Wednesday, 5 October 2016

No Pens Day Wednesday

My husband and I had a chuckle because the school he is on supply in this week are doing "No Pens Day Wednesday" today - an initiative by The Communication Trust encouraging schools to focus on speaking and listening activities. When he mentioned it to me yesterday, I thought it was a weekly thing - No Pens Day Wednesday - but no. Apparently, for this school, it is an annual event. I find this amusing, because it is billed as being such a radical concept for schools. But seldom do our boys pick up pens in our home education journey - sometimes, but not often. It is certainly not their preferred method of learning. Thinking about it, seldom do I pick up a pen and write in modern life - do you? In fact, one of the strengths of home education - whatever form is takes - is its focus on quality conversation between children and adults. Interestingly, this article came up on my social media feed yesterday about signage being used in supermarkets in America to encourage conversation between parents and children.

Whilst I chuckle because it seems so obvious and contrived, and such a small step in the grand scheme of things, the intention behind both this idea - and No Pens Day Wednesday - is, of course, good .... "The supermarket study is one seed of a much bigger idea about creating opportunities for children to learn in the wider world; to leverage caregivers as teachers and, in the process, try to level out stubborn inequities." It is my belief that quality conversation, as John Holt says, is a key means of learning about the world. What do you think? Do you prioritise quality conversation in your family?

I suggested to my husband and the boys that perhaps we should have "Pens Day Wednesday" at home ... They looked at me as if I was crazy! So here are a few snapshots of our No Pens Day Wednesday .... I wonder what they did in schools today?

Making play dough characters ...

Experimenting with clay figures and cocktail stick bones whilst discussing the purpose of our skeletons. Do you know all the amazing functions of our bones?

Exploring platonic solids ( ...

Can you spot the odd one out? (Clue: One is not a platonic solid!)

Brothers baking brownies ...

1 comment:

  1. It was plainly clear that 'no pens day' as an annual event in the particular school I was in yesterday was a concept that filled teachers with dread. It was not something students were used to and in this school, students were unable to sustain any quality conversation without the usual fights breaking out, name calling and generally irrelevant discussion. Half way through a maths lesson, playing cards were handed out to encourage students to play games together. Some had never played with cards and some decided it was more fun to chuck cards round the room.