When you homeschool, you have the opportunity to be engaged in real life projects.
I have many talks with the children about what they would like to change in our society, so I said that we have democracy in Denmark, so we can just make our own party and sit down and think about how we would like our world to look like.
So we sat down and wrote down all the things that was important to us and set up a website, where we have stated our political programme.
We applied to get our party name accepted by the authorities and now it is up and running for signatures to take part in the next election.
One of our kids came to us and asked if we could set up a demonstration to save the peoples money – cash. So we arranged a demonstration in front of the Parliament and it was great to feel the power of doing something to change the world we are living in.
We set ourselves the goal many years ago, to make a you tube channel to show that learning is fun and exiting. It is called “videnskanalen”. We have played around with it for many years and have been learning how to make films. Then a new TV channel started in Denmark and we got the opportunity to make TV together with them. The channel is called “Danmarks Frie Fjernsyn” and we have a channel called “Schouserne” which is a channel about how wonderfully exiting life is. It is about DIY, science, stories, biology, stop motion, animation and much more. Have a look here: https://www.danmarksfriefjernsyn.dk/velkommen-til-bu-tv/
This april the TV company got a permit to build an art installation with a studio inside on Nytorv by Strøget in Copenhagen. We have been performing there and making TV the past few weeks. It has been a lot of fun and a good chance to get the positive message about life out to young people.
The art installation is covered with information about the TV channel and we have designed one side of it and written texts to go with it. I tell about the Cube here:
Learning by doing is the most meaningful way to learn and making TV this way together with a lot of positive, enthusiastic and brave people is very motivating and a great way of learning for the kids.
We mix cooking salt (NaCl) with water (H₂O). Then add an electric current, more than 1.23volt and the electrolysis starts. There is produced H₂ (hydrogen), O₂ (oxygen), NaOH (Sodium hydroxide) and Cl₂ (chlorine gas). We did not intend to produce chlorine gas, but luckily it was in so small amounts, that no harm was done to us. We have red cabbage as an acid – base indicator, and salt water as a neutral. After the electrolysis there is formed NaOH and the solution becomes base, which is seen by the solution turning green/yellow.
One of our children has wanted to a become a dentist, since she was 6 years old. The interest has continued until now, where she is 13 years old. Our dentist had promised us that when she was old enough, she could come and do a work placement with them for a week.
So when she turned 13, she felt ready to try it out. She had already for many years gone with her mum to the dentist there to sit next to her and see the dentist work on her teeth. She had also read every book on teeth we could find for her. So she was ready.
The employees were very nice to her and she was involved in the treatments of the patient all through the day. She sat next to the operating dentist, if the patient allowed it, and most did.
The main thing she found out, was that being a dentist was much more interesting than she had emagined. She thought it would be much of the same work, but she experienced that there was many different jobs and treatments.
So, she even more want’s to become a dentist now after the work placement.
A great way to learn, is in the real world, with real jobs and real people.
One of our children would like to become a vet. She is now 12 years old and just couldn’t wait any longer to try and get a placement. So she called around herself to a few vets near by and got a few rejections, but it all payed off – she got an offer of a one week placement as a vet. It was even a place really close by.
So she started her placement and found out a lot about what being a vet really is about, and is even more determined now to become one.
The employees really took her under their wings and she was allowed to take place in most of the work. She stood by in operations and even in a dissection of a cat with several deformeties, that resulted in it being put down. She found that most fascinating of all the things, she experienced that week.
Homeschooling makes work placement much more flexible, as you can have as many as you would like during the year and can step in when it suits a company, and are not restricted by school schedules. You can take part in real life learning.
We like to learn hands on, with real life events. Everything just makes so much more sence that way. That kind of learning also sticks in your mind.
We have a girl who is very fond of animals. Not just the fluffy caretaker way, but she also wants to see what is inside them, know how they function and what they eat. She wants to become a vet.
So we decided to get some chicken. She wanted to have them from small, so she could watch them grow and develop. We have had them for around 5 months now and it turned out that the 5 hens we bought, was actually 3 hens and 2 roosters. Well, we got them to see the miracle of them laying eggs, se we had to reconsider what to do with the 2 rooster.
As the two roosters grew up, they started to fight each other and chase the children around, so they didn’t dare go out in the garden anymore, as they were afraid of their beaks.
Especially one of them was aggressive. So we decided to kill it and eat it. We watched a lot of you tube to learn from others and set a plan for the butchering. We talked to people who we knew had experience with it and learned.
Well, today we were ready and got on with it. We started out early in the morning and got hold of him and chopped his head off. We then put him in the heated water to get the feathers loosened. Two of our kids removed the feathers and after I took out the guts and we all examined them. The children wanted to measure the intestines to see how long they were.
We then cooked the chicken immediately and ate it. Butchering the chicken ourselves, was brave of all of us, and natural. It feelt really good being that close to nature and taking responsibility for our own food. We all need to have our hands on learning more about nature in our world.
Our oldest home schooled child, has just passed the test to enter gymnasium. Gymnasium is a Danish education, equivalent to High School. It is a 3 year education, which will prepare you for university.
To go from home school to further education in Denmark, you have to sit an 4-hour exam at the gymnasium you would like to enter. You are tested in the subjects Danish, math, english and physics/chemistry in those 4 hours.
You then have to wait for a month to hear the result and you are then called in for a talk with the principal. At that talk you are told whether you have passed or failed to written test.
Our daughter passed the test with 95% correct answers. She also had a 1 hour long talk with the principal, which went very well. So the home school mom, took it as a personal diploma to hang on her home school insecurities, that has pestered her through the years 🙂
We prefer cash to digital money, when it comes to teaching the kids about money. The hand to brain connection is so much easier for children to grasp, that the imaginary world of digital money.
When you hold coins or notes in your hand, it is so much easier to get a realistic idea of how much you own. When you have spend your money physically with cash, they are gone. You cannot see them anymore. Much easier for children to take in.
Using cash instead of digital money will also help your kid (and most adults :)) to save money. It is much harder to give away cash in your pocket, than virtual money on the internet. So you will start saving, when you go back to using cash.
We did this little creative project with our 7 year old, when he was to make a present for his friend. We are so lucky in Denmark to have coins with holes in them. That made this project possible. A cash necklace.
In Denmark we have a special part of Copenhagen called Christiania. It has a history of freedom and rebellion. It also has a history of violence and drug trade. It is also a huge piece of land, with a beautiful lake. It has ecclectic houses spread out in the green flowery landscape. Most of them build by the 700 people living there. The ground was a military area, where hippies and squatters went into the area in the 70-ties and settled down.
The area has been threatened with getting closed down many times since then, but have in a magical way managed to survive.
Today we went there with our kids and a good friend, Grev Lyhne who has lived there for many years. He showed us around and we had a nice pick nick there by the water. Grev Lyhne is a royal court fool, a drummer, a performance artist and a writer.
We like to show our kids different ways of life. Different people. Different surroundings. We hope that it will help them have more ways of life to choose from when they grow up, and that they will find relating to society and people around them easier. That it will help them become more empathetic towards other people.