Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Resource Faire!

Here at Home Learning Victoria, the month of September is dedicated (in part) to sharing some of the resources that we find most delightful. Readers whose children are enrolled in DL programs are starting to think about kids' learning plans and may be wondering how to spend that bountiful resource allowance. Unschoolers or eclectic homeschoolers may be thinking about what cool things they can strew for their children as they bring the world into their children's lives. Families who follow a more structured approach may be looking for things to supplement or spice-up the programs they follow.

Well, I've got some ideas.

You won't find much on here about packaged curriculum or cutesy projects that make "hobbits out of coconuts". As an educator, I have always had strong reservations about these types of materials or activities as I see them as being designed, in part, to manage large groups of children for extended periods of time (such as a school day). Many of them have a strong emphasis on rote or temporary learning and follow outdated theories of learning based on behaviourism (and you can forget about individual learning styles). And some of them are merely "fluffy fillers" used to kill time.

It's my humble (and professional) opinion that there are many ways to approach learning and that some are a lot more fun, interesting, and engaging than others.

What you will find here are lists of different types of recommended materials that will support your child's learning interests and learning styles. Although I find it somewhat artificial to break learning down into categories (and I personally prefer an integrated approach to learning), I have done that for this online Faire. Each week, throughout September and October, there will be a series of posts that outline some of the cooler resources available for each Ministry of Education subject area. I will start with the core subjects: Mathematics, Science, Language Arts, and Social Studies. If we run out of time in September, I'll provide ideas for the Fine Arts, 2nd Languages, and Physical Education in October.

There is no way I can be completely comprehensive in these lists and I also might forget something that's a fabulous resource (and I also may not know about it!). I also might post about a resource that you've tried and found to be absolute garbage (if so, I'd like to know about that, too). So, if you have a specific question or you know of a resource that you feel should be added to a list, please feel to send an email or join the vichomelearn yahoo group and ask your question of a bunch of experienced homeschoolers.

You are also very welcome to share your thoughts right here! Your comments are most welcome.

See you at the Faire!