Over the last year, I've had the beautiful experience of being part of a listening circle. As myself and my fellow circle members became more adept in the art of active listening, the experience of both talking into the circle and listening to the speaker took on a power that I've rarely experienced in daily … Continue reading Is anybody listening?
A friend shared this blog post with me the other day. I always enjoy reading Peter Gray, and here he puts into eloquent words something I've been thinking for a long time about school/no school. I wrestle with the knowledge that although we've made this work for our family, it can be difficult for families to opt out … Continue reading A new vision
It's been just a couple of months since my first post about C learning to read by herself. Just like with our sons, I am in awe of her capacity to learn. In a couple of months she has gone from feeling like this would be really hard to being quite a fluent reader. She … Continue reading Learning to read #3
Nothing beats real life as learning territory. Not only is it filled with infinite possibilities, but it is inherently meaningful; we engage willingly with the things that matter to us in life. Most adults can identify with this. If I think back to the last few months and the odd assortment of knowledge and skills … Continue reading Real world learning
As I wander ever deeper into life without school, certain ideas are becoming more and more alien to me, to the point that I can no longer grasp the questions, never mind come up with a reasonable answer. "How do you know that they are learning?" people sometimes ask. In the beginning, I would give … Continue reading Learning is quiet and inevitable
This series of posts follows my seven-year-old daughter as she learns to read. C has created a beautiful world in Minecraft with a pet shop, swarming with different animals, and a sweet shop with all sorts of colourful delicacies. This morning, I helped her put signs in her shops. These signs mostly say, 'Cats for … Continue reading Learning to read #2
One of the things that still challenges me is sitting back when I think I know a way to help, even when my 'help' has already been refused. This is quite a learning edge for me and I've been guilty twice (at least) of this in the last couple of days. I should know better … Continue reading When it’s time to back off..
In the early days, when I would quietly admit that our children weren't at school, people would tell me that was radical. And I would agree. Radical indeed! Not many other people are doing it, so we must be out there on the fringes. But radical is a big label. I hadn't set out to … Continue reading Nothing radical here
These learning-to-read posts are really for any parents out there struggling with the idea that children can learn to read by themselves, or looking for some reassurance. When D was just two, I read a book called 'How children learn at home'. That book probably sowed the seeds for our future. I was inspired and … Continue reading Learning to read #1
I never particularly loved school, but I always looked forward to that start-again September energy. I liked to see my school uniform all ironed, my pencil case filled with shiny new things, my shoes polished ready for the big day. There was something organised and hopeful about the whole thing that gelled with my perfectionist … Continue reading Back to school