Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Are the "Adventures In Natural Learning" Books For Teens/Young Adults Too?

A couple of people have asked me if the Adventures In Natural Learning Handbook and Journal are suitable for older children/teens/young adults.

Whilst they might want to miss the game suggestions like hopscotch, knucklebones and painting the deck with water (but whose to say they won't like them...) there are many games that can be played with them whilst washing up for instance, or travelling in the car.  Just for fun!

And then, some of the suggestions for seasonal study in the Journal, or as in the photo above in the Handbook, can be read through and your student can pick and choose what interests them.

I would suggest that at the beginning of the month you, or your student go through the lists and write a few things in the journal for that month - things they know they'll be interested in, or things the might possibly be interested in.

As the month goes on  they "study" the topics they've written in their journal.   "Study" might look like:   discussing it with you; looking it up in an encyclopedia and/on the internet, finding a video about it, getting some books out of the library, doing something hands-on in relation to the subject ...  it doesn't mean writing/copying four pages of facts on the subject just to PROVE they learned something.

Whilst studying a subject your student may discover that they're not particularly interested in that thing, but they could head off on a rabbit trail of a related topic that really grabbed their interest.  Be sure they note this in their journal.

The same goes for the lists of people found in the Handbook.  Pick some people, write their names in the Journal for that month, and then look them up.  Let the student direct the learning, let them have a thirst for finding things out, and dropping things that they have no interest in. 

Next year when they start a fresh new Journal they might like to look back on who they studied the previous year.

On a practical level, if you would like/require some written information on the topics studied this is what we did:  when our older boys were around 15 I would give them lists of interesting subjects and people, and they would write the name of the topic, or person, at the top of an index card.  Looking information up in various places, cross-referencing to be sure they were getting the right information, and writing a few interesting facts on the index card, we would consider that "a study".     The cards were filed in alphabetical order to be browsed through at a later date if anyone was interested.

These two boys now have a huge knowledge of world events, wide in many areas - deep in some areas.  They can hold their own in conversations with many different age levels (intelligent conversation that is - they have no tolerance for oafish or loutish behaviour).  They know what they enjoy, and they still retain a love of learning.

So, to answer the question are these books suitable for older children/teens/young adults.


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