Designing a sail board!



The 3rd day of the programme for children being homeschooled and what an amazing day it has been! The group began to really come together. Children opened up and it felt as if a community was taking shape this morning. New relationships were being forged and new group activities emerged. It has been wonderful to be able to witness each child take risks and try something new.

We started the day with a collective discussion about what features needed to be included on the sail board project…We were very fortunate to have the assistance of Carsten, the father of Lorenzo, Eduardo and Alexander (three boys who are attending this week, along with their mother, Vanessa!). Carsten was able to support the group as they figured out what the essential features of a sail board and to also assess what was possible. It was an intense discussion as they tried to figure out how big it should be, whether it should hold one or two people, whether it needed a big sail, if you should sit or stand, should it have a bumper, some brakes, what type of wheels it needed…so many variables to consider. At the end of the day, Shannyn said she was surprised at how complicated it was to create a sail board…”So many things to think about!” were her words.

By the first break, the group had worked out what needed to go on the front and back section of the sail board. The decided it should only be for one person, who is going to sit to make use of the board. The sail is going to go on the back of the board, behind the seat and only be used to add momentum to the movement, not to steer it. Instead, they want to have a steering wheel which is going to come from an old bike mechanism. There are going to be brakes and bumper, made from a recycled tyre. Also some handles or hand grips on the back of the board so you can pull it or push it. So Shannyn was right… there was a lot to consider!

Next came to designing process itself…children spent the second half of the morning creating visual representations of their design ideas. The room was silent as they settled into this activity. It is one of the most amazing experiences, to be in a room full of children who are engaged so deeply in whatever they are doing that it is quiet and I didn’t have much to do. The designs turned into detailed diagrams…labelled and shown from different perspectives. We also worked out what supplies each child will bring in to contribute to the sail board.

The day ended with a sharing circle, like every day so far. I ask them to share something different each day, but there is usually some continuity so they become accustomed to the process and know what to expect. Today, I invited children to acknowledge someone in the group for something they did. It was lovely hearing them acknowledge each other for being a friend, sharing, helping and even being entertaining! I also asked children to share something that surprised them today…and this was great fun too.

If you want to see pictures from the past 3 days of the programme you can check out the facebook site below. I have a album set up on my profile…for some reason I am still learning how to add pictures to the blog site. Til then…there is always facebook!!/album.php?aid=195490&id=730906245


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