Seasonal rhytms

by Lilia Efimova on 18 August 2016

I always find it amazing, seeing how the choices of our kids of what to do and where are changing with the seasons.

Spring brings everyone outside. Suddenly everything, including food and drinks have to happen under the sky. They invent countless games in the garden and around and those don’t get boring.

Autumn is different. It seems that kids get saturated with outdoor activities and sun, they are driven inside as with a strong magnet. All of the games that could be played outside are now happening inside, the dose of Lego and Minecraft increases and it takes more effort to get them inside.

Summer is loose and self-driven. There is a big dose of changing scenery, travel and events, so kids seem to “go with the flow” and reinvent “normal” in between, just enough to rest before the next challenge.

Winter is generally full of structure and creative boredom. This is when routines are important to keep everyone sane and more structured forms of keeping one busy come actively into play. Clubs, sports, board games, books, films and online, as well as Minecraft and Lego are ruling this time.

Of course, the seasons are not finely cut. As it some point in August I notice that the nights are getting colder and the leaves are getting yellower, I also see that summer lifestyle has reached its saturation point and the signs of autumn are starting to appear.

And yes, I am a bit sad to see them playing inside while it’s sunny and warm and beautiful outside. The good thing is that they are enjoying all that without my personal “summer is almost over” sadness.


Lightning and thunder

by Lilia Efimova on 15 April 2016

Coming from supermarket (usual after dinner shift), unloading and sorting things out, and then, on the way to play “just one round” of a board game, this. Nature, physics and math – just because it’s stormy and the delay between lightning and thunder is always amazing.

Love how it always happens.


Things to write on making

April 9, 2016

I’m longing to write, but the physical reality takes over. Two weeks in Russia with the kids, flu, Easter, laser cutter workshop and spring season in the garden, not to mention the kids, all need their share of attention. So, not to produce yet another unfinished draft I’ll make a quick list of things to […]

0 comments Read the full post →

Facilitating informal learning: mindset, lifestyle and paying attention

March 27, 2016

Easter lunch is not about learning, but it serves as a good example to talk about the mindset and the lifestyle that enable learning as part of life. It also helps to see why noticing and articulating informal, embedded and implicit is important.

0 comments Read the full post →

Learning transfer

February 16, 2016

Learning is in the details. There are things that go routinely now. Household work, reading-writing-math plain or embedded into games and activities, logging lists to document what’s going on, sport and other clubs, weekly homeschooling meetings. That’s a basis that we really pay attention to if something breaks. A good ground of sorts. However, what […]

0 comments Read the full post →

Designing for a family learning: meaningful activities for adults

February 13, 2016

I’m trying to articulate what are the ingredients for mixed age learning that includes adults and kids as a series of posts. This one is about the importance of including meaningful activities for adults.

0 comments Read the full post →

Performance improvement mindset and taking it for granted

February 9, 2016

I take for granted how much my thinking about learning has been influenced by a ‘performance improvement’ mindset. It’s time to deal with those tacit assumptions explicitly, especially given that in education the gap between learning and ‘work’ seems to be bigger than in L&D.

0 comments Read the full post →

Homeschooling in the Netherlands: how to start networking

January 31, 2016

To learn about homeschooling from the first-hand experiences and to make sure your kids have contact with other homeschooled kids, you need to network first. How to you go about it if you don’t know any homeschooling families in person?

0 comments Read the full post →

Three learning and teaching trends in 2016 and the essence of homeshooling

January 27, 2016

Those three themes capture the essence of homeschooling for me at this point. Student-driven personalised learning as a main driving force, experimenting with learning models and environments as a mean to get something that works and looking for alternative models for learning assessment as a way to improve and as a mean to judge where we are in relation to the formal educational system.

1 comment Read the full post →

Wat is het doel van onderwijs? and networked learning

January 24, 2016

  An interview-based documentary about the purpose of education, a good one to watch. It’s still very much school-centric view on education, as if it is unthinkable to question the institution itself. It also doesn’t touch on the thorny question “who controls learning?”. All of which is not bad, because “compatibility with current practices” is […]

0 comments Read the full post →

In search for reflection formats that fit

January 14, 2016

When I stopped working, one of the things I wanted was about doing more non-digital, observable things. In other words – living a life that could be more easily shared with children, because they can observe and participate. Today, I suddenly realised that I’m starting to miss ‘the other side’. In a contrast with the […]

0 comments Read the full post →

More blogging, less Facebook

January 5, 2016

In the last hours of 2015 the story on how Social networks are turning the internet into television by Hossein Derakhshan came to me, via Facebook, of course. He writes about striking contrast between internet as a web with its hyperlinked currency before and the television model that it’s becoming now: Even before I went to jail, though, the power […]

0 comments Read the full post →

From 2015 to 2016

January 3, 2016

Those three days were a lot of fun. Improv, playing on stage and on the floor, making fire, old and new songs, Turner in Rijksmuseum Twente, skating, walking, laughing, cooking, sharing thoughts and food with friends, big and small. And knipertjes that came as an unexpected gift, just in time to celebrate the year about to […]

0 comments Read the full post →

Unschooling structures: shape and focus

December 16, 2015

One of the things that is on my thinking radar now is what I call ‘unschooling structure’ – the things that help to shape and focus learning. In particularly I’m wondering about providing kids with an exposure to and participation in practices of the society (thinking in terms of Lave&Wenger here). For me those have […]

0 comments Read the full post →