I'll make a list so I don't forget:
1- we've started homeschooling Rudy.
2- It's new and overwhelming
3- It's also been so much more enjoyable than I ever imagined it would
4- I've come to realize how extremely selfish I have been
5- I'm living life from a completely different point of view
6- Rudy is so happy, calm and relaxed since this HS business began.
7- I discovered, stumbled upon, this website Camp Creek Blog, and it has put words and actions to something I've only felt and couldn't quite access in my brain.
8- I'm going to publish this now and come back to write more, so check back.
9- I know I say that a lot so you may not believe me, but 2014 is also the year of better habits, and keeping a record (sketch book, HS notes, blogging, not just Instagram!) of our days is at the top of my list along with cleaning more!
10- Be right back.
So I'm back. I promised, didn't I?
My kids are playing a crazy game at the other end of the house. I've had so much coffee I feel like my eye balls might pop out, and I feel another list coming on:
1- The blog I mentioned above is blowing my mind. Not in the "why did I never think of this before kind of way", but in the "this is speaking so profoundly into my life I don't know where to start", kind of a way.
2- I have a friend who will never agree with something off the bat. She always questions, always doubts, and questions some more. I'm the complete opposite. I go gung-ho at something if I like the sound of it. I have learned to ask more questions and doubt a little more, from my friend. I don't want to be as extreme as she is, but I do want to have a healthy dose of skepticism, so that I can form my own opinion and know what I want. I'm not good at claiming what I believe and want, but I'm getting better.
3- So, taking this confidence into my thinking around the ideas espoused in the above blog, I hope to come away with a teaching / life-with-kids approach that I really believe in, and where I am not just along for the ride.
5- Messy Lab Studio grew out of wanting children to have a space to get messy, to explore ideas and to celebrate messy spaces, messy work and messy exploration. I didn't realize that Project Based Learning is what I have been looking for all this time! I haven't been brave enough, and I've been so wrapped up in my own studio work (selfishly) that I haven't cared to examine how my kids are learning, and how Messy Lab Studio mixed in with that. Lori Pickert and her wonderful blog have begun to make the connection for me. I am eternally grateful.
4-Here are some of my favorite quotes from the blog that directly relate to ideas I have been kicking around for a while. I never knew why I was so dissatisfied with the approaches I'd read about, or the projects I'd tried to do with my kids. I was heading in the right direction, but hadn't got far enough along the path. I'd been too much in the way...I'm trying to move over and let the kids run forward into deeper learning and discovery.
This first one is a zinger. I may make it my mantra for 2014.
A streamlined learning experience smooths off all the rough edges and the rough edges are generally where most of the learning happens. - Lori Pickert
If you see a table full of kids working with identical-looking projects in front of them, then you are looking at something that is not authentically self-directed or self-motivated. It is just a “cool,” “fun” project that an adult dreamed up for some kids to do, that an adult planned, that an adult organized, and that an adult carefully translated into directions the kids could follow. Look at all the work being accomplished *by the adult*. That is so much closer to what we expect to see in a classroom and too far away from real learner-centered education. - Lori Pickert
If kids cycle from one follow-directions project to the next, with everything on a time schedule (“We have to finish our rockets this week because next week we start remote-control planes!”), then what you’re looking at is not innovative, not learner-centered, and not offering deep understanding or long-term engagement. It’s the same old hash repackaged as something new. - Lori Pickert
What do YOU think?