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learninglabnotes

Reflections on education and what it means to prepare kids for their world

Month

February 2016

Another coding site for kids

Check out this newly launched site which aims to equip kids to code using Minecraft!

We are checking out the videos today at the Learning Lab. The kids think the videos are COOL!

https://codekingdoms.com/

Forgiveness – A life skill easily forgotten

Preparing kids for their future goes beyond the academics.  Homeschooling gives me the privilege of integrating values significant to us as a family into what we read or learn about.

There is a lot to despair about when we read the news or even world history. However, it’s so refreshing to read about this young man’s journey of forgiveness in the midst of an ongoing conflict.

Simply refreshing and inspiring.

http://ideas.ted.com/how-i-learned-to-forgive-my-brothers-murderers/

Growing up elsewhere

There are many privileges growing up outside one’s passport country – learning another language, experiencing another culture etc…

There are also challenges. One of them is not experiencing one’s ‘home’ pculture first hand.  I empathise with the writer of the following article regarding not feeling able to connect with neither ‘home’ nor ‘international’ students.  A good reminder for me as a parent to prepare my kids for this ‘challenge’ when it’s their turn.

I appreciate the positive note her honest article ends with. “When it comes to making friends, being able to build bridges between groups of fresh-faced students can be pretty useful,” writes Hollingsworth.  That is certainly one of the advantages of growing up overseas.

http://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/feb/24/caught-between-two-cultures-not-quite-international-student

Every child is unique

For readers who have children who are just wired differently. I hope you will find this helpful.

http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/09/11/whats-going-on-inside-a-dyslexic-students-brain/

Stress Management

I found Kelly McGonigal’s TED talk on stress really helpful so I am thrilled she has done some research on helping young people manage stress as students.

Home Schooling like in any part of life has its own set of challenges and stress. We learnt about the Growth Mindset recently, so this is a timely topic for me to think about

http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/02/24/what-harnessing-the-positive-side-of-stress-can-do-for-students/

Skills for the future

Gadgets, Apps and Social media tools are here to stay. The challenge is how to help children learn how to use them wisely.

At Learning Lab we have ongoing discussions about Apps and Games.  One of the advantages of Home Schooling is the ability to include ‘lessons’ on topics which matter.  The following article has given me something to ‘chew on’ together with the kids over lunch today.

http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/08/17/five-critical-skills-to-empower-students-in-the-digital-age/

A Brave Teenager speaks up

http://blog.ed.ted.com/2015/08/25/does-school-prepare-students-for-the-real-world-this-teen-speaker-says-no/

Its amazing to read about and listen to a teenager speak up about she thinks about what is missing in schools in her context.

As parents and educators we need to actively collaborate and participate in this growing concern about the state of education as we know it today.

Perhaps its time to recalibrate.

Artistic Aspirations

I have always loved drawing. As a child, I did not have many books but there were always pencil and paper in the house. I even wanted to be a cartoonist. I taught myself how to draw my favourite cartoon character Fred Flinstone n his ever patient wife Wilma. I could copy but not create cartoons. Perhaps that is one reason why I did not become a cartoonist.

We love art at The Learning Lab. It is a possibility that both or one of the kids will take Art an IGCSE subject.  As a great believer in enjoying the process of learning, we have always had Art as an a lesson during the week, though we do skip it now and again.

I found this site excellent site for ideas and inspiration. Bottom left is a page from their site. The piece on the right is a piece of work done by J and me during our Art Lesson this week.

I may not have become an artist but I remember the hours of pleasure just moving the pencil on the paper. I am enjoying my children’s journey of discovering the joys of creating.

If you are looking for simpler art activities for older children check out this page on the site.

For younger children, check out this resourceful site. There are some good free resource.

Board Games That Teach Coding Skills to Young Children

http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/01/28/no-tech-board-games-that-teach-coding-skills-to-young-children/

We love games by Think Fun. Great to see that they’ve produced a game to teach basic coding concepts to young children through a ‘no tech’ medium.

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