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.
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.
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 🙂
After finding and examining the school offer https://skolenivirkeligheden.dk/ we wrote to a few companies, that our kids found interesting. https://www.brusch.dk/ wrote to us that we were welcome to come by and get a tour around their company. They make technical precision solutions for a large range of companies and areas, such as space travel, medical, energy and science. They have a factory in Denmark where they use robots and precision machinery to produce products mainly in titanium, aluminium, silver, cobber and plastic.
Our kids found it very interesting and a good way to get to see an area of work you usually don’t get to know about in your daily life. We try to show our children as many areas of life and work opportunities, as possible, to give them as varied a view of life and the opportunities they have. This can help them, when they have to choose career direction and also give them an understanding of other peoples lives and how things around them are produced.
My husband had for a long time wanted to make the periodic table more easily understandable, and got the idea that by working with the most common everyday used metals, we could actually touch the atoms.
We have had a few different versions of the periodic table on our wall for many years, but got a new more clear version given, so we decided to take the old ones down and put that clearer and larger one up in our living room.
That started a collection of little metal fragments, that the kids put up on the table by the correct metal.
Then my husbands holiday came, and we had the time to do a metal project. He made a specification sheet that they should fill out for every metal we worked with.
Monday we talked about iron. A metal easy to recognize and plentiful in our surroundings. He had made a iron coil earlier around an iron pole, so we got the chance to also do the Ørsted experiment again.
Tuesday we talked about gold. He told the story about the King who wanted to make sure the crown he had ordered was completely made of gold, and how Archimedes helped him solve that problem. We also looked at the stock exchange quotes for metals in the newspaper (Børsen).
Wednesday we talked about copper. Copper is widely used for wires used for electronics, so we had the chance to measure electric circuits on our Oscilloscope and our newly made Joule Thieves. After the lesson at home, we went to The Technical Museum in Elsinore and saw the original Ørsted Compas from 1820 (see photo). We also saw an Exhibition dealing with our extreme use of mobile phones today, which also take great use of copper and a large number of other metals.
Thursday we talked about aluminium. Many of our pots and pans were made of aluminium. Aluminium is very thermally conductive, so good when cooking food, to get a high heat quickly and to get back to a low heat quickly too.
Friday we went on a field trip to the local Metal Scrap Yard. We had made an appointment earlier with an employee there, who were kind enough to show us around on a guided trip.
Being a Home Schooler, gives you much freedom in how you choose to learn. We believe that the best way to learn, is through real life relevance. Learning from someone, who actually does the thing you enjoy and are interested in for a living, is inspiring. You can learn that way, if you manage to find a mentor, who is willing to take you on. In 2016 we were lucky to have such a mentor to take on our oldest daughter in her mosaic shop in Copenhagen. Our daughter got to observe trade, sort mosaic and help make an order for a table.
That encouraged us to think, that as a home schooler you can actually have as many work placements, as you would like. In theory you could try a new trade every week and see in real life if it was something you would like to do.
Our oldest daughter is very fond of Greek myths and in Copenhagen there is a museum called “Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek” which has Greek, Roman, Egyptian and so much more artifacts. We come there often and she loves the place. So she wrote to them and got a one week work placement there. It was very organised and she was very well taken care of.
Then our daughter also wanted to try to work in a library. Her favorite library is “Trommen” in Hørsholm. It is a beautiful library. So she wrote to them and got a work placement there for a week. That was also a very organised and exiting placement, where she got to go to meetings with the staff, sort books, arrange displays and so on.
When our other children get old enough, so that work places want to take them on, we are thinking of the interests they have, what could be interesting for them. The next one in line, wants to become a dentist. She already goes with me to the dentist, to watch, and my dentist has already offered her a work placement, when she is old enough 🙂 The next child is very interested in biology and insects particularly. She has already attended ZooCamp a few times. But I am sure we can find something when time comes, that could be interesting for her. At the moment, we are looking for a publisher, who would like to take on our oldest daughter. Preferably in the Copenhagen area. Anyone who can help?
In 2011 our oldest daughter got the chance to ride a Straddle Carrier. She was 8 years old at the time. It was quite amazing for her to sit 8 meters up in the air, watching huge containers being moved around with it.
It was at the Container Terminal in Århus, Denmark. She even got to experience a Logistic problem. They picked up a container at the yard and drove it to a “public road” truck. But the truck was not in place yet, so they had to wait for it. When the truck arrived it got a container on it, which had to be removed first.