On reading

by Lilia Efimova on 29 May 2015

You recognise an unschooling house by its space and materials… This time I pick up How children learn from a shelf and start reading on reading. Between other things Jonh Holt writes about the complexity of a language that children learn by themselves and how reading compares to it:

Allover the world children acquire this extraordinary amount of information, most of it by the time they are six, and most of it, as I have described, by themselves, without anything that we could call formal instruction. Compered with this task, the task of learning to read even English is very, very small. To be sure, it can’t be done overnight; but t certainly doesn’t deserve all the worry and agony that we put into it. All we accomplish, by our worrying, simplifying, and teaching, is to make reading a hundred times harder for children than it need be. p.158

That, of course, brings me to a bigger question – how much of a school program is essential? How much is there because of our assumptions that certain theoretical constructs aid learning particular concepts or skills? How much is legacy or being politically correct? How much of the content is “just something” that was good enough to help a growing mind developing in a right direction?

And talking about the language acquisition – Alexander picked up enough English by osmosis to start using it :)

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Using Cynefin for learning design?

by Lilia Efimova on 26 April 2015

Eventually I’d like to get further in thinking about designing learning experiences using Cynefin as a framework (thanks Nancy for pointing to an update). I’m not 100% sure about designing learning experience as a term, but it’s way better than instructional design. Essentially I’d like to explore ways of recognising different domains from a learning facilitation perspective and zoom in into the complex domain in relation to others. Most of my interests are on the level of specific learning experiences and a bit up to principles/strategy/curriculum.

Cynefin as of 1st June 2014 by Dave Snowden, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia CommonsAs I was out of the learning field for a while and don’t have a good orientation on recent interesting experiences and thinking, I’d be happy for any references and links. This are some of the things I found so far, but hopefully there is more…

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Holding the space

April 25, 2015

I often find it difficult to pinpoint in traditional terms what exactly I do. As I read about holding space it becomes clear that this is the biggest part of my job in facilitating unschooling.

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Scaffolding on a slide

April 18, 2015

I posted this on Facebook, but want to have it here, because FB is new email, where knowledge goes to die together with memories, classification and ability to find your own stuff back. *** Anna was scared to go sliding. So those two boys had built a sand ‘dam’ for her to shorten the slide, […]

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Learning to read: full sentences and whole books

April 16, 2015
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Witnessing how reading can come without formal instructions is magical. It shows that learning that comes from within can go way beyond our expectations. Especially if we let expectations go and let it unfold while holding the space and giving a hand when needed :)

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Learning highlights: March 2015

April 1, 2015
Learning highlights March 2015

Eventually I’d like to get into portfolios that kids make for themselves, but that is still ahead. So I’d start small with keeping monthly “learning highlights” posts and then see where it gets us.

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Family bias and what to do about it when homeschooling

March 30, 2015
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While homeschoolers aim at well rounded education for their kids, it’s often possible to observe what I call “family bias” – traces of parents’ own interests and preferences in learning experiences of their kids. So, what can be done about it?

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Things you learn while homeschooling

February 14, 2015
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You learn a lot while helping your kids to learn 24/7. Those are from my “top 3″ list: recognise signal in the noise, focus and take care of yourself.

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Educational innovation: schools vs homeschooling?

February 10, 2015

It’s a pity that with the current educational climate there is often either/or situation where school system and homeschoolers do not want to do much with each other. At the end it is not that important where educational innovations appear as far as all sides are open to learn from it.

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Learning is everywhere

February 7, 2015
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Learning doesn’t necessary take a lot of time. It takes a mindset of recognising learning opportunities and going for them. And a bit of practice – of observing, improvising and not making a duty out of play :)

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Facilitating learning of our kids

February 3, 2015
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Where are many ways to do homeschooling, so it’s often difficult to explain what exactly we do. I can go on with specific examples, but also find it important to articulate educational principles that guide our practice.

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Year of confidence

January 2, 2015

Going through the photos of 2014 I just realised what it was for me – a year of confidence. Since I stopped working four years ago things were very much in turmoil – taking care of two and then three kids, homeschooling, being the primary one responsible for running things in the house and garden. […]

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Mixed age group learning

November 24, 2014

My views on learning and parenting are heavily influenced by the ideas of legitimate peripheral participation in a broad sense – making sure that kids experience life in situ, not in a special child-centric settings, but by becoming part of activities of those around them and society as a whole. Which is easier said than done, […]

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Learning spaces

November 12, 2014

My interests in learning and architecture come pretty nice together with homeschooling our kids. It’s fun to observe kids in action and then go along and modify the space around them to support their activities. When I dived into learning about project-based homeschooling, creating a workspace for the kids was the first thing I picked […]

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