John Holt – More Reading

Hmm, can you tell I’m avoiding study?

Oddly enough, the reactionary view and the romantic liberal view of children are like opposite sides of the same coin. The hard-nosed types say that to fit children for the world we have to beat the badness out of them. The romantic child-worshipers say that in fitting children for the world we destroy most of the goodness in them. One group claims that children are undersized and defective adults; the other, that adults are oversized and defective children. Neither is true. There really are ways to help children, as they grow, to keep and build on all their best qualities.

Yes. Nothing more to add.


Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense

I just read Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense by David Guterson. David Guterson was a high-school teacher who chose to home educate his children. (He also wrote Snow Falling on Cedars) It wasn’t bad – a lot of it was things I knew already, given my background and previous reading. But the final chapter was the one that really got me. Called ‘A Life’s Work’, this chapter is about how home education meets his needs as a father for connection with his children, as well as the children’s need for connection with their parents.

Progressives in the political arena, doing daily battle to rehumanize capitalism, have given us shorter working days, medical insurance, maternity leave, and child care. Progressives have made it steadily more convenient for ordinary people to perform their economic functions without children getting in the way…. The children suffer a loss of connectedness, a detachment from the web of communal affairs, a distance from from the life and work of the tribe – and at least as important, we miss them, too, for similar reasons….

In the end there are reasons beyond education to homeschool (Can we really detach education from everything else)… There is a love to be cultivated, an instict to be nutured, a need to be satisfied at both ends.

It was fascinating for me because I so often come at this from the direction of motherhood. After all, that is where I am at, and it is also what I have read on and studied. The different perspective was really interesting and very meaningful to me. There is a lot to think about in this idea of adults needing their children as much as children need their adults… I shall be thinking about this all day, I think.

Our Week in Pictures

A bumpy road for the cars

and a bridge, too.

Volcano kit from the toy library

Another experiment from the kit

A very popular activity with LE

And lots and lots of reading!

Just because I can show it off

I love this rocketship my little engineer designed, all by himself! He then told me all the parts too. From left to right they were  the thruster, the fuel cells (complete with place that the fuel goes in), and the capsule that the people sit in.

Little Engineer's Rocket

Now, nobody should make any comments about the things that this rocket ship is made of – is that clear? 😀

Making Dessert

Last night, after tea, Little Engineer announced he was going to make some dessert. Given that we had already been to a morning tea where the boys had overdosed on sugar – and so had I – and the fact that it was getting late, I suggested stewed apples. He agreed.

He peeled and cut up the apples (using his apple cutter – a fantastic gadget for children because it removes the core too, without the dangerous ‘scooping’ with the knife) and decided to add currants. Into the microwave and tada! dessert.

Stewed apple with currants

Top Ten Homeschooler Mistakes

I liked this article. Okay I confess, I’ve done number 10, maybe a touch of 5 sometimes, and definitely number 1. Especially this month. What about you?

Thinking about it, I think most of these are parenting mistakes too. I mean who doesn’t have some toy somewhere bought on an impulse that your children barely played with?

Crushing Almonds

A mortar and pestle is great fun!

And have I mentioned that a dining chair makes a great toddler work surface. It’s just the right height and it can be moved to wherever you are, so they are always nearby.

As a disclaimer, I know whole nuts are not recommended for under fours. I also know that A. always crushes them well before he eats them and I always make sure I’m watching him very closely. We also use crackers and biscuits.

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