a great teacher

There is always someone organising something in the homeschooling community. From drama, special classes in the library, bike skills etc and we can either opt in or not. Sometimes I opt us in, or Helena wants to opt in because her friends are there or sometimes it is just what she wants to do. The marine studies has been a bit of something I want for her, and mostly for her it has to do with her friends. I was interested in the topic but now I am interested in watching a master, Richard de hamel, at work. He brings props that he has made, this time model boats. There is something personal and friendly about him bringing something he has made.

The first time we saw him he had the kids pretending to be an albatross with a 6 metre arm span trying to fly. He also casually dropped in that because he was dyslexic he could see things that others didn’t and it helped him make things.

He gets the kids to imagine things, he tells stories, he talks about his own life, he asks them questions…

This time he was talking about Māori immigration and navigation. He painted a picture of what it could have been like, he had us all voting about whether we would go. He had us thinking about the details. Thinking about all aspects of navigation, he gave us a personal story of entering Dunedin harbour in a fog and knowing they were close by spotting a particular bird at a particular time, all logical deductions using nature. I spent hour afterwards thinking about his lesson and talking to Helena about it.

It is hard separating the teacher from the lesson plan and this makes him really good, the lesson relies on his experience, his expertise his enthusiasm, his stories and the kids lap it up.

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