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View Full Version : SOLE - Anyone doing this?



Andi
01-08-2014, 01:41 PM
Not sure where this fits best on the forums, so I'll try here first.

SOLE = Self-Organized Learning Environment

Sugata Mitra (http://www.ted.com/pages/prizewinner_sugata_mitra)
SOLE STORIES (http://tedsole.tumblr.com)

I'm thinking about starting up a SOLE group in my area and was wondering if anyone else here has done this. If so, what was your experience? How often did you meet? Was it successful? Any information is appreciated.

Andi
01-08-2014, 02:20 PM
AnonyMs, I do have a couple of families interested, but it looks like it's going to be me that heads it up if I want it to happen. I've read what I could online (most were classroom experiences). If I'm going to be the one in charge I'd really love to pick someone's brain about it before I dive in.

farrarwilliams
01-08-2014, 05:02 PM
There's a group in our area and I know a bunch of the families, but our schedule was too full to participate. But I think they're going strong, just to give you encouragement.

Andi
01-08-2014, 05:36 PM
Did you already download the tool kit?



I have had the toolkit since last summer, just never did anything with it. The kids of the first two families I talked to attended a Montessori Kindergarten (as did my son), so it's sort of a natural fit with the whole self-directed thing. Most homeschoolers in my area are conservative Christian but today I spoke to a Mom at our YMCA gym class who is very conservative and even she expressed an interest. I also belong to a (Christian) co-op for their social activities and there are several families there that I think would be a good (and secular) fit, so I think I could really get a large-ish group started.

My big concern is that I'm really new at this and was a scientist in my former life - NOT a teacher.

If I can get it going, and it works well, I would likely blog about it. Maybe even getting the kids in on the blog? Dunno.

Thank you for the encouragement!

Andi
01-08-2014, 05:42 PM
Farrar - Is the group in DC or MD? I'm on the PA/MD border. If I could find a group in MD that would let me attend a session, I would definitely make the trek to see it in action.

farrarwilliams
01-08-2014, 05:57 PM
In MD, but very close in to DC. I think they mostly just hang out outside and let the kids determine what to do and figure it out. It always sounds very unschooly, but also cool. I only know the mom was inspired to form the group based on Sugata Mitra's TED talk.

ScienceGeek
01-08-2014, 07:55 PM
Wow! Thanks for the heads up. Hadn't heard about this before and really enjoyed his talk.

pdpele
01-08-2014, 08:44 PM
Really cool stuff - saw the TEDtalk but didn't catch the term SOLE and just checked out the website. Thanks!

ScienceGeek
01-09-2014, 01:22 AM
So I downloaded the 'tool kit', just a pdf with suggestions on implementing SOLE and found that younger son had asked me exactly a couple of the questions they suggested! Today he's already asked me two questions I couldn't really answer off the top of my head so I told him to write it down on the calendar for tomorrow afternoon - we'l try it with a group of two but I think later this month we'l do it with the science class I teach.

Andi
01-09-2014, 01:53 PM
So I downloaded the 'tool kit', just a pdf with suggestions on implementing SOLE and found that younger son had asked me exactly a couple of the questions they suggested! Today he's already asked me two questions I couldn't really answer off the top of my head so I told him to write it down on the calendar for tomorrow afternoon - we'l try it with a group of two but I think later this month we'l do it with the science class I teach.

Yes! I have a list of questions I keep on my iPad for when we're out and I don't have time to research them easily. I add to it almost daily (today was "what do the serial numbers on our money mean?") Mine was that kid that never outgrew the "why" phase. I see it fading now a little bit (he just turned 8) and I don't want it to go away! He has no idea just how much is out there that he hasn't been exposed to.

One reason I'm not already doing this is that I need a neutral space (not my house) that also has Internet access. I think adding it to your established group would be great. I've tried organizing other group things at my house before but they've failed because all of the kids are friends and they just want to socialize. I hope that moving it to a different location - where there aren't Legos :) would allow the kids to focus on something else.

Please let me know how it goes!

ScienceGeek
01-09-2014, 03:42 PM
Space - yes when we had younger kids coming we had to lock all the bedroom doors and make a strict - HANDS OFF the legos policy because things my kids made would get destroyed by the younger siblings. Now the kids are all older so its not much of a problem and they all enjoy the science. There aren't any toys in the living room where we do science either so that helps. We turned the 'formal' living room into a library - lots of bookshelves covered in books and legos. My class is by invite only because of problems we had with some families, though it does take some work to find compatible kids/adults.