Monday, May 20, 2013
How many books have you read today?
I committed Facebook suicide in January, and life has been more real and time more available to me to do more actual deep reading. Books and such. However I am sometimes made to go on facebook for some "must see" using other people's accounts. And in so doing, I sometimes catch myself lurking around for a few more borrowed minutes to see what else might be happening in the fake book world that might be of any huge importance.
So a few days ago, I was doing such lurking and I saw that my dear nephew had posted a great Ted Talk from a social thinker I admire. This immediately inspired me to get one of his books from the library and I began to read it immediately. The speaker in the video is Sir Ken Robinson- on how schools kill creativity. The book I checked out is called The Element: How finding your passion changes everything. This might sound like a self-help book, but it's not. It's more like a self-realization book on educational theory, and it talks about "bad teaching habits" of the past and present.
When my nephew was growing up, I always felt like the schools he was committed to were failing him as a growing child. He wasn't a cookie-cutter kid. So after reading a couple of chapters, I decided to buy him the book since he already showed an interest in the author by posting his Ted Talk online. My nephew is now in his twenties and a working man. When I handed him the book, he said, "I'll read it, but I'm reading another book right now." I was taken aback because my husband and I can easily be reading a dozen books at the same time. Hmmm. I wondered if this is a symptom of the compartmentalized and systemic way of thinking kids are traditionally schooled in. The good news is, he's a smart kid and very good at breaking out of habitual thinking patterns. So maybe he'll come around to reading Robinson's book while still in the midst of Game of Thrones.
Anyway, I thought I'd share here a glimpse of what I'm reading right now as I embark on the "heroic" task of home-schooling my 3+ year-old son. Don't attempt this at home if your name is Angelina Jolie, though.
First, a bunch of books by the "father of unschooling" John Holt:
1. Freedom and Beyond
2. How Children Learn
3. Teach Your Own: A Hopeful Path for Education
4. How Children Fail
5. What do I do Monday?
6. Learning all the Time: How small children begin to read, write, count, and investigate the world without being taught.
Then some others:
7. The Unschooling Handbook: How to use the whole world as your child's classroom.
...and finally, though off those topics, but a spark that helped me kick-off this blog:
8. Yoga Bitch: One woman's quest to conquer skepticism, cynicism, and cigarettes on the path to enlightenment.
Also delving into the great works of Johann Pestalozzi, Frances Kendall, Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore, in books and online documents; as well as following some new-found blogs of other like -minded and inspiring home-school believers such as Dayna Martin.