Thursday, July 18, 2013

What I'm Reading: Winter 2013

by Beverley Paine

Bring on the learning revolution! is another video from Sir Ken Robinson, a poignant, funny follow-up to his fabled 2006 talk in which he makes the case for a radical shift from standardized schools to personalized learning and for creating conditions in which children’s natural talents can flourish.
Laura Grace Weldon Politeness Recovery in Progress I'm struggling with the concept of an “authentically lived life”. Sometimes it feels like I have multiple versions of myself and they all feel like me. It can be confusing, even for me. Working to meet the (assumed) comfort zone needs of others keeps me in my ‘polite authentic’ zone.
One of the significant things I discovered home educating my children was the effect of personality on outcome: one of the arguments against home education is that children closeted away from multitudes of same-age peers and in close and constant contact with family members will produce unquestioning adults with the same values and attitudes as their parents. It is simply not true. Home education allows children greater opportunity to grow into who they are; it supports their individual development in a way that school educators can only dream about.
7 Reasons why you must read aloud to children: ... If you need convincing! Not sure about the ‘must’ in the title although I definitely think reading aloud with children is a great idea.
Are you playing the role of ‘mother’ is an awesome article by Pam Laricchia about being a parent where she encourages us to “move beyond playing at being a mother and ‘be’ it”, learning to value our work of being a mother, being fully present in that role, instead of “buying into the conventional idea that parenting is second-class work”:
Another great article by homeschooling veteran Linda Dobson: 10 Questions to Help Gauge the Quality of your Child’s Education, useful if your child is learning at school or at home:
Four recordings from the Alternatives to Compulsory Education conference, held on April 27, 2013, at Harvard University, are now available for public viewing. Featuring: Cevin Soling: Why We Need Alternatives; Pat Farenga: Homeschooling and Unschooling; Peter Gray on The Importance of Play and his new book, Free To Learn; and Peter Bergson, Open Connections: One Approach to Partnership Education.  
And yet another video by Sir Ken Robinson! How to Escape Education’s Death Valley outlines three principles crucial for the human mind to flourish, and how current education culture works against them.
My friend Wendy Priesnitz, editor of the excellent magazines Life Learning and Natural Child, has started a new blog called Ununschooling. This is a reaction to the growing number of unschoolers who feel alienated from online unschooling support groups because they don’t align or ‘get’ with the philosophy of those groups. I talk to many, many families transitioning from school to school-at-home to homeschooling and unschooling. Learning to feel comfortable with learning naturally is a journey most often referred to as de-schooling. Some excellent articles have been penned recently discussing this issue:

“Never assume that because you can buy a product for a baby, that it is considered safe to use.
Never assume that because someone's advice is published, that they're writing is accurate. Never assume that your instincts must be wrong because a professional is telling you differently. Trust your instincts.
Question authority. Read with an open and questioning mind. Peace.” April Jermey

The above was first published in the Winter issue of my magazine -- Homeschool-Unschool-Australia!, a quarterly collection of my writing on my various websites, support groups, blog and personal reflections. 
If you are on Facebook or Yahoo and haven’t already done so, you are most welcome to join either of my online support groups: