Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Little Bit of Everything

Lola asleep on Daddy Lola asleep in jumper

:: There is something magical about a sleeping baby (especially now, as she’s teething again and I’m a bit rummy). She rarely falls asleep other than in her crib. Falling asleep in her jumper is absolutely unprecedented. Oh, and I LOVE her shoulder dimples.

:: A certain four year old (who has been told repeatedly not to get into the freezer) left the freezer door open. So much food in the garbage. So much food cooked up in one night. Daddy made him watch everything being thrown out and write down dollar amounts on a tablet, which he then had to add up on a calculator.

:: That same certain four year old cut the front of his hair. He said there was gum in it. Sigh. Just when Luke’s poison oak rash was gone. Am I ever going to do a photo shoot with those kids?!

:: Speaking of photo shoots, I have a bunch of photos to share this week. Senior photos and an awesome family photo shoot. Guess who came to visit!! Simple Mom!

:: Blog friend, Hannah, sent me this quote from Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. She thought I’d enjoy it, and enjoy it I certainly did.

"The living in incessant noise was, to a frame and temper delicate and nervous like Fanny's, an evil which no superadded elegance or harmony could have entirely atoned for. It was the greatest misery of all. At Mansfield, no sounds of contention, no raised voice, no abrupt bursts, no tread of violence, was ever heard; all proceeded in a regular course of cheerful orderliness; everybody had their due importance; everybody's feelings were consulted. If tenderness could be ever supposed wanting, good sense and good breeding supplied its place; and as to the little irritations sometimes introduced by aunt Norris, they were short, they were trifling, they were as a drop of water to the ocean, compared with the ceaseless tumult of her present abode. Here everybody was noisy, every voice was loud (excepting, perhaps, her mother's, which resembled the soft monotony of Lady Bertram's, only worn into fretfulness). Whatever was wanted was hallooed for, and the servants hallooed out their excuses from the kitchen. The doors were in constant banging, the stairs were never at rest, nothing was done without a clatter, nobody sat still, and nobody could command attention when they spoke."

I think I am the one who is worn into fretfulness…

:: Oh, how I love Facebook. My friends share the most interesting thoughts and articles. Today, it was The Educational Value of Creative Disobedience @ Scientific American:

‎"Just by moving the students from passive observer to active participant, you are lighting a fire in the brain—making more connections across association areas, increasing plasticity, and enhancing learning. Not only that, students that are more actively engaged are more intrinsically motivated to learn—no bribes or artificial rewards needed, just pure enjoyment of learning ."

I have many thoughts on this article that are difficult for me to express coherently. I realize that there is a strong anti-rote-memorization which is a foundational skill in our homeschool, but I feel that is one of the strongest benefits of homeschool. We are able to do both memorization and have time for creative processes. My kids are given tools AND freedom, which I feel leads to less frustration. We are emphasizing the joy of learning, the personal fulfillment of education, the ownership of one’s learning process. Classical education leads to this, especially as Socratic dialogue develops in the years of logic and rhetoric, modeling how to ask questions rather than taking notes in a lecture format.

My friend, Jami, shared this quote from Charlotte Mason:

"The question is not, -- how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education -- but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him?"

:: My favorite new (to me) education blog is The Circe Institute: Cultivating Wisdom and Virtue.

I thought Why the Sciences Need the Arts by Andrew Kern very thought provoking.

What too many administrators are missing is that all learning is an art, even when you are learning the sciences. Therefore, teachers are artists, not scientists, when they teach. But we tend to hire scientifically inclined people to teach the sciences.  But teaching is an art.

And then:

Practically, where I’m going with this is that if we want more scientists, we should stop trying to teach so much science in the lower grades and instead teach students the arts of learning. I mean the seven liberal arts (not the meaningless quasi-liberal arts of the conventional misnamed liberal arts college). Teach students the arts of inquiry and those so inclined will become great scientists.

So what to do to train young scientists:

1. Teach them the seven liberal arts

2. Let them inquire and explore the natural realm (garden, woods, farm, zoos, etc. etc.)

3. Teach them stories about great scientists and their discoveries

4. Teach them some categorized knowledge about things they are exploring.

Once they’ve done that for a few years, they’ll be able to do real science real well.

:: And now I’m putting my nose to the grindstone. Lots of pictures to edit today! Have a terrific weekend!


Anonymous said...

If it makes you feel any better... I live in northern Illinois and we had a really bad storm roll in Monday morning that left us without power for 4 days, we lost everything in our fridge and freezer. I couldn't keep my 2 year old out, she just kept opening the fridge and freezer grabbing food. Luckily our neighbors hooked us up to their generator so the things in my chest freezer weren't lost. I thank God for great neighbors, and no damage to my home.

And by the way, you posted before that you need another whole 30... so do I.


Windhover Farm said...

I am exposing my ignorance but what are the seven liberal arts? I always appreciate your h/s wisdom and article finds.

Heidi said...

The seven liberal arts are: grammar (not just English or Latin grammar, but also the basic 'vocabulary' of subjects such as names and events for history or natural cycles for science), dialectic (logic), rhetoric (personal expression and the art of finding the means of persuading an audience such as writing and public speaking), arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy.