Modelling Learning at the Cutting Edge, Not Just Modelling Lifelong, Continuous Learning – Month 7 of Learning at Home

Yesterday, I was trying to listen to an introduction to my ‘History of the World since 1300’ course using headphones attached to my laptop. Of course the kids kept bugging me and I had to keep pausing and nudging the headphones away so that I could attend to them. When Edward looked at the laptop he realized right away what I was doing and said, “Are you seriously going to University on the computer, Mummy?” and walked away rolling his eyes like a pint-sized teenager. I wonder why he finds this so amusing? As a child of the future, you’d have thought he’d be more amused if I was packing a bag with books and going to a physical building but then again my son still thinks of learning as something that either takes places in a physical building, a school, or out of books. Although we go to youtube/Google a lot for information. We don’t do lessons as such on the PC, on or offline. When I asked him exactly what was so funny, he also said that he found someone talking to me on the computer and me intently watching him very strange.

I thought I would be modelling the value of learning but I also appear to be modelling the future of learning – which will probably be more and more online. Apparently, this is the first time Princeton has offered a course to both its students and 70,000 other strangers around the world. So I feel as if we’re all a part of learning at the cutting edge which is very exciting and I’m so happy to be modeling that for him to!

Our second volume of Wise Bauer’s ‘Story of the World’ arrived today and it’s great. I enjoyed reading it to Edward today. I was pleased that when I picked it up to read to him he’d already read the first few pages himself, this morning, without me noticing, but disappointed that he was less enthralled than I expected, quickly saying it was boring, despite it being about battles and blue-faced Barbarians (ah, those Celts!). But I think that’s because he’s finding it hard to get into anything resembling academics at all! But I was pleased when I saw him later, running after his friends, brandishing a rolled up poster, saying he was a barbarian and to watch out! I guess it will take time to get into some sort of rhythm, which will be very hard since we’re moving to Dubai in the next month! I tried to look at a photography book with him about Dubai in the 1960s and 70s but he said (even) that bored him, although he got the point that Dubai has changed incredibly since then, being almost unrecognizable now. I don’t know if he can conceive of how quickly this has happened (when I talk about it happening x years since I was born, he feels I’m so old, that must have been millennia ago!) That will be the advantage of finishing the timeline, I hope he’ll have a better grasp of when ‘a long time ago’ is in relation to particular events!

The second volume of ‘The Story of the World’ covers the first part of my course, so I’m going to try and speed read it in the next couple of nights to cement some of the most basic facts of the 1300-1500 period that I’m going to have to write an essay on this coming week! It shouldn’t be difficult. It’s such a wonderfully easy read, well, it is targeted at 8 year olds!

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IF YOU’RE NEW TO HOMESCHOOLINGMIDDLEEAST, welcome! I highly recommend that you start reading from ‘Day 1’. The fastest way to access this is to look for ‘Archives’ on the right hand side of the home page, click on ‘February 2012’ and scroll down to the bottom of the page that opens. If you want a quick first visit, you could type a term e.g. ‘socialization’ or ‘university’, into the ‘Search’ box or of course you could just read my latest posts without doing anything!

Why I recommend starting at Day 1 is because this is an adventure into homeschooling that is not yet 3 months old and the journey has been a rollercoaster  – philosophically and emotionally, catalogued daily for the first couple of months. For you to get the full intellectual and dramatic impact, it’s best to start at the beginning. You might be contemplating home educating and wonder what those early nail-biting days feel like or you might enjoy reading somebody else’s take on an experience you share with me, or you might be more generally interested in my thoughts and feelings on education and parenting. Whatever the reason you’re reading, I’m really humbled that you’re taking your valuable time to do so and I really hope I can be some kind of hope or inspiration for you. Thank you! 


About homeschoolingpenny

Hi and welcome! My name is Penny and I used to live in Bahrain but In November 2012 moved to Dubai and now we live in Granada, Spain! If you want to contact me my email is I recommend you start my blog on 'Day 1' but please enjoy whatever you dip into. 23 February 2012 marked the first day of no more school FOREVER for my two kids. Edward, who is nearly 10 had attended a variety of schools since he was very little. Petra, who is now 6, has never gone to school. On this date we decided Edward was never going back to school and Petra never would go to school. We hope to successfully homeschool from this day forward, although we would consider an alternative school as an option- if there was some amazing Sudbury or other really alternative school. Actually, I prefer the term 'home learning' than 'homeschool' because I don't like to think of school coming into our home. In fact, I hope to go further and guide/learn alongside, rather than teach, my kids using the 'unschooling' philosophy to instill a lifelong love of learning in them. We lived in the Middle East and now Spain all of which are very challenging places to home educate. This is an exciting journey that I used to blog about regularly, at first it was on an almost daily basis. Please join me on our travels and I hope we might be able to help each other out along the way. I certainly hope I can be a source of support and comfort and, in time, knowledge to all potential/presently participating homeschoolers/home educators/unschoolers. Good luck to us all! If you want to read about why I started home educating, why I pulled my son out of a 'very good' private school mid-term, how I felt at the very start and how my philosophy has evolved, please start from 'Day 1' of the blog. Please do post comments at the end of any days that you read. Your opinion is valuable and it's great to start up debate amongst other people commenting too, however old the post. Thank you for visiting homeschoolingmiddleeast.
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