Recently we have been on a few organised trips/events? Things where there is some other adult telling you stuff and being the person who knows. Other people have organised these and there were 3 in one week.
We have done 1: Stream Care:
This is a model of a water catchment. Helena was most proud of asking the adult she didn’t know a question “I really wanted to know the answer Mum” The question was “What makes a wetland?” In control of her learning. We went in the Maitai (a river/stream needs a name, it has an identity) with nets and caught bugs (the nyiad form of flying insects), fish and a baby eel. These we put in a white plastc container with water and watched. We learnt what was important to them: clarity, temperature. We learnt what bugs will be there if the water is of good quality-clean and aerated. Then went down stream and saw whitebait eggs. Choice..
2: The Permian Monsters.
We’d been before (it’s at at the local museum) and for another event with a ‘teacher’. This time we went with a STEAMS class so there were lots of strangers (kids) along with some familiar faces. Helena was a “model student” sitting where, and when she was told to.. She was quiet, interested, put her hand up when she wanted to answer the question (didn’t get picked), did the assigned task (we did go back so she could finish it)…. and can regurgitate the key scientific words (I feel she’d met the words before) and later on made her own joke. Why do some dinosaurs eat meat? Because they are carniroars.
And lastly 3: Pic’s peanut butter factory.
Helena’s favourite. A bit ra ra for me and so slick but then you get to be on a mezzanine floor looking down on what is happening. Helena was transfixed for 30 minutes oblivious to familiar children or stranger adults. The visit has also led to lots of factory play. Not of the commercially viable kind – pumice grinding and the like.
What I’ve gleaned from these are: Helena can follow school rule conventions (where did she learn them?) without having ever been to school, she will get to the front to hear, is capable of asking questions of other adults when she is interested, I don’t always know what she’ll be interested by, more brains (other inputs, ideas) are better, it’s not necessary to do pre-trip homework, and kids can organize their own follow up.