Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Little John Holt Inspiration....

"Among the many things I have learned about children, learned by many, many years of hanging out with them, watching carefully what they do, and thinking about it, is that children are natural learners."
--John Holt "Learning All the Time"

Leah having a ball at the park! I was thinking about all of the parks that we spend time at throughout the year. As a child, we didn't go to a lot of parks, though I have great parents who took us lots of wonderful places. Upon thinking about it more, I realized that we probably didn't do the park thing because we were in school so much of the time. And, the playground at school is the one that I remember most.

I'm so glad that my kids have the joy of comparing parks. Today, when we arrived at our weekly park day, the kids exclaimed, "Oh, this is my FAVORITE park!" Cool!

Maddie writing down all kinds of information related to her "My Little Ponies." It's amazing how much my children write.....I believe because they are never forced to. Today, Maddie and Amelia wrote SO MUCH! And, all of it was important to them. In the words of Maddie today, "If you give her a Bath Make Shur that you do not get too much watar on her" (writing about Fluttershy).

Ben has been creating AMAZING castles lately! They are very beautiful and almost completely (or completely) symmetrical. What a wonderful way to "learn" about this important mathematical concept. And, so much more fun and natural than circling the symmetrical object on a worksheet. Go Ben!

Amelia reading a library book at our kitchen table. Reading is such a natural part of our day. It is also my favorite part of the day. In particular, I love reading before bed (with a flashlight) in my childrens' room. What a magical time and what adventures we go on! In the last month alone, we have been on the prairie for the book, "Skylark," and to England for a special book called, "Mandy." Now, we are traveling back to WWII with Molly, one of the American Girls.

Yesterday, as the kids and I were waiting for Maddie's tap class to be finished, we watched a 1st grader reading to his mom. Actually, he was reading in order to get an assignment done.....30 minutes of reading each night (ok, I was eavesdropping a little....it's a small room, really!). So, the mom was typing something into her cell phone (oh, I can't stand this!) and he was "reading." Can that really be called reading??? Being forced to read something! Reading is wonderful, magical, an adventure....why should it be forced???? UGH!!!! I'm again so glad to have my children away from school, where they force kids to read! (enough of that soap box)

Let's finish with something positive from one of my favs....John Holt!

"Children learn from anything and everything they see. They learn wherever they are, not just in special learning places. They learn much more from things, natural or made, that are real and significant in the world in their own right and not just made in order to help children learn.........We can best help children learn, not by deciding what we think they should learn and thinking of ingenious ways to teach it to them, but by making the world, as far as we can, accessible to them, paying serious attention to what they do, answering their questions.....and helping them explore the things they are most interested in."

--John Holt "Learning All the Time"

Rock on, John!

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