13 Jan 2014

Mr Curious' Hackschooling Curriculum Part 1

A Hackschool Curriculum is not a boxed Curriculum. The purpose of Hackschooling is, an individualised educational fit for each and every child. Hackschooling means, that my 7 years old is working on a variety of subjects and interests, some of which do not have levels, as they are not from a graded curriculum. Mr Curious can be working on grade level maths, reading teenage classics, studying higher level science contents, engaging in complex philosophical discussions involving higher thinking order, writing below grade level, using rich verbal vocabulary and good spelling, playing sports with poor coordination or not knowing which countries are in which continent, purely because this subject has not intrigued him enough to solicit further study.

Hackshooling is all about, the child as a person, with unique strengths and weaknesses, with passions ready to be explored!Mr Curious'  Hackschooling curriculum is dynamic. The subjects he delves into are broad and diverse. One example of an interest led project came about, when his aunt gifted him a compass. Mr Curious became intrigued, as to how the sailors of the past navigated the sea, before the advent of the compass. So he researched and read, discussed and reflected, wrote and drew, his findings. He spent a whole day on the subject. Hackschooling means that when Mr Curious showed a strong interest in photography, and I found a suitable media class for the duration of 6 weeks, we did not have to consider his school-time schedules and whether he could squeeze the much desired class into his already bulky time table. He seizes the moment and plunges head in.Hackschooling gives Mr Curious the space to indulge in his passions. If Mr Curious feels like composing music on his keyboard at 8 pm, he can. Hackschooling gives him the freedom from the shackles of usual expectations. In this case the expectation is, that a 7 year old should be in bed by 8pm not playing keyboard.

Mr Curious' Hackschooling curriculum needed to be literature rich, as he loves reading, with an excellent maths program, as he complained that his numeracy class in school was painfully boring. He needed sports classes, wanted to learn Hindi (Indian language) and French, and asked to go to Sunday school at out local temple. We included Keyboard lessons as a therapeutic activity to strengthen his hands' muscles, to improve writing. To our amazement, he loved Keyboard so much, that he started composing his own music at all hours of the day. Hackschooling, meant that we did not need to follow the national curriculum for any subjects, so when it came to science and history, two of Mr Curious' favourite subjects, we had the advantage to weave together literature and hands on activities with visits and online resources and created a curriculum that can be expanded or used sparsely, versatile but engaging.

Mr Curious, taking note, at Reading History Museum.

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