Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Planned Autonomy

I've been spending a good part of our Easter break researching and planning invitations/ provocations, specific challenges and provoking books to strew.  I chose 20 for each category because this half-term is only five weeks (in Hertfordshire at least) and I only plan four days a week so that allows us one totally unstructured day for trips out etc.  As we go along I totally expect to be evaluating and adapting as necessary, so if I post a chart at the end of half term of what we actually achieve, I have no doubt it will probably look very different.  This level of planning may not suit everyone, but it satisfies my need to know what I'm doing, gives me focus on those days when one or all of us are low in inspiration, and allows me to get extra resources in that may be required.

Incidentally, as mentioned in last week's blog post, we will still be following our online Maths and English curricula, but those will be the only required elemsnts of our coming Home Ed half-term - the rest will all be entirely optional - hence the "Autonomy" in the title.  If the boys like and run with my ideas, great!  If they come up with their own ideas - also great!  Here's hoping this plan-loving mum can stay that laid-back all term!

So, my criteria for choosing each provocation were as follows...

Invitations/ Provocations had to be open-ended activities where I lay the materials out and the children (most likely Middle and Youngest, though not exclusively) engage with them as they decide.

Provoking Books to Strew had to be books that prompt a level of further physical engagement, from basic 'lift-the-flap' or sticker interaction, through working out puzzles, to providing a selection of inspiring potential activities.
nb I will also be strewing books that can be 'just' read, covering a wide selection of topics, but the ones planned here were chosen for their 'provoking' nature.

Specific Challenges were selected more with Eldest in mind, as written about in "Provoking a Teenager, Reggio-style?", although again, Middle and Youngest are not excluded - all the children are welcome to join in with as much (or little) as they like.  Unlike the Invitations/ Provocations, the Specific Challenges have a defined objective, while still leaving space fo the participants to experiment and take control over their own process.

So here it is: my five-week "plan" (I use the term loosely, given the likelihood of it changing).  Note: we will not be following it in order, but I intend to cross things off as they are provided, and highlight them if they proved a successful provocation.  I'm really looking forward to it!

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