Age 5, Age 6, Age 7, Education, Learning Toys, Reading, Travel

Little Passports – global adventures in your mail box

LPEE3500x342As soon as I saw the Little Passports logo I could immediately smell a brilliant idea. Combining a thirst for world knowledge with a kid’s love of receiving mail is a stroke of genius. Continue reading “Little Passports – global adventures in your mail box”

Age 5, Age 6, Age 7, Creative Projects, Creative Thinking, Education

MaKey MaKey: an invention kit for everyone

makey makeyWhen the lady at the Kid Inventors Day invited us to make music using a keyboard of bananas, Mr 6 and I were more than intrigued. Sure enough as we touched each of the six bananas, to our joyful surprise musical notes played through the nearby laptop. The magic making this fun possible was the brilliantly simple little electronics kit MaKey MaKey. We had to find out more! Continue reading “MaKey MaKey: an invention kit for everyone”

Age 5, Education, Maths

Starting School: Apps for a smooth transition

starting school apps

L Star starts school next week so the topic of ‘School Readiness’ looms large in my world. It’s a term you start to hear a lot in Australia once your child turns four as by that age preschools have to run a SR program to work on developing literacy and numeracy. If you are looking for apps to support this at home you will find a wonderful selection to choose from and I will detail a few of our favourites. But a huge aspect of starting school is adapting to the change in routine and the emotional literacy to express and cope with this change.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 9.13.18 pmI learn

Not many apps deal with that so I was thrilled to come across the ‘I Learn’ app by Bizzibrains, produced in association with Screen Australia.

It focuses less on numbers or letters and more on Continue reading “Starting School: Apps for a smooth transition”

Education, Videos

Boys are not defective girls: the Feminization of Education

I had worked in a couple of girls schools when I moved to my next job, this time in a boys school. The difference between the two was hugely eye opening for me. What engaged boys was markedly different than what had worked with my previous female students. This video sums up the differences and paints an accurate picture of why co-ed education in America and also I believe here in Australia, is not in my opinion, the best choice for boys.
If you’re interested in this topic I can also recommend the book ‘Boys Adrift’ by Leonard Sax. The book studies a number of factors contributing to boys becoming less engaged students and unmotivated adults. He looks at the way children are taught, as well as the role that video games, prescription drugs and environmental estrogens have to play. He is also a fan of letting boys start school a year later than usual, holding them back so they have more time to play and learn in a less structured and more experimental manner.  I’m a keen believer that those early years of just generally shouting/climbing/running around like boys want to do, are exceptionally valuable in terms of their development of creative skills and general confidence and shouldn’t be traded too soon for the long years of sitting at a desk at school.

As the mother of two loud and rambunctious boys clearly this is a topic close to my heart. I’m currently reading about schools in Finland, where students don’t start until age 7! Their unorthodox education system is producing impressive results. Food for thought.