Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Initiating Interests: Architectural Science

Our aim in Education is to give a Full Life. - We begin to see what we want. Children make large demands upon us. We wish to place before the child open doors to many avenues of instruction and delight, in each one of which he should find quickening thoughts... 
We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests. 

School Education by Charlotte M. Mason; Pg 170

One of the many reasons I was attracted to Charlotte Mason's ideas on education was her emphasis on a wide and generous curriculum - setting children in a large room:

Thou hast set my feet in a large room; should be the glad cry of every intelligent soul. 

Often the temptation we have is to allow a narrow focus, to follow our child's desires or main interests. On the surface of it, it appears educational and wise. I mean, how satisfying is it to see them completely taken up with something? They don't even want to stop for lunch let alone other studies. Of course, this focus means excluding other things, and the room they are in shrinks.

In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him? I know you may bring a horse to the water, but you cannot make him drink. What I complain of is that we do not bring our horse to the water. 

Which brings me to...

Architectural Science

We added Architectural Science studies in Year 7 because Moozle expressed an interest in modern architecture. She wasn't interested in Ancient Greek or Roman architecture and would have been quite happy to jump in at the 20th Century. However, I wanted to 'bring my horse to water' and place her feet in a large room, not limited by her idea that older architecture would be boring. I also wanted to lay a foundation and build upon that, so we started with the books I posted here - if you scroll down to 'Fine Arts' in this post you will see what we've used.
As well as watching some of Kevin McCloud's Grand Design DVD's, which she loves, Moozle has done some hands on activities and keeps an Architecture notebook.

The other week my husband showed Moozle our original house plans. The couple we bought our house from built it themselves but obviously departed from some of the plans as they went. Over the past 10 years we’ve done some renovations which included knocking out a weight-bearing wall so there are even more changes that are not in the original plans. My husband went over the plans with Moozle and she worked out how many square metres our house is, what has changed from the original design and using a free app, ‘built’ an updated version of our house on the Ipad. The second photo below is the free app she used. She had a lot of fun doing this but the free app doesn’t let you save the plans ☹️ although you can pay for the upgrade that does.
This exercise was a good one for a girl who would much rather not do Maths!

The books we're using this year for Architectural Science were chosen after a visit to one of our favourite independent bookstores. I was interested to see what books Moozle would be drawn to and I thought she showed a wider interest than she had a year ago when we first started. These are the books we chose:

50 Architects You Should Know by Lowis, Thiel-Siling, & Kuhl

This book starts with the Renaissance and covers a selection of architects from then to recent times. It's concise, but covers a wide range of architects and buildings and is our basic spine for this year.

The series of books by James Gulliver Hancock, All the Building In... are beautifully done coloured sketches of buildings in different cities where the author has lived at different times. We bought the Sydney and Paris books to start with and plan to collect the others in the series which cover Melbourne, New York, and London.

All the Buildings in Paris by James Gulliver Hancock

A Concise History of Western Architecture by R. Furneaux Jordan is a comprehensive book we are using mostly for reference. The author starts with ancient Egypt and continues through to the 19th Century & Modern Times - great to see it includes the Sydney Opera House! Out of print; ISBN 0500 20087 4

The Ambleside Online years are full and generous so if you do add something, it is a good idea to substitute it for something else. We skipped a couple of the science books in Year 7 (Adventures With a Microscope & a large part of Signs & Seasons because we're in the Southern Hemisphere) in order to fit in the books we added. We'll be doing the same this year.

Life should be all living, and not merely a tedious passing of time; not all doing or all feeling or all thinking - the strain would be too great - but, all living; that is to say, we should be in touch wherever we go, whatever we hear, whatever we see, with some manner of vital interest.

All quotations are from School Education; Pg 170


Aflyonmyhomeschoolwall said...

How blessed your Moozle is to have such a wise mama. I always feel as if I've spent time with a good mentor after reading your posts--even the casual, chatty posts. That "All the Buildings in . . ." series looks very interesting!

Carol said...

🙂 Thanks, Anne. Kind words. Those books are great if you also like drawing.

Brian Joseph said...

I think that it is beneficial and just plain wonderful that you can add a subject such as architectural science because of interest in the subject. The fact that you were able to tie your own house into the subject is neat. It is a subject thaf I know little about but one that seems fascinating.

Carol said...

Brian, this is what I love about home education - it can be tailored to the individual & you can take advantage of those unforeseen moments when something interesting presents itself.

GretchenJoanna said...

That book on Architects You Should Know looks like one I would like to peruse. Architecture is a fascinating subject to me -- I think what sparked my interest was visiting the cathedral in Santa Fe, New Mexico that was the real subject of the novel Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather. That vicarious literary experience made it meaningful.

We studied architecture long ago in our home school, but so superficially, it seems. I guess that's how an introduction goes -- and architecture is one field that none of the five children got excited about. Since then various articles I read at the gym, in the New Yorker, kept me learning.

I would love to be in your school!

Carol said...

Hi Gretchen, interest is definitely sparked if you are able to visit the places you read about. We have such a short architectural history here so maybe that's why my daughter was more interested in modern architecture.

There have been some things I've wanted my children to get excited about but they haven't! I suppose even if they do only get an introduction, it is something & you never know if it will bear fruit later on. X

Adele said...

Fantastic selection here! I am an art teacher and did a small unit on architecture. We also looked at Alain de Botton's "The Architecture of Happiness" for some philosophical underpinning. One of my ex-students just just interned with Frank Gehry! All the best, it looks great ☺

Carol said...

Hi Adele, that's very exciting! Gehry has designed some very interesting buildings... the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health - now that really does my head in :)
Botton's book sounds interesting. Will check to see if my library has a copy.