Gifts from the Wilderness 1: Tidal Learning

While traveling through this difficult phase, I did what most people in the wilderness do, I started looking for answers. I searched for why this was happening. Surely if I did something differently, it would all be ok.

Well, it didn’t quite work like that, but all that reading didn’t go to waste. Somehow, and I really can’t remember how, I came across an article about a new way of home educating called Tidal Learning. The analogy is that there are ‘high tide’ learning times which are more parent-led, and low tide times where learning is more child-led. It is really a lovely analogy that really resonated with me.

I love this idea, because although I am not really Charlotte Mason influenced, I certainly am Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Steiner influenced in various areas and to various degrees, in addition to unschooling or natural learning.

I see it as the high tides are my opportunity to show my children new lands. Places they could not reach alone by beach-combing. We explore new horizons and push ourselves together. My children can bring back souvenirs from these lands to examine on their own, and they will know that more is possible, that there is the wide ocean out there. And they will know about captaining a boat, without having to reinvent it.

Low tide is more them learning for themselves, testing themselves, going in their own directions. Working on their own projects, trying out new boats or new ways of steering.

So what is it now? Well, to mix my metaphors from the title, today it is a huge storm, on so big we are just hunkering down in the car, waiting for it to pass.


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