Let me start by saying that Unschooling and Montessori approaches to learning will go hand in hand by the time children are about 7. Although we ‘could’ keep using the Montessori materials and following the sequence of the curriculum Maria really did intend children to get into the world and learn from life. The Method can not be replicated in the home, as I’ve mentioned before. What I can do though is prepare the environment for what is called ‘strewed’ learning… putting things you’d like your child to discover in their general path. If the child is interested they will learn that ‘thing’, if not then they ‘move around it’ but it hasn’t become a forced lesson that’s failed or a hindrance to further learning. They are free to return to it at any time.
That’s been pretty much what I’ve been doing for our Home Ed journey since the sad demise of our storage shed. Cue the violins…
We’ve had a sad and reflective few days here. A very small child has passed away. Just about to turn 7 months of age Elijah was a happy and well loved baby. Words can not express clearly the depth of emotions and impact that his birth, life and now death has had on his world wide community. A community that is growing daily, that has loved and supported his family, and will continue to love and support them as they grieve and recover. Many of us have never even met Elijah’s family but feel connected by love all the same as his parents opened their family up to us, sharing details, sharing joy and now sharing grief.
As a family that feels very fortunate to enjoy a life of freedom from many of the pains that are daily realities for millions worldwide we volunteer our time, energy, surplus goods and finances as often as we see a need that we know we can meet, at that happens almost daily. Every month we donate to several causes and through this we walk our talk. This month we are pouring everything we can into this one cause… to ease in some small way, the burden left behind financially for Elijah’s family. For Elijah and his family, the impact this has had on us will continue throughout our lives. For Elijah thank you little soul for being part of this world. Thank you for being born. You’ve touched people deeply and have made this world better by existing. Hearts have healed because of you. Thank you Lauren for sharing him with us. We here love you. Our family loves your family. OXOXO
In the wee small hours…before crashing into bed (probably literally at this stage) I’m reminded that I need to share more of what we actually do with home education if this blog and my website link are to be in anyway useful.
Well their dad was a blacksmith when she was born!
Oh wow… that foil covered shield looks shiney!
Battle time… the only time they fight!
Monday Morning Meetings… we gather and go over what each of my munchkins want to do with their week academically, socially, inside, outside… what ever really. Then I raise the topics of what I feel would be good to cover and we discuss all of what we’ve raised. From this we write up a plan of things I need to do, they need to do, places we need to go, things we need to buy etc. Usually we come up with other things during the week but I have a written record of the conversation so I can monitor what is going on during the week, make comments, suggestions, give reminders etc. This process works best for us and stops us falling into the common unschooling trap of everyone going off to do their own thing, nothing gets done, gaps in sequential learning develop and well… we genuinely miss each other! It may seem strange, but when we’re off doing our own thing we may not see each other all day! Now that both of my children are capable of independent research they get heavily invested into what they are doing. Another aspect is Continue reading →
It’s time for me to publish a post on my blog. What shall it be about hmmmm? Well I’m not really motivated to do more than say that life goes on, ups and downs…. oh we attended the Australian Unschooling Conference. It was very intense, sublime and the setting was awesome.
We swam in the warm waters of the Great Barrier Reef and although it broke my heart to be there, knowing what tourism and CSG etc is doing to the natural wonder I managed to balance out my own personal dilemma of contributing to the tourism.Once there I saw that the area we saw was fairly dull and up further was much brighter… I like (tongue in cheek) that we may have been ‘kept away’ from the pristine parts… but it’s still something I struggle with. I still feel as though a dream of mine has been fulfilled.
As part of our home education adventures we’ve been communicating with another ‘homeschooling’ family from the other side of our planet! Our New Hampshire family has been pen paling with us for over 3 years and there have been soooo many cool things we’ve shared with each other. Cards, photos, letters, books, knowledge, lollies, origami, flags and t-shirts, flip flops (don’t call them thongs lol it’s just NOT the same thing!!)
Now we Skype on an almost daily basis and the communication we have only enriched our experience of learning about each other and each other’s countries. We’ve been watched our 10 year olds play chess games, conduct some cool show and tell sessions and have lessons together. Their 10 year old son has taught my 10 year old daughter some violin; they share weekly spelling lists and have tests at the end of the week (which is fun because they are sharing the experience).
Meanwhile I have GREATLY increased my ability to plan, enjoy and keep focus on my home ed adventure because I’m sharing my journey with another home educating mum… I should say mom! Although we started Skyping for our children ‘Mum time’ soon took over and the support I feel from ‘one who knows’ ahh, it’s been such a wonderful gift. I’ve got many great friends, who live within driving distance, but with Skype we can share our homes in real time, anytime!
I’d recommend Skyping with anyone who feels in anyway isolated or is home based or pushed for time. It’s been a great way to learn more about America and how similar we all really are, and how funny our differences can be!