Winter rhythms

by Lilia Efimova on 15 December 2017

Looking for the drafts to finish I found a list with our weekly rhythm last winter. It’s nice to compare with this year. And yes, by “winter” I mean cold homeschooling season that stretches between September and mid-June (overlapping with the “summer” which is somewhere from mid-April to mid-October :)

Winter 2016-2017

  • Monday afternoon: playdates, swimming lessons Alexander and Anna
  • Tuesday afternoon: choir Alexander and Anna (since January)
  • Wednesday afternoon: playdates, Xperimenta (once a month), Wowlab, judo Alexander
  • Thursday 10-18: homeschooling friends, music and improv in Zwolle, workshops and/or playdates in Enschede
  • Friday afternoon: catch-up judo Alexander
  • Sunday morning (Oct-Dec): skating Alexander and Anna

Winter 2017-2018

  • Tuesday afternoon: choir, girls in the younger group and Alexander in both groups
  • Wednesday afternoon: judo girls, Wowlab and swimming Alexander
  • Thursday 10-18: homeschooling meetings
  • Friday afternoon: judo Alexander

This year is definitely lighter. It’s also the first year that Emily started external activities on a regular basis and that Alexander goes to the most of what he does by himself. We also don’t have many regular playdates and plan those week by week. I learn my lessons – having a schedule packed with regular activities makes it more difficult to dive deep into a project, to plan ad hoc meetings or to travel without regrets. And it makes me crazy, which doesn’t help anyone in the house.

Of course, during some weeks it’s like that (plus all the homescholing stuff in between) while others are super busy.  Like this one, with three performances of the choir, Wowlab workshop and preparing it, and end-of-the-year events at Robert’s work for which he has to be out of the house a lot in the evenings. During such weeks I’m grateful that it’s not always like that and that school holidays, when most of the activities stop, do exist.


Marble runs and music machines

by Lilia Efimova on 6 December 2017

What started from a mesmerising video of a marble run turned into something more.

After watching a couple of videos I’ve got curious about the people behind them and the whole phenomenon of (making money from) making marble runs. So we came to an article about it. And then to the video of the music instrument made with 2000 marbles.

And then we found that the machine is retired and came to the Speelklok Museum and the new project of the machine creator, Martin Molin, where he builds a revisited version of it with the team of offline and online support.

Marble run constructionSo now we have a marble run in the middle of our living room, together with rounds of marble competitions (one of them just won a chocolate medal, I hear). And plans to build a music machine with marbles and Lego (somebody paid attention to notice Lego elements in the videos). And ideas for a birthday party.

And, since I guess it’s not going to stop there:


15 years of blogging, FB and what’s next

November 12, 2017

Ton’s post on 15 Years of Blogging made me realise that I had reached similar milestone last June. In this post I look into “more blogging, less FB” issues and outline several points to work on.

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Verhalen van de zee: shadow puppets, storytelling and learning around

November 7, 2017
Ship at at sea shadow puppet

In this post I discuss what we did differently in our latest workshop at Wowlab and the learning around it: finding what to structure, working on a parallel project and helping without overpowering.

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Magic work

November 6, 2017
Magician Peter Bunt

Alexander has been into magician performances for a while now. So we didn’t want to miss an opportunity to see one just across the border in Muenster (and it was in Russian, which is always a bonus). What I liked the most from the performances of Piter Bunt yesterday next to the pure magic and […]

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What parents don’t see

November 3, 2017

Homeschoolers hear often that their kids are always supervised by the parents, that they lack time to be outside of the family to learn about other ways of doing things. Today, collecting photos of Sofia from Olaf Ondekt for her parents I realised how much they don’t see when she stays with us. We got […]

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Learning highlights: October 2017

October 31, 2017

Learning in all sorts and shapes in October 2017.

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Black cape

October 27, 2017
Black cape

It was fun to teach him the art of ironing seams. And, with a little advice here and there, he could do the rest. But what I admire the most is the determination.

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Convergence and unschooling

October 26, 2017

Unschooling, as a way to support your children interests feels for me as a very divergent practice. There is a lot of informal learning, exploration, following one’s curiosity and seizing the moment. Lots of bits pieces and sometimes even a big part of a puzzle. What worries me the most is convergence, creating conditions for […]

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Schat van Dalfsen

October 20, 2017
Thumbnail image for Schat van Dalfsen

Although we missed public archeological excavation at Dalfsen with our homeschooling friends, there was another chance to do it. A couple of years ago we had a guided tour at an excavation in Velikiy Novgorod. In Dalfsen kids could not only look, but participate guided by archeologists. I always appreciate those opportunities to get close […]

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Legitimate peripheral participation and having fun

October 13, 2017

This is the essence of Wowlab workshops for me, next to making: creating conditions for legitimate peripheral participation and having fun.

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Intuitive ‘instruction design’

October 12, 2017

It’s third season of the workshops for homeschoolers that we organise together with Wout Zweers, who works at an intersection of art, design and making. Today is another workshop and, being up early, I started to think about my role in the process. The first part is logistical. I sort out the dates, write announcements, […]

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Making flexible structures

October 4, 2017
Making flexible structures

What happens if you design and build stuff for your kids’ rooms? They play a family where the parents design and build a room for their kid.

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Life goes on

October 3, 2017

It is always difficult to start writing again after a long period of silence. Like this time.

My mother passed away last year. Next to the emotions there were lots of other things to work out and no desire to write in an open space. But life doesn’t stay still and I’m ready to write again.

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