Oh that God would give every mother a vision of the glory and splendor of the work that is given to her when a babe is place in her bosom to be nursed and trained! Could she have but one glimpse in to the future of that life as it reaches on into eternity; could she look into it's soul to see its possibilities; could she be made to understand her own personal responsibility for the training of this child, for the development of its life, and for its destiny,--she would see that in all God's world there is no other work so noble and so worthy of her best powers, and she would commit to no others hands the sacred and holy trust given to her." -JR Miller

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Creating a rich learning environment

I have been doing a lot of reading recently specifically on unschooling, and radical unschooling.

I am inspired to create a rich learning environment in our house. A common mistake (and one I made) was to think that unschooling leaves all the responsibility for education on the child(ren), this is so not the case, in fact unschooling requires so much more from the parent, a wiillingness to go the "extra" mile, to stop and explain how something works while in the middle of an activity, a tolerance and acceptance of mess created while children are free to have a go themselves, a willingness to "let go" if a child doesn't find something interesting, and the motivation to go find things that could spark an interest in your children.

Its about living every day in the "now" embracing where you are at and making the most of it.

The idea is, as children live their lives and learn about what interests them they will be gaining life skills, that will enable them to go where they need to and adapt to whatever life throws at them.

So, how do we do this exactly? Well its different for each family, as every family is unique with its own challenges and ideals but for us I am currently working on creating a rich learning environment. I have no budget for this so its taking lots of creative thinking. I am also talking to the children to find out what they would like.

The first thing we did was to create a reading den, we cleared behind the sofa and found an old bed sheet, we popped some bean bags (which lived there anyway) down and voila

We also put some books in the trofast unit, for easy access.

The next thing we did was work on a music area, we have had a keyboard but nowhere to plug it in permanently, this is really important to me so I had to think outside the box

This was what our downstairs hallway looked like

Not a good use of space and certainly not pleasant to look at, so I rolled my sleeves up, slung baby on my back in the mei tai and this is what we created

A lot more pleasing to the eye and we can now get to the "coats" cupboard

Our current project is the school room, it doubles as an office and a play room so we have been trying to figure out how to make the best use of the space and creating an arts and craft area - will keep you posted on progress

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