Saturday, August 27, 2011

What I am Reading Today - Saturday's Thoughts on Education and Parenting

Some thoughts on the need for approval from a reply I posted on Homeschooling / Unschooling / Home Education... all things Unplugged! yesterday: 
Kids only want approval if they are conditioned/trained to want it. If we don't teach our children to need or want approval then they don't seek it. Kids want support, recognition, acknowledgement, etc, not approval. They know they don't need our approval to feel okay about themselves and what they do.
Sometimes children's passions and interests line up with those of their parents, sometimes they don't. It is only natural for parents' interests and passions to be scaffolds for learning for children - no harm in that unless the parent restricts the children's activities. Children who are restricted in having their own learning needs met soon show resistance - this can be demonstrated as adverse behaviour, illness, boredom, depression, unhappiness. Parents who love their children seldom let their children fester in these states for very long - they encourage and support their children to pursue their own interests and passions.

I’m always learning and my online conversations with friends are one of my best learning tools. Today I had an insight about an important lesion I’m currently learning after reading Wendy’s blog called Cynicism is a Form of Resistance.  

Great blog on ‘open source learning’ from Radio Free School picks up on the free courses offered by Stanford University I mentioned the other day and quotes another favourite author, John Taylor Gatto.

And finally, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Free Range Food - How Do You Do It and Does It Work? by Teresa Graham Brett. Food is a sensitive issue for many parents because the health of our children depends on the quality of what goes in – this is true not only of food but many other things. And this constant focus can lead to a great deal of stress as well damaging feelings of guilt. We allowed our children relatively free range to food without going the whole way – I still controlled the purchases and would maneuver them away from what I considered undesirables while shopping. I wish I’d been more adventurous and less insecure though… Hindsight is great isn’t it? Luckily there is a lot more support for adventurous parents nowadays. If you are already on the unschooling/life learning path, consider adding free range food to your family diets. It is never too late – in fact, I’m going to give up feeling guilty and start totally free ranging myself as from today! 

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