Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A Learning Plan

Erin has decided to jump aboard an alternative program this year. Wondertree's SelfDesign Program is a hybrid homeschool / school program run through a partly-government-funded independent school with an unschooling philosophy. Erin is intrigued by the "On-line Village of Conversations" message board system that she hopes will provide her with support, friendship and inspiration. We also get some cash reimbursement for receiptable educational expenses.

As part of the documentation requirements, we are required to create a learning plan. The starting point for this plan is an "anything goes" set of ideas Erin generates of things she'd like to learn this year. Here's what I wrote up, based on her ideas, today:

Latin – she’d like to build on her basic understanding attained through perusal of Minimus, and perhaps move beyond that into more advanced study.

~ continuing violin studies with more chamber music work
~ continuing music theory study to complete RCM Grade 1 or Alfred Level 2
~ continuing piano studies with perhaps some additional emphasis on accompanying
~ wants to master Finale® music notation software, a professional-level music publishing program, for use in composition and arranging
~ she is considering joining the (adult) community choir

Math -- Singapore NMC (Secondary) Level 1 completion is a goal for this year

Cooking – meals and baking – wants to strive for more independence and competence in the kitchen

Gardening – will continue to be involved in local children’s gardening/environmental club, learning more about organic cultivation techniques, environmental sustainability in agriculture and otherwise, and about the natural world through stewardship of the garden and its environs

Soccer – wishes to be involved in community soccer next spring, after trying it out very successfully last spring

Swimming – wants to improve swimming ability

Creative Writing – wants to work on her ability to sustain her interest in particular writing projects, as she writes from inspiration and finds that when her writing gets interrupted she can’t get back into the mindset that inspired her in the first place

Erin would like to work on watercolour technique and drawing technique

Electronics – she would like to get access to a comprehensive electronics kit and work towards learning simple electronic circuitry, principles and terminology

Erin is interested in creating card games and modifying the rules for existing games that we have. She would like to create a card game (or more than one) from scratch.

Erin would like to create a website which introduces visitors to the rich and bizarre imaginary world of Planet Egypt which she and her siblings have been busily inventing over the past year.

Our "Learning Consultant" was very pleased with this list. So was I. It was nice to have the excuse to talk to Erin about her ambitions, ideas, frustrations and accomplishments. She volunteered more about her creative writing and reading processes than I've ever got out of her before. I was surprised that she suggested goals for math and music theory (even if they're very conservative goals as she's almost halfway completed both).

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