink 9 pages down to 2.

This system is working for me again.

I find that is the way with most organisational methods I come across. If it works for me at first then when it stops working it is most likely "I" have created the problem, not the system. Sometimes it takes a restart and a return to the basics of the system for it to flow effectively again.

Best wishes