Genetics and Evolution

We had an amazing session at our home ed group this week. A friend of one of the parents came in and gave us a talk about genetics and evolution, and mapping the human genome.

It was the best explanation of Evolution I’ve had and cleared up some of the things that I wasn’t sure about too. So much recent science… a relatively new field.. of mapping the human genome, and now other animals too and the comparison of those and how important technology has been in this, needing fast computing speeds to help analyse so much data, but how even that is still not fast enough for the amount of data and how long it takes to plough through looking for patterns and changes in the chains of DNA. (My biology knowledge is appalling, so excuse me if I haven’t used a correct term!!)

Having said how bad my biology knowledge is though, I was inspired by his passion and found it very interesting. I’m much more a chemistry and physics fan, but I could see the fascination of his subject.

He works at Southampton University and is researching motor neurones disease, so as well as a run down of evolution and genetics, he also explained what they know about motor neurones disease and what they don’t know. It was all fascinating and what was going to be a 45min talk turned into 1.5 hrs of discussion and questions because everyone was so engaged. Apparently he was very nervous and doesn’t have much to do with children… you wouldn’t have known it!!

I’ve not even  mentioned R. I was hooked and engrossed, at the end it looked like she was too. Usually the lure of the woods outside calls to her, but she was there asking lots of questions at the end too.

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What is the vision in your head?

I’m sure I can’t be alone in having an ideal vision of what home education could look like. Sometimes I almost feel like we are reaching towards that vision. Many other times I do not.

My vision is not my daughter’s vision. Which is totally fair enough but also at times incredibly frustrating.

My vision is sharing a love of learning, and being excited about learning new things together. Sometimes it does feel like R’s vision is to be as contrary as possible and to do as little as possible.

We have been arguing today. We don’t very often… but today… hmmmm. I really wanted R to do some writing, there hasn’t been any writing for quite a while, reading yes, maths yes, but no writing… and no sign of writing being something she wants to do any time soon. This does frustrate me and we have long talks about why it is or isn’t a good idea!!!

We are pretty relaxed and child-led and unschooling to quite an extent, but I still want my daughter to enjoy learning and engaging with me… I would say (and I think she would too) that I do listen and I do try oh so hard to work with R to facilitate and help her with what she wants to do…. but I do also know that R wants her reading to improve and sometimes with a little encouragement she is really pleased when we have story time (with me reading to her mostly and a page from her occasionally), she does ask for stories too, usually once I’ve encouraged a bit and we’re hooked on something.

I do see it as my job to expose R to things she might otherwise not know about, so although she does always have choice in what we do, sometimes I ask that it be one of the options on offer (sometimes Minecraft is not one of the options)

I have been impressed in what she does on Minecraft, there is a lot of creativity and it has helped her spelling and reading too. R has her own YouTube Channel… Mini-games on Minecraft Pink Rose Kitty where she has now made 50 Super survival tutorials … the early ones are very good for people new to Minecraft. More recently she has made some new mini-games videos. Do have a look, she loves new likes and subscribers, and will respond to comments. 🙂

R is also working on designing her own Mod with S. So, it certainly isn’t time wasted, there is a lot going on, it is just such a tempting option and I don’t want her to miss out on so many other things she may enjoy too.

Home education has sparked even further my love of learning and I am excited to share that. I do show an interest in Minecraft, though I can’t truly get into it I must admit. I have had lessons from R though and also watch her tutorials.

Mostly home ed is great, and I do know that it works, I’ve seen how much my kids know…. sometimes I just worry I’m not doing enough… the expectation from the outside world creeps in that I should be ‘teaching’, but I have and do see that it isn’t how things work outside school but I’m sure everyone has their wobbles!!!

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