Published February 29, 2012
alternative education , education , globalization , green , health , homeschooling , homesteading , kids -- freedom and responsibility , local , minecraft , Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School , unschooling , video games
Since we (as in… the world) is going to be in an ongoing struggle between globalization and re-localization for the foreseeable future, along with it’s impact on the education of our kids and ourselves, here are a few more links on the topic of woodworking with kids that I started back here. Nothing compares to the thrill my kids get of doing real things with their bodies — skiing, cooking, gardening, sawing logs, etc. (Except Minecraft. And Wild Kratts. And… well, you see the issue.)
So here we go.
- Kindergrarten Shop Class – NYTimes.com
Mar 30, 2011 – Teaching children construction is gaining momentum across the country as a way to develop imagination and confidence
- If you’re in the Boston area, Wood is Good occasionally offers classes for kids.
- And The Eliot School, Boston MA offers endless courses for kids including “Very Beginning Woodworking – age 4-6″
- In NC, go to “summer camp” with a 5-day workshop from Roy Underhill. Here’s an example
These sorts of headlines are why I am now eating mostly “beans and greens” as some like to say. A plant-based diet.
There are three(?) doctors that I am aware of who have worked with heart-bypass patients who afterwards have reversed heart disease using a plant-based diet. Sure I eat ice cream sometimes and chocolate and pizza and such. But not much. I’ve lost approximately 30 pounds in about 1/2 year with like zero effort. You could too!
Google up : esselstyn ornish fuhrman “eat to live”
I heard Esselstyn (the father) on NPR a few years ago. LINK
A great post from Maria West:
“Today I was at Sudbury Valley, and all around were flowers, a lilac bush so large and loaded with blossoms it seemed unreal, large vases of flowers in the kitchen and in another of the rooms, forsythia bushes loosing their blossoms and growing their leaves. I take back my comment about beautiful materials missing from that environment as opposed to a Reggio inspired space. Beauty is everywhere at Sudbury Valley. The bathroom curtains are handmade of gorgeous prints. The landscape and the buildings are beautifully maintained. The property backs up to acres and acres of wooded conservation land, which by rights the children can explore. Light pours into every room, the art room not least of the sunlit spaces, as well as the office and the kitchen and the sitting rooms. There is art by children as well as famous artists framed and hung all along the walls. The place reeks of beauty. I am not sure if that is highlighted in the many volumes of Sudbury Valley literature. It is clearly evident to any visitor, and must seep into the consciousness of any kid.”
LINK: Flowers on the table and delicious food, take 2
“I sit astounded. How is it that when two and four year olds have the freedom to talk as they wish, when they are relaxed in the company of adults who help them to get out the paints and paper and stickers, who don’t tell them what to do, too much, that their talk drifts to flooding and basements? I might as well have been at Dunkin Donuts in Sudbury, where I stopped yesterday for a decaf, envied the table full of older folks drinking coffee and talking with animation to one another, intensity and eye contact at 10 am for the companionship of friends, old and young. Conversation, freedom of expression, a basic human right, a privilege of those who are not alone, is a gift to many of our old folks and to our children, no rule here that says no talking, that says, it is spring and therefore your artwork must look like this.”
This was the main part that caught my brain (since it is all too familiar and fun to experience) but the rest is
HERE at Maria’s blog.
The beauty of this is, I guess is… that at a small family daycare, they are able to have enough staff that they can have age mixing like this. That’s partly what leads to awesome interactions like this. No need for the 3s to be separated from the 4s, or whatever the exact cutoffs are, state to state, that often get followed to maximize the number of kids per staff. Anyway, neat stuff that 2 and 4 year old conversation. The flooding… not so much.
This is a nice Sudbury Valley explanation that comes at it from a slightly different angle than I’ve heard before. The author volunteers at a Sudbury school one day a week, and is the parent of a student. But his main job is at a K-5 after-school program. LINK TO ARTICLE
A few quotes:
“Far from being little lord-of-the-flies centers where mere anarchy is loosed, Sudbury schools are communities that are run by the students, for the students. There are plenty of rules, but they are neither arbitrarily imposed from on high, nor artificially “decided on”…
“Not even when one kid stormed off in anger did anyone so much as look at me as anything but another player. “
“I’m an empiricist too, and I speak from experience. The kids I work with at the after-school program aren’t miserable. They haven’t had their love of life stamped out of them, or their creativity. This isn’t because I’ve imported as many Sudbury-esque features into my class as I can adapt, but because the kids come from families who love them to go to a school run by teachers who care, and because, well, they’re kids. But …. “
“I’d like to share some thoughts about why democratic schools should not have even a little bit of curriculum or mandatory guidance.” By Michael Sappir
Math. As a society we worship it, hate it, and fear it. In our schools we force kids to study it (or pretend to study it) for thousands of hours and then we wail about how little they learn. Here, now, are reports from “unschoolers” that tell a different story. Math is fun; math is easily and naturally learned as a tool when needed; and kids who want to go to a competitive college can learn SAT (or ACT) math in 30 hours or less, even if they have never previously done any formal math study.
Read the article here
Published April 12, 2010
breastfeeding , education
“[N]early 900 babies would be saved each year, along with billions of dollars, if 90 percent of U.S. women breast-fed their babies for the first six months of life, a cost analysis says. … [O]nly 12 percent follow government guidelines recommending that babies receive only breast milk for six months.”
“[D]irect soliciting of fascinating adults is compatible with the unschooling (and, generally, homeschooling) philosophy of “learning from the world” and ignoring arbitrary age barriers. Why, then, do so few teens attempt it?” LINK
Basically, my sense is poking around in internships and such is never going to work out, but if you are really obsessed with something, you can probably just dive right in. That might mean some advanced schooling or mentorship. But it may not. Just depends.
- “The Loneliness of the Information-Age Learner: Students’ Ability to Pursue Knowledge as it Relates to a School’s Size” (from: Reflections on the Sudbury School concept (1999) page 219-228 (excerpt: “Nor was it realistic to assume, back in the late 1960′s and during the 70′s and 80′s, that there would be lots of opportunity in the outside community for our students to move in and out of learning situations… Use of outside resources was harder in reality than we had pictured in theory…” (p 220-1)
- John Taylor Gatto often talks about how he was able to line up internships/apprenticeships/mentorships/coops for many of his students — but I don’t see how this is widely possible. Maybe I am wrong.
- “Where then is the dividing line between childhood and adulthood? The question appears to be even more obscure…” (A New Look at Schools – Page 38)