Sunday, August 29, 2010

Quote of the Day

From the book Nonviolent Communication

"....Most of us grew up speaking a language that encourages us to label, compare, demand, and pronounce judgments rather than to be aware of what we are feeling and needing. I believe life-alienating communication is rooted in views of human nature that have exerted their influence for several centuries.

These views stress humans' innate evil and deficiency, and a need for education to control our inherently undesirable nature. Such education often leaves us questioning whether there is something wrong with whatever feelings and needs we may be experiencing.

We learn early to cut ourselves off from what's going on within ourselves.

Life-alienating communication both stems from and supports hierarchical or domination societies, where large populations are controlled by a small number of individuals to those individuals, own benefit. It would be in the interest of kings, czars, nobles, and so forth that the masses be educated in a way that renders them slavelike in mentality. The language of wrongness, should, and have to is perfectly suited for this purpose: the more people are trained to think in terms of moralistic judgments that imply wrongness and badness, the more they are being trained to look outside themselves-to outside authorities-for the definition of what constitutes right, wrong, good, and bad. When we are in contact with our feelings and needs, we humans no longer make good slaves and underlings...."

I found this interesting as a historical point of probably ties in with Robin Grille's book "Parenting for a Peaceful World".

Communication is learnt from the people around us. I know I have a lot from my family but also my school days (not all good ;-)). My observations of current school situations strengthen this too as things have not changed much. I feel that Dave and I are becoming more aware as we learn and want to learn to communicate with our children. I do not feel that it is a part of our society yet and there for not common place in our schools to really listen to children or let children express their natural needs.

If you check out Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity on the TED talks You will also see how our culture has led us to distance our selves from our becoming an unacceptable thing to have or be.

We are distancing our selves from our selves

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Quote of the Day

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
~Benjamin Franklin

Monday, August 23, 2010

Home Education Foundation

Home Education Foundation

I don't know if I've just not been looking properly or not been typing in the right words but finally I find this site again.
I'm a perfectionist and I would like to having things just so. I've always got in my mind what we will be writing in our application for exemption and will need a good NZ web site to give me tips and pointers.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Word list for year 1 primary students 2010

When I was a little girl and going to school there was a list of words that I was expected to know by the end of my first year of education. I've no idea if I made it, but would be pretty sure that I didn't as I couldn't really read until I hit collage.
I know that time has not produced change and there is still a list of words, probably even the same words.

I have just started Dumbing us down by John Gatto. I have only just started the introduction and after watching our daughter playing her first computer game (that is not Dora explorer) I realize that the idea of need to know first words is a bit...well old/odd/stupid?
Are children cakes that need to have the right ingredients and if they don't they will not make it to be an edible cake?
Is it right to have the same cake everywhere?In every town?
What happens if the ingredients available just do not work with the recipe (as in everyone is different) but would still make a good cake if another recipe was used.
Do all cakes have to start at the same time and finish at the same time?

This quote is from Dumbing us Down: Technology now makes it possible for individuals to learn whatever they wish, whenever they wish, and in the manner they wish. Students should be empowered with both the technology and the responsibility for their own learning and educational timetable.

The list of first words depends on the child's environment.
My daughters first spoken word (other than Mumma and Dadda) was "woo woo" (as in woof woof) as there is a dog next door that barks all day.
My son's first word was "morrmowa" (as is lawnmower) as both he and Daddy mow the lawn together.

In our environment we do a lot of cooking, art work, out door exploring and so on but a part that I can see will grow is the interacting with the computer.
So our word lists would have different words and should we really need to know the in's and out's of these words...I do not know?

One list could be...
  • Start
  • OK
  • Cancel
  • Search
  • Save
  • Delete (this is a funny one..ask an 80 year old bushman (my Grandpa) what this means)
  • File
  • Libraries
  • Documents
  • Pictures
  • Video
  • Music
This is only a start and would work for our children as a computer is apart of their life. But what about the bakers son down the road (if he gets to help do the baking) his list could be the same but with added personal words like; flour, butter, mix, temperature and so on.

These lists of words need to come from and be a part of our children's world to make them interesting, useful and understood.
But why limit our children to lists...they can have any word...and the in the opposite camp why create fear if they do not know the words?

More to think about...

Quote of the Day

My schooling not only failed to teach me what it professed to be teaching, but prevented me from being educated to an extent which infuriates me when I think of all I might have learned at home by myself.

— George Bernard Shaw

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Video Series - John Taylor Gatto "Schooling is not Education"

Video - History of Compulsory Schooling

Freedom of Education

I discovered the Freedom of Education website today - worth a look. I'll have to spend a bit more time there and plow through some of the many links to more resources.

Quote of the Day

"It is nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry."
- Albert Einstein

Thursday, August 12, 2010

More John Holt on the Web Please

There is precious little of John Holt on the web today, sadly, as he died in 1985, after a long career of exceptional teaching and learning. We have read most of his books (Learning All the Time, Instead of Education, How Children Fail, and just ordered Teach Your Own), and can highly recommend them to anyone wanting to see what really goes on inside school classrooms, and how we can do so much better.
I did find this YouTube video though, for which I am very grateful to the poster.
The video is about the difference between a question and a quiz, and I think on seeing it you'll get a feel for the deep insight John Holt has into education and learning.
If you know of more John Holt material (especially audio/video) on the web let us know. If you have access to John Holt material that is not on the web, please publish it!

Homeschooling Banned in Sweden

Its hard to understand how the Swedish Government can be so arrogant, ignorant and high handed as to disallow its citizens the right the educate their own children. But that is exactly what appears to have happened. Swedish homeschooling families face court action or fines, or, as some are doing, they leave their own country in order to gain the freedom to carry on homeschooling.
Swedish education officials argue that the state provides a "comprehensive and objective" education which means there is no need for homeschooling. Even if we believe that statement, homeschooling is usually a philosophical or religious choice that has little to do with the quality of education in schools.
We are looking to homeschool our kids on purely philosophical grounds, that is, we fundamentally reject the idea that learning takes place in school according to a curriculum. Instead we believe that learning takes place when children are challenged, inspired, stimulated and motivated, and are allowed to pursue their own learning pathway, not the linear, prescribed learning pathway that is "the curriculum". As the young Swedish girl's tee shirt reads "Classroom: The World, Curriculum: Life".
I feel very deeply for any people denied their fundamental human rights, and I especially empathize with Swedish homeschooling families, since their plight could easily be our own if we happened to be in a country like Sweden.
I say to the Swedish people, whether you agree with the ban on homeschooling or not, don't let the State trample on your basic human rights like this.

Friday, August 6, 2010

John Taylor Gatto

We've been looking at John Taylor. We are about to buy a few of his books

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Parent Panic Attack 1

I believe I may have many of these but over time they should become less.
Worry that I'm not right or not made the right choice.

Worry's for today
Worry - A little friend of my daughters was drawing a triangle. Oh goodness is my daughter behind?
Calming - My daughter is trying to draw a circle, they are all shapes all in their own time.

Worry - A parent telling me their child drew a picture of two people stick figures.
Calming - My daughter is in the experimentation stage with colours and ways to apply them to the paper.

Worry - "I don't want to miss out on Playcentre tomorrow" (we're going to the Big Latch On LLL) am I taking her away from a social out let?
Calming - My daughter really enjoyed today's session there was only 5 children her brother and self included, to play with all the toys and craft. She has often told me and I've seen myself she does not like large groups of loud people. (too much competition ;-)

I do worry

Monday, August 2, 2010

Learning the art of cooking

I feel like I spend so much time in the kitchen.
I love food and cooking.

A few years ago I really wanted to find a microwave play dough recipe as the stove top one allays gummed up my pots so well.

Our recipe is
1 salt
2 flour
2 water
3 cream of tartar
3 oil

Cook 2 mins
Cook 1 min
Cook 2 mins

Then add color and 1 tbsp of vanilla

Muck around with the cooking times...we tried to dissolve the salt the other day before adding any flour and that worked really well too.
We make up many different colours and then have fun mixing the colours

Once the play dough gets old use it for volcano workshop with dish wash, baking soda and vinegar.

I try to get the children involved as much as I can when I cook. Its messy and some times scary but feeling comfortable with my children using knives and cooking over a hot flame is worth it.