Wednesday, 18 April 2018

education ! democratic ! alternative !

Over the holidays Hannah and I went to the Freedom to Learn forum hosted by Summerhill School, in Leiston Suffolk.

It was so inspiring ! I have known for ages that I want to get more involved in the world of children and education, but that I don't want to become a teacher in UK mainstream school system. At the forum I found a whole group of people involved in alternative, democratic education in a variety of ways. I also found the inspiration to go ahead and start doing stuff. Not to wait to find a course, or a job, but to start my own self-directed research and see where it leads.

My interest is in discovering what is needed to have a learning community where people can follow their own interests and where the rules governing acceptable behaviour are defined (and followed!) by the whole community. How would the school system need to change to give the majority of children access to this type of learning experience ? Maybe not all schools/learning communities have to be like this, but what can we do to create more choice in the UK ?

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Freedom to Learn forum

I am very excited to be going to the Freedom to Learn forum from April 6-8. Looking forward to finding out about people who research in the field of alternative education, and talking to those who practice it. And loving that children are given equal footing with adults, and that it's at Summerhill !

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

blog blog blog blog......

So, I am always telling my kids just to start whatever it is they have to do. Not to think about, and get overwhelmed by, the 2 pages of maths homework or whatever, but just to sit down and do 10 minutes. Now I am going to apply that logic to this blog, and see if I can write here once a week. What has been stopping me is the length of time it takes to get pictures from my camera (yes I'm a bit of a technology luddite) to my blog, but hey ho I'll just blog without pictures for a while.

I have just been watching the SpaceX launch from yesterday - cool and crazy ! I love the slight sense of irreverence combined with the awesome technical and science achievements. That sense that life is fun, trying is fun, failing is ok. 

Now I'm off to have fun with the dishwasher and making dinner !

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

New Year's Resolutions

I like to make New Year lists of positive things I would like to do during the next year, so here is some good stuff for 2014.
  • go to see an opera
  • go to a concert of an excellent singer or choir  Emma Kirkby in Hampstead
  • perform at the school open mic night
  • make birthday bunting with my sewing machine
  • do voluntary work with children Forest School at the Boxmoor Trust
  • write a poem
  • make laundry liquid
  • avoid supermarkets
  • run a 10K
  • sell a homemade craft item
  • dye wool with natural dyes
  • go to a meditation workshop
  • test and write up budget weekly meal plans
  • make sourdough bread
and last but not least
  • blog at least twice per week

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

yarn along

joining in with Ginny

I have finished the Cheeky Kea. However Thomas has declared that the pocket (a long tube which goes across the front) is too lumpy, so I think I'll have to turn it into two small pockets.

I am just doing the gauge swatch for Hannah's birthday cardigan (she wants a My Honey). She chose the wool (multi-coloured pink not being entirely my taste).

I have just finished reading 'For Tibet with Love' by Isabel Losada. It's a factual account of her attempts to make a difference to Tibet. I liked her writing style and found it easy to read. I thought the first and last parts of the book (where she visits Tibet, and meets the Dalai Lama) were the most interesting, and found the middle bit slightly slower going.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

yarn along

Joining in with Ginny.

I have almost finished the Cheeky Kea for Thomas (the purpley bit I'm knitting is the pocket). OK so it was meant to be for his birthday which was last Friday, but I was close ! This is a fun knit. I did find the directions a little tricky to figure out a couple of times, but I think this was partly because this is the first garment that I have knit in the round (with my new found skill of continental knitting!). I started off (at the top) doing the same repeating stripe pattern, but then got to the bit where you use both sizes of needles at once to do the body and the sleeve edges, and trying to do the sleeve edges in green and the body in stripes and having four pointy ends to deal made my head hurt, so that bit was all green, and after that the stripes are more random.

I have just finished reading Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne. My kids go to a Steiner (Waldorf) kindergarten so the ideas in here are not new to me, but I really like the way he expands upon them. Also his writing style is quite poetic, so even though it's a parenting book it's lovely to read. I don't feel like I've quite won the battle of the stuff in our house though. We have rearranged rooms so the kids could each have their own, and there are still piles of things that need new homes all over the place. We are dreadful for gathering books. One of the ideas in the Simplicity Parenting book is that kids only need a few well loved books out at one time - we're still working on that one.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

yarn along

Joining in with Ginny

I have started knitting a That Cheeky Kea vest top for Thomas' birthday. I'm knitting it out of my stash yarn. I did go to Hobbycraft and buy some yarn for both Thomas' and Hannah's birthday knits but then discovered I'd bought 4 ply rather than double knitting for Thomas. Then we were all ill and I never made it back to exchange it (and anyway it's rather nice 4 ply so I'm sure I can make something with it). So Thomas' top will be a mixture of heathery green and grey. Not sure yet what colour to do the contrasting pockets. I've got a nice heathery purple somewhere that might work.

I'm reading Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson. I read this many years ago when I was a teenager, and started reading it again (the same copy as before - it's showing its age!) over Christmas when we were staying at my parents. It's a good book for intermittent reading as each chapter is a self contained description of an aspect of country life in the 1880s.