The day after the First Great Lesson, the boys began their first ever research projects!
I set out books and manipulatives ready for them to fiddle with. We talked about what they remembered from the Great Lesson and what had interested them.
I let the boys poke at the science kits and books on the table. Then I told them that they were going to do their own project and asked them what they would like to use.
I suggested they considered what tools they wanted to use and what they were interested in finding out.
Eldest wanted to use the orary. Middly wanted to do the ‘Volcano Island’ experiment from his new science kit (they both got a few relevant items for Christmas – one of the boons of home ed!).
Eldest settled on ‘How did the planets begin to orbit the sun’ and Middly on ‘Volcano Islands’.
I got them both to write down their chosen titles, then brainstorm what sorts of things they could try to find out.
Eldest also wrote down some ideas of how to find out the answers to his questions (he was very eager to use Google and reluctant to concede that there might be other sources of information available). With a bit of support, he came up with the internet, books from the library and doing some experiments. That was the end of their first day of research!
Despite Eldest’s conviction that Google is the source of all knowledge, the next day we began research using books! Husband went through a paragraph with each boy, showing them how to select and write down only the ‘important or interesting bits’. They managed to read one page each and to get three sentences onto paper. They both needed a bit of help changing a few words and adding a few words so that their writing made sense. But I hadn’t expected them to know how to do this right away. They are on the way towards becoming independent learners. It is really working and I am thrilled!
Day three of research and Eldest (finally) got a chance to use the computer. He managed to get another two sentences, though he needed help to craft them into proper sentences again.
Middly did his first volcano experiment.
The experiment didn’t go precisely to plan, which is secretly what I wanted. I filmed it for him and we watched it together afterwards and talked about improvements we could make next time.
Today we took it pretty easy research-wise. We went to the library and each boy chose two books to take out. I showed them how to use the Indexes to see if books had the kind of information they needed.
Tomorrow we have the big research trip planned, which I will post about when we get back!
We have been doing half an hour of Maths and half an hour of English every day as well. But, that also belongs in another post!