Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Homeschooling: A day of Innovation...

Today at the Shiny Red School Room we did some unconventional learning- the kind of thing for which there really isn't the time or space in regular school.

We had a day of Innovation.

What is innovation? Innovation and its soul mate inspiration are the sparks which have led to every cool and interesting invention and idea in the world. The car? Innovation. Cell phone? Innovation. Salad Spinner? Innovation!

To accomplish this goal I took out lots of supplies like wood pieces, glue, paint, fabric, pipe cleaners, ribbons, crayons and paper. Onto the table it went and in no time the girls and I became engineers.

Lily decided pretty quickly that she wanted to reconstruct the Great Hall from Hogwarts.

Rebecca began to construct a fairy house with columns and a cobblestone floor.

We worked for hours learning the sorts of things which can not be quantified on standardized tests. 

There was a lot of engineering involved. What makes a fairy house roof stable? Will glue alone do it? Will additional supports need to be added? 

Problem solving plays a starring role in innovation. We ran out of one size of wood. What could  be used as a substitution?

We allowed our projects to take as much time as was needed. Innovation can't be rushed. The brain has to be allowed time to consider different ideas and to then move forward with a great one.

I made a fairy house. I love fairy houses!

I made this fairy family. Those are real birds nests that we found while on the cape at Thanksgiving!

Rebecca is very pleased with her creation.
Check out the sink!

Lily's Hogwarts Great Hall and characters kept her busy for a long time. 

I like it when Lily is busy for a long time.

There is such value in unstructured learning- in allowing kids to use materials without instructions and without a specific end in mind. 

From the outside our day looked like arts and crafts, but on the inside I was creating tomorrows great inventors.


Cheryl said...


Stones from the shore!

Aluminum wrapped woman! Wha?

Soul Pockets said...

These are wonderful! Very good inventors indeed!

Pom Pom said...

Bravo! Looks like LOTS of fun!

Left-Handed Housewife said...

You make homeschooling look like so much fun! And I like how you're homeschooling yourself, too. Very nice!


Gumbo Lily said...

These are the days!

I wish they would've asked questions about creativity, hard work, and ingenuity on those standardized tests. My kids would have done better.