Tag Archives: sabbatical

Unschooling. Or Learning as You Go.

23 May

Climbing a ladder on the back of a sangthaew taxi-van. On the Mekong, Four Thousand Islands, Laos.

About to cross the Mekong. Laos.

[tweetmeme source=”@mummy_t” only_single=false]It’s a truism that one learns by travelling, and a cliche that travel broadens the mind.

From the days when English noblemen embarked on that aristocratic GAP year, the Grand Tour of Europe, to today’s school trips, summer camps, foreign exchanges and volunteer placements, travel has been key to education.

So, when we went to see the nine-year-old’s school before we set out on our long journey around the world, it seemed pretty obvious that he would learn far more travelling on four continents and fifteen or so countries than he would in his (extremely good) London primary.

Although I wouldn’t have expected his headteacher to make that point for me…

One thing I didn’t really know, though, was how the learning would work. So where we’ve ended up, after some vicissitudes, is with an educational philosophy called unschooling. Continue reading

On Skype

15 Apr

Z on webcam with a friend

Z chatting on Skype with a friend

This is Z enjoying Skype.

It’s a webcam picture, that he shot himself, in the throes of one of the sessions of gurning, face-making, and toy-brandishing that enliven his week and keep him in touch with the people he loves.

And it’s joy. He’s talking, I think, to his best friend Fred, back in London. Talking, in this instance, means five minutes of gurning and video-chat followed by endless exchanges of emoticons, gifs and animal noises over Skype messaging. Continue reading