educate education

“It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom. ” Albert Einstein

 

learning from a barefoot movement

‘First they ignore you then they laugh at you then they fight you then you win’ – Mahatma Gandhi

Any proposed new idea that is going to  challenge a way or belief that has been followed and indoctrinated  for so long is going to gain immense resistance. But to keep going along with systems and ideas that we know are no longer working especially when those systems are ones concerning our children, is no longer justifiable. We are in a time that is requiring brave people to come forth with new perspectives, even if the perspectives are seemingly unorthodox, in the beginning. It is no secret that the education systems in western civilisation are having an adverse effect on children. Some of the most revolutionary ideas of how we may move towards a more diverse and nurturing educating way to serve future generations of humanity more effectively, is coming forth now.  Having  had children that patently do not fit the mainstream educational systems without having to clearly identify necessary provisions in order for them to participate, indicates that change is necessary and any system that no longer endorses notions of what we are deeming to be normal and abnormal is much welcomed from where i am standing.

untainted paths

If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

-Toni Morrison

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More and more I’m leaning towards leaving my children alone. I am no longer standing in the way of their freedom. They are free to develop, discover, learn and interact at their own will. I’m  trusting my children in their natural instincts and better judgements in knowing what it is they are wanting. My parenting is radically different now compared to what it may have looked like fifteen years or so ago. I too, are radically different now. The more I allow myself to flow into the ease of life, the easier life is becoming. There is no longer any one story i am endeavouring to fit into or trying to make my children fit into whether they are wanting or not. There is no direction that has been set before us that we are wanting to follow, that feels right anymore. This story we are creating is new. The way we are moving is new. We are walking a path that few are walking, and we are alright with that. We are unafraid, and faithful to ourselves and to our journey. Maybe there in lies the answer to contented happiness. More of trusting life to happen and allowing it to flow, welcoming whatever arises rather than pushing against and struggling in what comes about. Even the seemingly negative experiences can be blessings if we open to their messages.  My children were not born to conform in this world as it is before us now,  that i am certain of. I too have resisted  for most of my life to agree and go along quietly with ideas and ways that innately have not felt like the right way. Maybe that is why they chose me to be their mother. But ultimately, it has been the determination of my children’s Will to not bend themselves towards people or experiences that they innately know will not serve them well, that has bought us to where we are standing now.  I find myself questioning everything, especially things that rise resistance in us or simply just don’t feel right. I am listening to them in their no’s as it holds as much power as what they are saying yes to. And i want them to know from the beginning of their lives what they say yes and no to in life, matters. They are not here to simple follow those who went before them around in their ways. They have their own way, most of the time they are leading it and most of the time its going against everything that has gone before us. Still, we go forth fearlessly trusting ourselves and unafraid of laying new paths that have yet to be walked by the many.

my Möbius Strip

“If you take your index finger and trace what seems to be the outside surface, you suddenly find yourself on what seems to be the inside surface. Continue along what seems to be the inside surface, and you suddenly find yourself on what seems to be the outside surface. ” Parker Palmer

 

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I’ve spent 30 days nurturing the inside,  gently saying no to most things on the outside and intern saying yes to myself. It’s necessary every now and again to reassess all that is going on in life and sort through all that’s not flowing in the same direction, if we are to keep ourselves wide open and remain steady on the path of our truth.   It is finding ways of bringing the outside world into aliment with what we are seeking for ourselves on the inside.  The space was easy to be in and flowed more naturally than i expected it would. It was easier to say no from this space. A space where i compassionately gave myself permission to matter more than any other for this moment.  And before giving anyone my yes, i foremost required a yes from my inner world first. More often, it was a no, which helped me to realise just how much of my inner world i have been compromising for the outer worlds wanting. Finding the balance is essential in keeping the two worlds flowing harmoniously. For now, I have become my highest priority in my story. My well-being is the one that’s vitality matters most if i am to continue to carry the weight of my tribe and also stay on the path of living faithfully within my truth.  And i am understanding ever so clearly now, that it must be for the sake of my children that i remain it to stay this way. For me to be my highest idea of myself as a mother, daughter, friend or anything on the outside world,  i must foremost be the highest idea of myself in my inner world first. It’s the only way to keep moving forward. I’m not interested in standing still or bending myself in ways that i know are going against the inner flow.   I’m only interested in keeping myself wide open and in the certainty that what ever path I am to embark on from here on in,  will be one closer to a truth of who i am now, and will perhaps have little resemblance to any i have travelled before.  I am reawakening the dreams that have been with me forever that i had some time ago decided could never be, and I have decided that they could be once again,  for this Is my life.  I’m focusing less on the intricate details of how and when things will come about and spending more time in the knowing of they just will.  My children are on this journey with me, and they flow closer to their own rhythms of truth the closer i flow to mine. So it is as much for them as it is for me that i endeavour to stay on this journey of compassionately tending to myself, endeavouring to close the gap between my outside and inside worlds.

intentionally moving off the path

Asperger would often just sit with the children, reading poetry and stories to them from his favourite books. “I don’t want to simply ‘push from the outside’ and give instructions, observing cooly and with detachment,” he said ” Rather, I want to play and talk with the child , all the while looking with open eyes both into the child and into myself, observing the emotions that arise in reaction to everything that occurs in the conversation between the two of us.”

-NeuroTribes, Steve Silberman

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This is how i want my children to learn, i want to be the observer not the dictator to their curious and instinctual  minds. I want to watch what they are drawn to, and where they take themselves naturally when provided the space, opportunity and environment to do so. I don’t want them ever to become accustomed to what is perceived as normal or abnormal about themselves in a class room, by the  opinions that are deciding where they sit on some grand scale of intellectual competence.  Children are loosing their natural flow. They are being denied the access to learn by  instinctively following from their own interests, a naturally occurring process that is inherent to everyone.  There is no room for individual self-directed learning anymore.  Instead they are being shaped and moulded, and filled with information about things that are meant to support them in their lives, but really have nothing to do with their life at all.  By the time they are reaching high school it’s all but gone. Thats when it really becomes prevalent to what is happening. It is then that they too  begin to realise the sad truth of how little they matter in the system, how small their voices are, unless of course they have an exceptional skill that can offer some personal gain to the school.  It becomes entirely about working hard, retaining the masses of information, memorizing as opposed to learning, endless testing and our children tirelessly keeping pace, trying to  prove themselves over and over again.  It is about them illogically having to have their whole life plan set out before them, at the tender age of sixteen.   This is not the learning we are striving for. The learning we strive for is one that doesn’t require forcing information upon them with the expectation that they retain it and then perform it back in some way, as proof of a job well done. My children are learning to count, I know this.  I hear them practicing all the time, for their own pleasure.  I have also watched them refuse to count on demand or worse feel so under pressure, to prove themselves that they simply can’t.  Testing children is much the same. It fills them with dread, panic and insecurity, and really is no way to conclude where a child’s level of understanding is really at. Testing children in this country in the educational systems is out of control.  We test everything, even how fast they can run, in ‘beep tests’. This has nothing to do with nurturing the physical health of our children, or guiding them towards naturally being aware of how to take care of their own bodies, and everything to do with competition and adequacy verses inadequacy.  Never before in our history has  the pressure to perform been so rampant, you have to wonder how much learning is actually taking place.   We are living in a time where we are now recognising the expansive neurological diversity amongst ourselves, more than ever before, and the educational options to cater for the diversity in our children’s differences is few. Parents are wanting a new approach, they are wanting individual learning styles for their children as they are uniquely learning individuals. They are recognising that many children cannot learn effectively in a traditional school environment anymore.  With the number of children being diagnosed with learning differences it is inevitable that something will have to change. There is simply no one size fits all model that can be followed effectively anymore.

 

rational, irrational?

“I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.”
― Jane AustenPersuasion

 

When is it acceptable to raise a voice? Be assertive, aggressive in passion, view, thought, idea, belief? Perhaps behind closed doors? Perhaps in the safe confinements of a home? Is there a time and suitable place that such emotions would ever be deemed justifiable and acceptable?   Is everyone not made of the same stuff?  Is anger never to be expressed? Or is it that some fall into the  ambivalent class where expressions as such are permissible.   Must we shut down, be equable, behave only in ways others can suffice?   Is it appropriate to condemn and belittle when expressions are not kept in the rigidity of nice, or pleasant, or more importantly agreeable?   Why must one’s very persona come under attack simply for being angry?  Yes, I am not pretty all of the time.  I am not going to be pretty in the moment if the moment calls for something other. I will not be told to  settle down, or not to raise my voice, i will shout from rooftops without permission, now.  It will not serve well to belittle my integrity. I am a pillar of strength, and will not whimper to manoeuvring ways.

 

takings from T.S. Eliot’s, Little Gidding

chère douce Paris, je reviendrai un jour

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We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

 

What we call the beginning is often the end

And to make and end is to make a beginning.

The end is where we start from.

For last words belong to last years language

And next years words await another voice.

 

But the passage now presents no hindrance

To the spirit unappeased and peregrine.

Between two worlds become much like each other.

So i find words i never thought to speak.