Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why I am stuck at my computer desk and cannot move...

If I were Queen of the world I would make lunges illegal. Immediate beheading type illegal. Or perhaps I shall simply yell  "Off with his/her legs!" Yes, that makes more sense. No point in losing ones head over lunges.

Excuse me whilst I take the next hour to pull myself out of this chair. Every muscle is screaming at me, and they don't have very nice language.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Random crap

Having spent the morning at the library I now have a lovely little stash of YA novels to puruse.

I love YA.  I find it much harder to find adult fiction that I really like, I suspect due to the way in which we relate our stories changes from age to age. Perhaps that's why I gravitate towards sci-fi and fantasy, where authors take you by the hand and share a whole other world, where you hear the whispers  that reassure you fairytales need not be one of those childish things we put aside as our years advance.

Being the mother of teens has also meant that I spend a lot of time reading books at the urging of my children. They bring me these books like offerings and implore me with wide eyes and shouted whispers of how much they want to share this world with me...how could I refuse?  In turn I place little tomes in their eager hands, classics, literature and mainstream fiction candy and they sit curled with hot tea, blankets and a cat who changes his allegiance  as often as a mug is refilled. 

YA reminds how grown up I am in some ways, and how in many others, I am not very grown at all. And since I have a wounded man home with me, there is nothing more wonderful than curling up on the couch with tea, blanket, cat and man.  If only it would rain...

Dream, Believe, Achieve.

The great thing about home schooling is the flexibility I have in how to teach my kids. Like all schools, I must adhere to certain rules and restrictions , but these restrictions and rules are limited to KLA’s. Provided we teach the Key Learning Areas, how we teach it is up to us. Which is great when you have a group of children who all learn differently and with only 3 kids to teach I have the fortune of being able to tailor their educational needs with not only their individual abilities but also their personal passions and interests.
It’s no secret that here in the Crayon Box we are all rabid Rugby League fans. (Red V is a part of me) So, finding a way to incorporate a family passion into their education was a bit of a no brainer. And thanks to my fabulous husband, (who did the leg work on this one) I have in my grubby little hands the Dream, Believe, Achieve program created by the National Rugby League.
I was reading through the Teacher Resource disc last night, and I must say I am very impressed with the program thus far. The resource I have is designed for years 7 and 8, and contains another program designed for years 9 and 10. (The NRL also have a resource for Primary Schools called Eat Well, Play Well, Stay Well which I hope to get my hands on soon.) My two oldest kids are (by age) grade 8 and grade 10. (My little guy is grade 3, but since he will refuse to be left out, he’ll do the program too, just with me adjusting it for his age and level of comprehension)
The program is divided into three units, (which I will talk about individually) with the fist unit being The Power of One. This particular unit slides very easily into a home school setting as the focus is on self. The rationale behind this unit is
“Healthy relationships begin with a positive image of one’s self. “
So the aim is to build a sense of self, Who am I?, What can I do? Whilst exploring why building self confidence and positive self belief is essential for not only attaining goals and dreams, but also the importance this has on our lives through self, relationships, individuality and community health. The most important lesson being the way we see ourselves has an enormous impact on our mental health.
The program focuses on students being able to assess the importance of responsibility, recognise effort and achievement and how these play a part in the development of one’s sense of self.
Next week, beginning Tuesday, we’ll be covering two lessons a day. The first of which will be Self concept and awareness followed by the second lesson which focuses on self esteem. The following day they will examine the influence of their own actions on other people’s self esteem.
These concepts are taught through the completion of statements on self (eg. What I like best about myself is…. My favourite TV program is…. If I could change one thing about me it would be….. I am special because…. Etc) The next activity is a shield activity where students learn more about themselves through their abilities to identify and write down their own values and think about what is most important in their lives. (I decided to add the G9/10 activity in here also where the students think about their dreams. The activity sheets focuses on immediate dreams with statements like This year… or While at school I…. My career/job/employment….. Personal health….Etc. Where they will fill in the blanks. They then design a football jersey that uses images, motifs, motto’s text, words or anything they choose to represent their dreams. I know my kids will love that activity. And I look forward to seeing what it produces)
Where I think this courses strengths lay is in the next lesson on examining the influences of their own actions on another persons self esteem. Whilst the lessons focus on challenging negative self talk, how to be a good friend to yourself and presenting self esteem facts, I will personally take it that one step further to examining privilege and how our language choices and actions can harm by not just damaging self esteem but by reinforcing otherness. Which ties in well with the following lesson which gives scenarios on stereotyping and reducing stigma. (These scenarios focus on mental health issues using examples of schizophrenia and depression as talking points. The activity is to develop a script or dialogue for a play, or puppet play. It’s also a group activity designed to reinforce the concepts of listening to others and remembering that your words and actions can impact on other people in either a positive or negative way, the choice is up to you.)
I am still just really scratching the surface of this program. It was written primarily for young men, although so far in my reading I think the bones f the program itself is fairly non-gendered. A lot of the talking points use examples from football. (Eg. Joe dropped the ball just before the try line right as the full time siren sounded. Joe thought to himself, “I am hopeless at sport.” Instead Joe should have said……..)
I haven’t watched the DVD yet. For this part of the course it’s not yet necessary to. But so far I like what I see. Putting the course into application will be the real test. I am looking forward to it.

It's also good to know that every once in a while, the NRL get it right.