What will make our blog unique?

So, we are out of the ‘villa’ and into our airbnb. The girls are super excited to have beds, toys, furniture etc. again and, now that the fervor of selling all of our worldly belongings has finally come to an end (only cars to be handed over now) we have had some time to return to both blogging and learning.

As I mentioned in an early post we have signed up to study the ‘Mastery Course’ with ‘Wired Creatives’.

For more information follow this link

The course is designed and authored by two travel bloggers who now travel and write full time. We have been navigating ‘Branding’ this week and have had some brilliant conversations about who we are, what message we want to convey, the sort of posts we want to write, who our audience could / should be etc.

Those of you have read our previous blogs will know that we plan to travel for a year (or as long as our funds last) around Europe initially on a sort of Education World Tour.

Both of us being trained teachers, it seems like the perfect opportunity to go and see some of the world’s best education systems (read ‘Cleverlands‘) schools (watch ‘Most Likely to Succeed) and locations. We both love learning and want to be the best educators we can be.

Along the way, we will be homeschooling our three daughters; Freya (6), Flossy (4) and Felicity (20 months). Trying out what we have learnt and applying new concepts and ideas to our learning as a family.

All of this is underpinned by our core beliefs (see my video blogs for more information on this)

As part of the training this week, we have been thinking about how these values and goals translate to our blog and the information we want to share with the world.

It was clear that two in particular came to the fore.

‘Kids first’

  • When you are with them be WITH THEM
  • Value their time as precious
  • Make them a priority
  • Say YES more than no
  • Know that this time with them will never come again so SAVOUR IT

We want everything that we do to have our family at the centre. For too long work, life, responsibilities etc. have meant that we have not spent as much time together, focusing on each other, as we would like. This next year is about putting family, front and centre to everything we do.

We want to follow their interests, expore the world from their perspectives, make them coauthors of their destinies, involve them in the process of living and learning over the next year. We will live and breathe this value in everything we do for the next chapter in all of our lives … (We also agree that focusing on each other is vital too! Date nights will be a MUST)

For our GOAL SETTING this translated and expanded into living a SIMPLE LIFE with measures such as “spend time outdoors”, “appreciate nature” etc.

‘Environmental’

  • Live a sustainable life, be minimalists
  • Choose organic, local, ethical etc.
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle

We are choosing to be minimalists, as far as a family of five can be, and have spent the past 6 weeks reducing our ‘footprint’ significantly. When I say significantly, let me expand on this – when we moved to Dubai from Houston there were 221 items counted onto the shipping. Not including luggage. As we leave Dubai we have shipped 10 boxes, a total of 2m cubed. That is a 90% reduction in our worldy belongings 90% REDUCTION

We will use our searching for and gathering of food as a key learning tool over the year – sourcing from local producers, finding out what is grown where, when and why and eating these items, removing processed foods from our diet as much as possible and really getting in touch with local diets experiencing new places through their cuisine and produce.

For our GOAL SETTING tis translated and expanded into ROLE MODEL with measures such as ‘walk the walk and talk the talk’, ‘live a values based life’, ‘model the behaviours and choices that we want our children to adopt’. It also explanded into LIFE CHOICES with ‘exercise’, ‘choose organic’, ‘eat well’, ‘drink water’ and act consciously’ as measures we thought we could use to track our progress

Application to Home Schooling

How will this translate into our blog then?

Well, as teachers ourselves we are research based in our approach. We are ‘visionaries’ in our own ways and want to continue our professional learning jourenys into our home school learning. What do I mean by this?

Child – led learning

We want to take the interests that our children have, and use them in an authentic and purposeful way to drive their learning. For example, Freya’s interest in nature – she wants to be a marine biologist – this allows us to use water, animals, ecology, geography, environmental awareness etc. as hooks into learning for her.

Because we are familiar with curricular from around the world, we can retrospectively map her learning onto the target tracking grids that we have created to ensure that she is making age related progress.

Curriculum

What could this look like in reality…. lets say we plan a trip to the aquarium:

  • Computing – find the aquarium online and navigate the website
  • Reading – research what the aquarium has to offer and the animals that we will see
  • Science – develop some hypothesise or lines of enquiry that we want to investigate while at the aquarium given the resources that will be available there
  • Writing – make a note of these lines of enquiry and create a ‘book’ to record our findings
  • Maths – set a budget for the day to include any travel costs, entry fees, picnic etc.
  • Food technology – plan and make the picnic for the day sourcing the food locally

This would give us some foci for the day, allow Freya to learn new skills, for a reason, and apply them to real-life context.

The day would also be FUN

Assessment / tracking

When we reflected back after we had returned, Nick and I would also then retrospectively document the learning that actually took place – lots of this might be incidental – reading information about animals from the exhibits, calculating change having paid for drinks to accompany lunch, writing a poem about being trapped in a fish tank as a shark… etc. etc.

The learning tracker would be updated accordingly and progress used to help decide on future learning opportunities that we could plan for Freya.

Audience

We hope that by writing about all of this on the blog we will:

  • inspire others to try some of the ideas themselves, at home, at weekkends, in school holidays etc.
  • show that it is possible to take great learning initiatives like project based learning and inquiry led learning and apply them to a home schooling context
  • create resources that can be used by other home schoolers to support them on their learning journey
  • share amusing tales of our exploits with our girls and the situations we find ourselves in
  • give ourselves a purpose and a focus for our writing and reflections

Great course and some real clarity of thinking as a result 🙂 next we are going to learn to develop our website… sounds technical!

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