Friday, April 29, 2016

Free Range Learning (3 of 3)

Free Range Learning

How Homeschooling Changes Everything


No one, after reading Free Range Learning with an open mind, can justifiably argue in defense of formal K–12 schooling. However, it would be a disservice to Laura Grace Weldon’s considerable grasp of the human spirit to simply recommend her book for parents of home schoolers. Everyone should put this handbook in their bookcase after marking it up half as much as I have!

Due to the extensive material I wanted to include, this post has been divided into three separate posts. This is part three of three. One final post including all three parts will follow tomorrow. Part one of three was posted two days ago, with part two of three posted yesterday.

A future inventor in action

Ethics, Spirituality and A Greater Good

ü  When adults insist on compliance in their children—true understanding is usurped—encouraging moral immaturity.

ü  Many adults continue to assert that children do best raised with more punitive, heavy-handed methods. That is shortsighted. The real underpinning of civilization is cooperation.

ü  We can be mindful of where we put our parenting energy.
Ø  It’s easy to notice children squabbling for five minutes and ignore two hours of peace.
Ø  What we consistently notice is amplified.  What we recognize persists.
Ø  If we habitually notice the worst in a person, even though we are trying to bring about improvement, we unwittingly reinforce these negative behaviors.
Ø  For a child whose self-image is forming, this principle is even more important.
Ø  Noticing when a child has done something right helps to strengthen not only that behavior, but also the motivation behind that behavior.

ü  We adults tend to cede our true authority to experts until we no longer recognize it in ourselves.

ü  Separation between our beliefs and our actions creates a schism that is profoundly unhealthy for the world around us, just as it is for our bodies and spirits.

ü  Learning of the highest value extends well beyond measurable dimension. It is activated by experiences which develop our humanity such as:
Ø  finding meaning
Ø  expressing moral courage
Ø  building lasting connections
Ø  channeling anger into purposeful action
Ø  recognizing one’s place in nature
Ø  acting out of love

ü  This leads to comprehension that includes and transcends knowledge. It teaches us to be our best selves.

ü  It takes significant inner work to act with integrity. But when we do, we begin to usher in a mighty personal peace.

ü  The way we nurture our children is one of the most profound ways we align with our values in this transforming world.
Ø  We understand that the way the youngest are raised shapes the resulting society.
Ø  We understand that young children are complete beings right now.
Ø  We remain open to the mystery, turmoil, and wonder of each person’s creative response to life—leaping ahead and falling back in a rhythm unique to the individual.

Model respect

Simplicity and The Slow Movement

ü  Children feel better about themselves when their self-image isn’t reliant on what they own.

ü  There is no need to offer rewards such as treats or money for good behavior, such bribes tend to foster selfishness rather than develop character.

ü  In concert with other like-minded people in the community, children will develop traits like generosity, frugality, and altruism—traits often de-emphasized in a consumer-driven society.

ü  When we see that the simplest choice—togetherness with those we love—leads to the greater well being, we are oriented towards gratitude rather than acquisition.

ü  The nature of early childhood is the perfect antidote to a hurry-up attitude, that is, if adults truly pay attention to the lessons the youngest model for us—a world oriented to the present moment.

ü  The ‘Slow Movement’ is part of a cultural shift toward reconnecting with a simpler way of life, such as locally grown food, slower-paced work and closer relations—savoring rather than rushing.

Always wonder like a young child

Re-envisioning Success

ü  Children who:
Ø  stay up late to stargaze
Ø  who eagerly practice the violin and study Latin
Ø  who slosh in the edges of a pond to see tadpoles
Ø  who design their own video games
Ø  who read books till noon in their pajamas.
ü  These children are empowered to be free range learners. These children grow up to think for themselves and care passionately about the world around them.

ü  Each child is encouraged to walk the path of his or her own possibilities.

ü  The guiding light on that path is unique to each individual.

ü  It’s illuminated by elements found in imagination, talent, intellect, and the strongest aspirations of the heart.

ü  Living in harmony with those aspirations allows each person to be at peace with who they are.

ü  A world made up of people directed by meaning, purpose, and integrity would indeed be a better place.

ü  In such a world, limiting definitions of success would become irrelevant.


A global expression—the smile

This ends part 3 of 3 to Free Range Learning. Laura Grace Weldon's website and blog (and Facebook) are active and fresh resources for the interested reader.  The pictures used here are from Laura's Facebook page—search 'Free Range Learning'. Look for a complete (all 3 of 3) post tomorrow. 

Papa Green Bean