Week 6 Project Development 09.07.2020

Week 6 Project Development 09.07.2020

Simone Photoshoot and Interview.

This week after contacting a lady who had been posting in the home ed groups about de-registering her son from school, I went to their house in Cornwall to have a chat about their journey through school, home schooling, and the decision to Home-Educate their children, and to take some photographs at their home.

For this and the other photoshoot where I shot inside a home, I did a bit more pre-planning than I normally would with a photoshoot. When I had the portfolio review with Brett (TPG) and with Martin (HMP), they were both very keen on the images where I am utilising light and shadow as a metaphor for  the decisions surrounding home education, and the intensity and visual aesthetics that bings to the project. I am in total agreement. So This time, I got the two participants to take photographs of different areas of their house and send to me at different times of day (midday, 5 pm and 8pm) as I knew I wanted to be able to create big shadows and light spots in the images . After discussing this with Simone we agreed I would go in the afternoon after 5pm as this was when the photographs showed the biggest pools of light in the images she sent across to me. The below shows the first contact sheet of images, and then the final three I chose from their photoshoot.

Screenshot 2020-07-31 at 00.19.11

FIGURE 1. GRAHAM, BEKKIE. 2020 CONTACT SHEET SIMONE.

Figure two below, was chosen as my favourite image from the photoshoot as it shows child led learning in a focused and meaningful way, with obvious outcomes. I met Simone on a group where she was asking about online courses or resources to do with Marine Biology as her son wishes to be a marine biologist when he is older, so the choice of activity he had chosen to do when I got there was very important as well, as obviously there isn’t much call for marine biology work in school when you are only 7/8, so the decision to Home-Educate means he can learn his English, Maths, Geography, History, Science , languages, philosophy, art, it can all be learnt through Marine Biology focused projects and activities.  He was also making a food web, and I really like the connotations here of my project becoming a spider web of interconnecting stories, histories, and educational philosophies that all link together, and support each other. The light was perfect for what I wanted to capture , and the emotions and conflicts I wished to show.

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Figure 2, Graham Bekkie. Simone 2020

Figure three was chosen as I hadn’t decided at this point if I wanted to use direct portraiture or not. I have gone against this now, in favour of learning based portraiture instead as it tells the narrative more effectively, and fits within my wider body of work more effectively as well. but I do really like the light and shadows again, and how it is falling across his face. The intent of his stare and the intensity of it is also really intriguing to me, and shows both an assurance and a vulnerability, which is what I think most family’s feel when they come to home ed. I also really liked the way that pool of light falls on the boys work, bringing all focus onto his work, and his eyes. It is a visual discussion, to me, on the connection of education and the soul. We , as home educators, are not just feeding the mind but the soul, we aren’t teaching, we are teaching children how to learn, and most importantly how to love learning, and that is the most important thing for most home ed family’s, to create passion and joy.

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Figure 3, Graham Bekkie. Simone 2020

The final selection, Fig 4, was chosen as I loved the connection of all of them, which I didn’t ask for , but was done naturally, and how they have been caught in a spur of the moment second whilst they wee all going about their time and not really worried about me or the camera, they had totally relaxed at this point. For me though the washing line and nappies is what makes this image more than anything else. Symbolic of all that parenting, and home education is. The balance and intensity, the relentlessness of it, but the joys and colourfulness it brings to our lives, how we make these lives beautiful and precious , how we nurture them and make them as beautiful as they can possibly be.

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Figure 4, Graham Bekkie. Simone 2020

 SIMONE INTERVIEW

NAME – Simone

CHILDREN / AGES – 10 years (year 5) &  8 months

WHICH IF ANY OF THE CHILDREN WERE IN SCHOOL? 10 year old in year 5

DID YOU HAVE ANY PREVIOUS PLANS TO HOME EDUCATE ? It was considered at the end of year 1 if he didn’t settle into year 2, but he did stop crying every day before school so we stuck with school.

WHAT KIND OF THINGS HAVE YOU BEEN DOING WITH THE KIDS DURING LOCKDOWN? Started with work set by the school, then we found outschool so he did a minecraft course on that. He asked for workbooks for math, literacy and science. I have found some science experiments which he has completed and written up. He has played with many science sets he has had for years but not had the time and energy after school to play with. Plenty of playing lego, bonding with his new brother, playing in the pool, practicing basketball in the garden. Exploring music and different genres using Alexa, singing to the music, dancing using the dance central game on kinect. P.e. with Joe. Watching documentaries on Disney + while eating lunch. Doing challenges on the pawprintfamily. Completing a French booklet we downloaded. Completing some free online courses. Making dens, playing with his toy cars and play doh.

WHY HAVE YOU MADE THE DECISION TO CONTINUE TO HOME EDUCATE NOW? I APPRECIATE LOCKDOWN WILL OF BEEN THE CATALYST, BUT BY THIS I MEAN WHA HAVE YOU SEEN/FELT/EXPERIENCED THAT MADE YOU MAKE THE DECISION TO CONSIDER HOME EDUCATION ?  He is happier being at home and asked himself if he could stay home instead of going back to school. His behavior is easier as he no longer has to contain himself in a seat all day trying to concentrate, resulting in less explosions on an evening. We are also able to encourage him to work harder instead of giving up when he reaches his limit on ability, this seems to have been missed in school as he is above the average ability.

DO YOU SEE YOUR HOME EDUCATION CHANGING AFTER LOCKDOWN IS OVER? We are hoping to make new friends and integrate into the home educating community, hopefully meeting more like minded people that enjoy spending time with their children too.

WHAT HAVE BEEN THE POSITIVES OF HOME-SCHOOLING DURING LOCKDOWN? The affects on his behavior, personality and happiness. The bond that has formed between him and his brother, this may not have happened if he had spent so much time in school.

DO YOU HAVE ANY WORRIES ABOUT HOME EDUCATING IN THE FUTURE ? So far the only negatives have been defending our decision and worrying whether we are doing the right thing for him or not. He is missing having people to play with, but, I think this is more due to current circumstances than the decision to home educate though, and will improve once we can start going to groups.

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FIGURES

FIGURE 1. GRAHAM, BEKKIE. 2020 CONTACT SHEET SIMONE.

Figure 2, Graham Bekkie. Simone 2020

Figure 3, Graham Bekkie. Simone 2020

Figure 4, Graham Bekkie. Simone 2020

 

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