• Freedom,  Homeschool,  Learning,  Living with Children,  Self-Directed Learning,  Social Changes

    If You Want Children to Love Learning, Let Them Lead

    It’s 11 a.m., the first day of the new year, and my 14 year old has just come out of his room. Hair disheveled, loving grin on his face as his tall body bends over to give me a hug. This is how every morning begins if I’m home when he wakes. A warm embrace and a grin almost immediately followed with, “What’s for breakfast?” Today he says, “Mom. Did you know that the largest tsunami created a wall of water 3 miles high?”  “I didn’t know that. That’s unbelievable.” I’m obviously interested and he continues with stories about prehistoric weather events, asteroids, the power of atomic bombs, and engineering…

  • Learning,  Living with Children,  Play

    Why Children Need Pets

    I grew up with pets. As a matter of fact, my rather impulsive (he probably thought of himself as forward thinking) Dad brought home a puppy to my two brothers the day my Mom brought me home from the hospital. Because you know, an infant and a puppy go hand in hand. I’m sure the adult conversations in the house that day were not pleasant. Nevertheless, Pierre the poodle and I grew up pals. We had many hours of cuddles and talks in the night when I was small. When I was in the sixth grade, he was put down. I do not remember all the details of his illness, but one…

  • Learning,  Living with Children,  Self-Directed Learning

    I’m pro-learner, not anti-education

    The natural curiosity of a child is a sight to behold. To watch a toddler fumble through her world, touching, examining, tasting objects in her path is quite remarkable. Her brain taking in all the new information at lightening speed. She is making connections, drawing conclusions, and forming opinions. Her exploration continues, laying countless building blocks for future learning that truly can not be tested. To attempt to quantify her learning and assign a value to her output is like missing the forest for the trees. The world is a classroom and no lesson plans are needed. Learning can not be done to a child. Learning happens within a child.…

  • Learning

    The Future of Education

    The current educational system is old, tired, and in desperate need of reform. Anyone who has been a part of the system–the students all the way up to the administrators– have witnessed the failings, the troubles, the glaring issues; have felt the suppression of a system that is inflexible and rigid. Educational reformers have lobbied to change the curriculum, change teaching methods, dump insane amounts of money into resources and training, in the name of “making things right”. It’s like changing the paint on a car that no longer runs and calling it new again.  The reforms don’t work. The public school system, this gigantic machine, is outdated and broken. The model…