Thursday, January 22, 2009

Puppetools~ another "tool" for the homeschool

Have friends and family that are questioning your decision to Homeschool?
Wonder if it seems like your kids’ school is more “playing”, rather than learning?

Well, I may have something you would be interested in checking out…

I was given the opportunity to review a subscription-based website/resource
$99.00 GROUP SUBSCRIPTION (up to 30 users)(For co-ops or church groups?)

Puppetools is the brainchild of inventor, scientist, and play pioneer, Jeffrey Peyton.

To give you an idea of his thoughts, I am quoting from an open letter to (at the time of writing) the President Elect that he posted here: (Emphasis mine)

“It may sound Pollyanna to talk about the classroom as a place that needs more love and warmth. We are so used to the idea that classrooms are supposed to places where emotions are kept in check and the teachers are mandated to follow their pacing charts. But if we truly care about the minds of the young, we have to find ways to turn teachers into people children truly love and trust. A teacher who knows how to bring playfulness into his or her teaching is a teacher whom all kids will love, follow, and recall fondly in years to come. A project that can produce tens of thousands of teachers with this depth of creativity--an invention to re-invent education--should not be dismissed or ignored.

If we want a country that can lift itself on the wings of innovation, then we need to cultivate a thirst and hunger in the young for curiosity and invention. We need to give children and teachers the tools to empower them to use their hands and their imaginations. As a nation, we need to eat, live, and breathe the purposeful and inner directed spirit of play as if the pursuit of happiness was the national pastime. By erecting an education upon Play, new pathways of awareness and sensibilities will take root in an education soil vastly more healthy and productive in mind.

If this doesn’t sound like validation of what we, as homeschoolers have known, and practice, then I don’t know what is….

Mr. Peyton’s main method of “play” is based upon puppetry, with a special hinged puppet base that he developed. The website is filled with many video examples of using the “voice” of a puppet in a learning environment, as well as multiple templates and puppet concepts. This concept of using a "voice" in writing is something that is espoused by Writing specialists, so a very valid point. It can also be useful in the same way as role-playing.

I will mention a couple of things, from my personal perspective that you might want to know in advance~
Mr. Peyton, as with many folks in institutes of higher learning, seems to blindly follow the evolution theory, and he uses it throughout his writing. He also seems to believe that play in general, and puppets in particular, can help to solve many of society’s ills. I don’t know that I’d go that far, but if you can read with a grain of salt, I think that you may find some real gems.

For other reviews, and a variety of opinions, please visit

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