Some Of My Favourite Education Resources (So Far!)

I've stumbled across a lot of information on education and the development of children in my research of home education. It's such a huge decision to decide to home ed and take on the responsibility of my children's education that it can be terrifying at times.

These are some of my favourite resources on the topics, that have helped me to base my decision to undertake this task, retain my sanity, realise that education isn't as cut and dried as I think we're led to believe it is and that the state, sadly, doesn't have it all figured out.

1)     Ken Robinson's Changing Education Paradigms TED Talk

It took us a long time to decide to home ed, and we looked very carefully into the pros and cons, but a video called Changing Education Paradigms by Ken Robinson had to be one of my first aha moments.

Having never heard of the name Ken Robinson prior to home ed I discovered he is an expert in creativity and a big advocate of change in schools to better reflect the current needs of society and in particular the development and creativity of children.

I watched the video with interest and it is one of those talks that just starts to click things into place, from discussing why schools were created to why they are now failing today's children.

The clever illustrations by RSA Animate really helped to map out the info (I am not one for taking a long time to digest something I like things communicated clearly, easily and succinctly otherwise there's no chance I'll digest anything- probably why I didn't do great in exams!)

So here's the video link. Many home edders rave about it and quite rightly so, if you've ever pondered the education system and felt that it's not quite right somehow then this video is for you!

2)      A.S Neill's Summerhill

This book for me was just a breath of fresh air. From the beautifully informal, easy to read style of writing to Neill's amazingly thought provoking content this book had me nodding along, writing my own notes and chuckling at his anecdotes (then making my husband read it). The guy was so ahead of his time (this was published in 1960!) when it came to the meaning of education that it makes me sad that the majority of schools are still stuck in the same old archaic ways that he disliked and commented on back then and despite his successes with Summerhill no progress has been made to learn from him to improve our current system.
A superb read.

3)     Play by Stuart Brown

This was one of the first books I read on play and the importance of it for children. Once again it was an easy read although the content does require a bit more concentration at times. It's fascinating really that we need these kinds of books to point out just how important play is for children's development as well as being a key to our happiness as adults. A really thought provoking book that helped me realise that all the play Miss L and JJ get to do is actually benefiting them in a huge way.

4)     Free To Learn by Peter Gray

A massive advocate of home ed, Peter Gray has picked up where the main spokesperson for home ed, John Holt, left off.
I'm still working my way through the book as it hasn't been as quick a read for me as some of the others, but the content is still rich, interesting, inspiring and has helped me organise my thoughts on what education is.

5)     Future Learn's Course on Exploring Play

I really enjoyed taking this course, offered by Sheffield University on the Future Learn platform. It was clearly laid out, very interesting and informative and I could easily fit it into my busy schedule which is of course a bonus.
The platform itself is very easy to access and they use  mixture of media to present the content so there are pieces to read, videos to watch, audio and discussions to join in with which all create a very rich environment in which to learn the topic. I really enjoyed doing this one and would definitely recommend it as a good introduction.


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