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C. Leek-Dyer

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Doing it Their Way: Home-Based Education and Autonomous Education: Home-based Education and Autonomous Learning
Doing it Their Way: Home-Based Education and Autonomous Education: Home-based Education and Autonomous Learning
by Jan Fortune-Wood
Edition: Paperback

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must for anyone involved with children or learning., 30 Sept. 2012
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The book is based firmly in theories of learning that are already widely accepted as valid by those involved in both education and psychology. While the focus is on home-based education, the philosophies are equally applicable to some future where education ceases to be a business/economic tool, and moves forward to focus on learning.
Initially the author sets out three popular learning theories in an accessible way, explaining how they effect both the school learning models and their relevance to autonomous learning. We then move into a more indepth view of three possible approaches to autonomy, until the author settles on what she considers to be the best model for true autonomy. The Taking Children Seriously model is then the main,but not exclusive, view for exploring the term education or learning.
The book is an excellent starting point for anyone considering 'freedom' in learning and explores, in an accessible way, how this might be applied to individuals and families who do not opt in to the systematic approach of education institutions. It also contains challenges to those who believe they are working autonomously, in order to deepen their thinking and broaden their defintion of learning.
The reason I could not bring myslef to give this book five stars was the section concerning TV, gaming and junk foods. I felt the arguments brought from the TCS approach to be weak and, unlike the rest of the book, without basis in research or sound psychological or learning theories. It must be said that the book is ten years old and the explosion of technology and cyber worlds since its publishing may have cause for the author to broaden her arguments. It did however give me a different perspective and cause me to challenge my own assumptions about this area in relation to my own children's behaviour.
Essentially I believe the book to be well worth reading for anyone whose mind that is not closed, whether you are a home educator, parent, teacher, lecturer, psychologist or a person who is wanting to explore the meaning of education for your own development.

Munchkin Color Card Game
Munchkin Color Card Game
Price: £18.46

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous Munchkin, 5 Aug. 2011
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This review is from: Munchkin Color Card Game (Game)
My eight year old learnt how to play this game very quickly from friends explaining to him. I read the rules which required a lot of cross referencing with other rules, re reading and evetually I drew a flow chart! So it loses a star on 'educational' for the complexity and length of the official rules if they are intended for a novice ten year old. However kids just seem to get it, it was just the grown ups that had difficulty.
The game takes about an hour to play, especially when you are all learning so set time aside and a few games to get to grips with it. Once you understand what you are doing it is fiendicshly good. In fact spend an evening reading all the cards so you can get the measure of it and see what kind of stuff can happen, who can do it and when they can do it.
There are simply two decks of cards, treasure and door. You are human and yourself to begin with, but may get class e.g.cleric, wizard, thief...and a race e.g. dwarf, elf, picking up a card that will give you the advatages and disadvatages of being that race/class. There are items which may be articles of armor, one shot potions, and cards that give you a fighting advatage. There are monsters and curses that can work for or against you depending on when they are played. You have to battle monsters to go up a level, you can buy your way up a level, and sometimes you get a lucky card. You can't buy a victory though.
On a turn you Kick Down the Door, deal with what you find. You can then Go Looking for Trouble if you have a monster in your hand you think you can battle, or Loot the Room and take another card, but it might be a really big monster. You can negotiate, sell or trade items but not while you're battling a monster. The real fun starts when you can't battle a monster with your current fightin points and have to ask for help or try and run away. The negotiations on how much of a share in the treasure you get if you 'help' a fellow is very telling, and just when you think its all roses some else can lay a curse or more power on the monster and Bad Stuff happens....The winner is the one who gets up to level 10.
unlike most games where adults tend to have an advatage, so either patronise the kids and let them win or take delight in beating eight year olds..., this game is level playing field. So adults beware, life experience and a PhD in rocket science will get you nowhere! Your little Halfling Thief can back stab you, curse you and steal your level! They can also help you when you need it.

A brilliant game that I would recommend for a fun or possibly explosive evening or rainy day. Hell we've played it on sunny days its so good. And it doesn't matter if ltiile ones try joining in at the start then walk off after five minutes, those cards just get put back in the pile and everyone else carries on.

Kids Learn to Crochet
Kids Learn to Crochet
by Lucinda Guy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, 27 July 2010
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This review is from: Kids Learn to Crochet (Paperback)
My seven year old son is not a typical example of a child wanting to learn to crochet. He saw the pictures in a copy of Inside Crochet and was desperate to get it-who am I to argue.
He says,"It's got excellent projects. It is very good at teaching you how to crochet because it's quite simple and the pictures have got arrows to show you where the hook and thread go. It teaches you all the basics you'll need to know to do crochet."
I agree with him. I have a shelf full of crochet books but this stands out as fuss free, clearly explained in writing and pictures, which is important as I think crochet is a hands on skill not a reading and comprehension skill!
Peg and Pip are the two mice characters that walk you through (sometimes literally) chain, double, treble, colour changes, shapes by decreasing, circles, troubleshooting, stitching seams, sewing in yarn ends and stitching felt to your projects. The projects use the skills you learn in a fun and attractive way for kids (of all ages!) culminating in the Big project which uses all of the skills learned and is small enough to do in a few sittings.
If you know a crafty child this is definitely for them. If you know a busy or easily intimidated by text book styles adult then this would be as good as any on the market for them to get started. If you want to stop Grandmothers from buying every toy/craft item in poundland every time they visit, then coerce the kids into begging her to crochet something and give her the book otherwise she might pull out that book that's been on the shelf since 1970, with Stephen King like results. It would work equally well on Grandads as only two projects in the book have flowers on or could be construed as 'girlie'. The rest are little toys, which could even be done in black,purple and red, so teenage grunge siblings could even have a go.
A book for just about anyone capable of holding a stick.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 5, 2011 10:02 AM GMT

200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws and Afghans: Crochet Squares to Mix-and-Match
200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws and Afghans: Crochet Squares to Mix-and-Match
by Jan Eaton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You really need this book, 20 Jun. 2010
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A brilliant selection of 6" squares from beginner to advanced. There is a staggering array of individual patterns, along with a small selection of project ideas from cushion covers to full double bed spreads.
Patterns are clear although a complete novice would do well to have a 'how to' book to hand. The possiblities for projects are limited only by your imagination, as long as it can be broken down into squares! Advanced crocheters will find plenty to stimulate their projects file, while yarn addicts will find the green light for creating many things with that stash that's not quite big enough for clothing!
I have been randomly crocheting squares with the excuse of making a wedding present, but have found myself putting squares aside for myself...
There are many individual designs, as well as the same design shown in different colour combinations which I think are invaluable as they really change the nature of the square and if you had to crochet up every square with different dark/light combinations it would take quite a bit of wool.
All in all a must have to dip into whether you need quick present from what's lying around, or a real year long challenge for your sister's wedding present.

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