Natural Learning Archives

  1. Learning from failure

    View of the Tetons from Sawtell Peak Trail. We were all a little summit hungry after Mt. Washburn. Wildflowers in bloom on Sawtell. So, we attempted another summit.  Longer hike, less elevation gain.  It seemed like a good balance. However, we arrived during what I can only describe as a massive swarm of bees and…

  2. Rivers

    “I feel that there is something in having passed one’s childhood beside the big river that is incommunicable to those who have not.” – T.S. Eliot What will your child’s “big river” be?

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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

  7. Directed-attention fatigue

    “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…

  8. Priorities

    You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. — Stephen R. Covey I’ve been thinking a lot about my life and my priorities lately…my life over the past few…

  9. Famous Unschoolers: Olympic Gold Medalist Jamie Anderson

    Jamie Anderson is the next in our famous unschooler’s series, and this is especially fun, because, unlike the others we have covered so far, she is a contemporary!  Jamie is the first woman to win gold in slopestyle snowboarding. Jamie with her mom (photo credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images) In an interview with Today, Jamie’s mom…

  10. Think Outside. {No Box Required.}

      Love!  When my kids seem to be struggling to work through something, or when their brains need a recharge in the day, the instant solution is simple: go outside. I keep seeing this graphic pop up…wish I knew who to give original credit to! :)