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As I am navigating in this world of homeschooling, unschooling and the such, I have also stumbled upon what a “rebellious” teacher calls un-education (la déseducation in french).  which is a way of calling the compulsory schooling in which most kids are subjected.  I am growing more and more aware of this, after reading many books by Mr Gatto, Mr Holt and other well known reasercher in this area.

I have stumbled upon a link to 2 ONF videos that really are striking in regards to education and how things are handled in our society.

The first one is a tale of a young kid that is being overdosed by his parent.  No, we are not talking drugs, but activity!  He is clearly going through a time-deficit disorder, a syndrom that need to be invented if it is not already!  SO many kids are in this situation, and as a matter of fact, a lot of adults too! A good reminder to take some time to do nothing, to just live and breathe!

The second one really reminds me of my own school years, where creativity, and stepping out of the box was clearly NOT something that was really hoped for (dare I say discouraged…), and conformism was the clear (and yet untold) objective…

These video have been made by french people, and may contain french words, but there are only a few words said, so don’t be bothered by the language.  You’ll get the point nontheless 😉

Enjoy!

Overdose

E

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I am realising, in my short carreer as a mom, how imitation is something (most of the time) good.  Necessary, Useful in fact.  Having read a lot about Montessori and Waldorf, I have come to see imitation as a important part of being a parent.  A tool in the toolbox that should not be forgotten, but used and repeated until it becomes an automatism, for you and for the kids.  Looking back, it amazes me how many tasks or transition I am able to perform now with my child without having to go through the battles that I used to.(Brushing teeth anyone?)How many things have my kids picked up simply by looking at us.  I have been grateful for this lesson that I have learned quite early when I became a mom, but that I didn’t use enough as first, not knowing it’s real power.

 

But I have come to realize in the last few days how imitation is even stronger then that.  Imitation works in a way more deeper level, one that will touch my children’s lives for a long time, and that will even shape who they are and what they believe, even at the ages of my own children, that are preschooler.  Imitation shapes beliefs, values, and ways of doing things.  And if anything, although I always thoughts values were something that was learned later in life, I think now that they are absorbed while they are little.  When they got older, they get to a point where they can change their values if they feel like they don’t mean anything to them, but the first set of values are the one they internalize.  How beautiful and yet so scary is that??

That means that everything we say and do, becomes the groundwork of what my children will be, will feel or how they  will see things.  They will build the rest on that basis, the one they are living in right now and just swallowing in.  If we never get to have dinner as a family, and we are always eating on the go, my kids will see this as being “normal” and will find strange to have friend that love to attend dinner with their  family.  We are currently teaching them what will be their “normality”

 

I have become more aware of this as I saw my 3yo stroll along with her baby on her back last week.  Since I am fairly busy in trying to get ready for this big move, I have been BabyWearing a lot lately. She saw me, day after day, gettingPumpkin on my back, and start to work in the house.   And the first thing I know, she wants to do just the same.  I am pround to be teaching those values to my kids.  Glad that this is a normality for them, just like breastfeeding will be.  Just like attachement parenting will be.  I am happy to have this 3rd LO of ours, so that my 2 oldest are really experiencing and seeing how we think child rearing should look like.  And I can see they are taking it in.  When I see my oldest caring for his baby brother the way we do, I see how powerful imitation really is, and how it is shaping him to act with little babies, and also with others.  I feel proud to see my children taking in these values, ones that I didn’t grow up with, but that I am trying to make mine through work, reading, and time.  And yet, it reminds me how each of my words, each of my action, state of mind are important when I am with them.  They might be really little still, but they are fully aware of so many things that we think go unnoticed.

food for thought!

have a great nov. 1st!

 

I have recently signed up for the Waldorf connection expo.  They are speakers that speaks about a part of the Waldorf education/philosophy.  I have hear some very interesting lectures on waldorf education, and I feel like I still, at this point,  have some things to get from Waldorf to incorporate in our lives.

One of the speaker was Tammy Takahashi, author of the blog Just enough and nothing more, and of the book Deschooling gently.  Her speach was not focus on Waldorf education, but rather on homeschooling.  Wow, was this lecture interesting, and really made me think about HOW to homeschool.  Many questions were arised, and answered, or at least direction were given to find your own answer.  But one point was brought up that I am still chewing on right now:

Homeschooling, is not the same as having school at home

I have been repeating this many times a day since having heard this.  Homeschooling is NOT the same as having school at home.

Tammy was saying how when she started to homeschool, she basically brought school at home.  She had it all, letter on the wall, blackboards, and even a bell for recess!  And one comment that arised from that was, “you might as well just let them go to school if you are to bring school at home”

And that has me thinking since.

We have the advantage of being in a house, and living in a home setting, why not use this to our advantage?  Why try to creat a school within the house?  I know Maria Montessori really described what are the actions that should be performed by a “teacher” and how to do, and react, and what the environement should be.  But then, this was described with a school setting in mind, and not for a home.  I wonder what she would have suggested for homeschooling parents.  I was writing a little while ago about anxiety, how I felt when I went back to our school room because I felt like I was not up to the standards that were set by Dr Montessori.  And this feeling of anxiety always passes upon me when I go to our school room, without me knowing exactly why I feel that way.

And then I got it with the rest of the presentation that Tammy gave.  She wrote a book on Descholing gently.  And at first, I was not sure how this would be relevent for me since my kids have not really been schooled, aside from the experience Pea has with Montessori.  And so I wasn’t sure how I could help with by “deschooling” him.  But honnestly, the deschooling program is more for me, for us, parents, that have been living in the standard schooling systems for too long.  We are used to seeing school and learning as being done in a setting, with a blackboard, chalk, bells, and everything that comes with it.  We have been brainwashed that way.  But looking at both my children, they have both learned to walk, talk, count, and do oh so many other things without the use of a blackboard, and a classroom. They did it on their own, with the influence of us, parents, in an environement that promoted that.  For everything else that needs to be learned, do I really need a school room?

Do I really want a school within my house, or a house where my child learn?

I stumbled on a great post by Meg at Sewliberated where she was presenting her house, and all the nooks and crannies that she created for her son.  What better environment to learn?  Learning then takes place everywhere, not only in a confined place, learning just become what it is supposed to be, integrated in one’s life, and not a special activity that needs a room and a blackboard.

After hearing this conference, I admitted to myself that I am still strongly influenced by my experience of being in a compulsory school environment.  And my mind is still not free from this brainwashing that I went though.  I still realize that eventhough I want to provide my kids with another type of education, I am still roaming in my thoughts within the boundary of my imagination as they were defined and set by the constrictive school system that states:  “School should be that way, and you have to learn that way’  I need to let go of all this, and just expend my imagination, broaden my horizons and see all the potential that learning in the home can allow.

I had a chance to go thrifting last week.  And although the thrifting fairies were definetly not with me that day, I still managed to find a few books for Pea and Peanut.  One of them was Rumplestiltskin, a fairy tale that *gasp* I didn’t even know about!

Once arriving from the thrift store, they both saw that small pile of book I had brought home, and Pea immidiatly asked me to read this particular story.  I even read it twice, he was really interested in this story.

A few days later, we were all sitting in the living room, and Pea got the interlocking blocks out.  He asked me to help him build a house, and he really looked like he had an idea of what he wanted to do, but didn’t know how to do it.   He asked me to do a circle with the block, but with only one row of blocks.  And then he proceeded to add some blocks in the middle.  I had no clue where he was going with that, until he told me, “I am done”  and he got up, went to the book shelve, got Rumplestiltskin out, and turned to the last page.

the image he had in his head and was trying to make real was the one that really had struck him the most in the story.  The fact that Rumplestiltskin had broken the floor by being mad, and falling in the hole he made for himself.

They always find a way to amaze me.  But never the way I would have thought!

We haven,t had much time to spend in our classroom lately, but for the last 2 days, both DS and DD really wanted to go there.  How can I say no to that??  And so we did.  And somehow it made me felt so anxious.

DS is in a Montessori school, and has been for a year.  He knows how things work in a Montessori environement, and I can see it rather easily compared to my almost 3 yo DD who will be entering next year.  So I am expecting at this point to have to spend a lot of time with DD to help her learn how it work.  She has not been normalized yet…  But DS couldn’t do a thing without me representing the work, and being near him.  I had to interact with him more then I would have liked to.  And of course, everytime I answered and helped him out after being asked, I kinda felt bad knowing that this is not the way things should be.

I love the Montessori method, I really do, but gosh sometimes I find it hard to follow on a homeschooling basis.

Being 33weeks pregnant, I am asking if the fact that I am not able to do as many things with them during the day because I am tired…is not a bit of the culprit for that.  But then again, just imagine when baby will be here…

I try to remind myself that I will not screw my kid by answering, and not following M to a T, but then again, am I?

We had to take care of the plants this weekend,and the kids happily followed us in the garden to help us out.  But their attention was caught not long after we started by this little fellow:

and so our precious help kinda became busy elsewhere…

And our gardening day soon became a day of exploration of nature, and zoology.

She was facinated with this little creature, and wanted to just follow it around all afternoon long.  She touched it, looked under it, moved it around to the best location she could find for it, and even gave it water (!).

What better lesson of zoology/ care of the insect could I give then this?