Often people ask, “Hmmm…No buses, no gym, no assembly or home room, one teacher, three grade levels…What do you actually DO each day?”
We don’t really have Sundays or Mondays, or Tuesday…or Fridays. So far, we mostly have action filled and eventful “UN-days”. The kids don’t really know what day it is, and “class” is in session for much of every single day.
Much of the process and practices unfold by location, available possibilities and interests. (More on this in a guest post by Professor Gugick later) But suffice to say, after the basic R,R,Rs, the structure of teaching is dictated by the nature and interests of the students themselves. It’s early in the process, but so far the natural flow and attraction of a pliable format seems to have really captured their imagination.
The daily notes for each child are recorded by the teacher upon that days completion. In the example here, on 8/23/2017:
- Classical music, which is a video containing music behind a science theory
- Game Theory
- A paper airplane contest
- A nature hike identifying 15 Balinese plant species
- City research on our next destination, Ubud, to identify attractions we might visit. Each child must argue for in presentation format, why mom and dad should choose their activity.
- Algebra: Literal equations
- 30 minute reading break
- Study of rice cultivation
- Each child must create, draw or find on-line, four icons that represent each of their personalities for business cards that each child will need as a cultural requirement in Japan.
Afterwards, PE choices of soccer on the beach, rice patty or jungle hikes, or swimming are the physical activities. We eat breakfast and lunch together, but often dinner apart.
So far, a “typical” day.
Finally, as a matter of practice, we intend to examine what we’ve learned in big picture from our stays. As we leave our current location tomorrow, we have three discussion and writing topics from which each child must choose two about which to think, and write an essay. These topics below are their choices dictated from our first stop:
- Social Studies: Are the Balinese people poor? Are they happy?
- Science: Why do the beaches have black sand?
- Introspection: How does the Chinese tea ceremony we participated in a few days ago reflected in and pertain to how you live your life? How would you make changes based upon what you learned?
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Oh…and use sunscreen.