Listen in Addition


As an unschooling mom, I hate all things involving drills.  Though I know it is a commonly used technique to master math facts, I prefer to look for other ways to get my kids familiar with math. Two things seem to be prevalent when successful learning takes place in our home: a no-stress environment, and…

Some great thoughts on socialization

Socialization is something that is so bizarrely over-worried for our children now.  I feel that children are so forced into unnatural socialization that they’ve forgotten how to let it naturally evolve.  But enough about what I think for today. Nicole Shiffler recently published two great blog posts (here and here) about socialization and her children.…

To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul.

Simon Weil

Don’t be afraid to fail!


This.  In this brilliant article, Bloomberg columnist Megan McArdle writes about a conversation with a young girl in 10th grade.  This girl is so afraid of not getting an “A” that she is afraid to try anything new.  In our current system of education, kids almost have to get a 4.0 to feel like they…

Fighting for childhood


I don’t really know what to say in this post.  I feel so frustrated that in this current society, we have to fight to let our children have a childhood.  When did it become the norm to steal that from them? When did it stop becoming okay for a child to spend the day in…

The Cosmos – back and better than ever


Did you grow up having your mind blown by Carl Sagan and The Cosmos?  I did. I can still remember the sleepy, dream-like state of my mind, stretching into the universe, brought on by that signature voice. There is only one popular scientist I’ve ever enjoyed more than good old Carl, and I can’t believe…

Nurturing constructive boredom: take away the TV for a while


“Any parent who has punished a child by taking away TV privileges and then watched that child play–slowly at first, then imaginatively, freely–will recognize the connection between time, boredom, and creativity.  ’There’s something about television–maybe that it provides so much in the way of audio and visual stimulations that children don’t have to generate very…

The technology question


“Public education is enamored of, even mesmerized by, what might be called silicon faith: a myopic focus on high technology as salvation. …The problem with computers isn’t computers–they’re just tools; the problem is that overdependence on them displaces other sources of education, from the arts to nature.” -Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods By…

It is not the language of painters but the language of nature one should listen to…The feeling for the things themselves, for reality, is more important that the feeling for pictures.

Vincent Van Gogh

It takes time–loose, unstructured dreamtime–to experience nature in a meaningful way.  Unless parents are vigilant, such time becomes a scarce resource, because time is consumed by multiple invisible forces; because our culture currently places so little value on natural play.

Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods

Directed-attention fatigue

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“Too much directed attention leads to…”directed-attention fatigue,” marked by impulsive behavior, agitation, and inability to concentrate.  Directed-attention fatigue occurs because neural inhibitory mechanisms become fatigued by blocking competing stimuli.  As Stephen Kaplan explained in the journal Monitor on Psychology, ‘If you can find an environment where the attention is automatic, you allow directed attention to…

It is often said that education and training are the keys to the future. They are, but a key can be turned in two directions. Turn it one way and you lock resources away, even from those they belong to. Turn it the other way and you release resources and give people back to themselves.…

Sir Ken Robinson