Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.



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Leonie
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Posted: Aug 06 2007 at 8:59pm | IP Logged Quote Leonie

WJFR wrote:

So her goal is to make the environment conducive to that kind of absorption and exploration that constitutes learning.... I thought I would mention that since that has become one of my ongoing goals.


I like this goal!

So, how do we make the environment more conducive to what I term "natural learning"?

Right now, one teen is on a computer, another on the electric keyboard and two kids are running up and down stairs and in and outside, playing a shooting game with guns!

So, I guess that one way we make our home more of a learning environment is by using all of our space - for us, that means computers in the dining room, keyboard and piano in the sitting room, toys on the landing, books everywhere, plus books and articles and artwork on display on display folders, on the fridge and on the bulletin board.

We have quieter areas too (the sitting room and journalling nook).

There is organization to our home - it's loose but things are available and are rotated, iykwim?

This is definitely conducive to exploration but I wonder if our environment is conducive to absorption?

Its more than physical things, isn't it? An attitude, time...

Anyway, a great goal for me to think about adding to my list!

And, Theresa, thanks for sharing your ds' goals - nice to see his involvement and ownership of the whole process...



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Leonie
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Posted: Aug 06 2007 at 9:08pm | IP Logged Quote Leonie

JuliaT wrote:
For us, the balance works very nicely.


I agree - that is how it often works here. Right now, we are more about enjoying each moment. At other times, we work to blend our goals and the dc's goals...

Here is an article by Cafi Cohen on goals and self directed learning - directed towards parents of teens but the principles are similar to the balance you describe.


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Posted: Aug 06 2007 at 9:26pm | IP Logged Quote chicken lady

Leonie thanks for bringing this back to my attention. I have been writing out goals this summer, the first for me.
I think because my life has been dictated for me for 2 years I need some control. I need to feel like I am making choices instead of surviving daily.
That being my mind set, I have asked the dc, just as I do every fall, what they want to learn about. Now I LOVE their choices, I am always amazed at their love of learning and their interest.   I am however offering them choices within parameters. example: they all choose an instrument to learn. Music is such a joy in life, they can choose any instrument, but they will take lessons.. They are happy to do so, we all play over here, it is a natural interest.
The one constant resounding goal I have(and I dont mean to sound trite) is Heaven. Since dear Oliver died I mean to get my family to heaven. That for me means mass, rosary, cathechism, come first. I am OK with having a child who can not read, if we all can be together again. Now I don't mean we don't think reading is important, obviously I do, but the extras, they luxuries, the fluff society tells us is so important, is just is not for me.
I am trying to make virtue or habit goals for each child. I am looking honestly at where they each struggle and trying to find ways to help them.   Yes these are my goals, I pray they are ultimatly our Lords.
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Leonie
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Posted: Aug 06 2007 at 9:34pm | IP Logged Quote Leonie

chicken lady wrote:

The one constant resounding goal I have(and I dont mean to sound trite) is Heaven. Since dear Oliver died I mean to get my family to heaven. That for me means mass, rosary, cathechism, come first. I am OK with having a child who can not read, if we all can be together again. Now I don't mean we don't think reading is important, obviously I do, but the extras, they luxuries, the fluff society tells us is so important, is just is not for me.
I am trying to make virtue or habit goals for each child.   


Not trite at all - I have a few health problems and more medical tests right now, so heaven and joy seem to me to be the most important goals for us at this time.

I like the habit or virtue goals.

One thing we did recently , with a couple of other Catholic homeschoolers on the Feast of St Benedict, was have each child write their own Rule of Life. We mothers helped, made suggestions, scribed, etc.

It was pleasing to hear children say that they were going to pray the Rosary or be more positive or be friendly or helpful, a part of their Rules...

Perhaps their Rules are also their goals?

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Karen E.
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Posted: Aug 07 2007 at 12:18pm | IP Logged Quote Karen E.

Leonie wrote:

One thing we did recently , with a couple of other Catholic homeschoolers on the Feast of St Benedict, was have each child write their own Rule of Life. We mothers helped, made suggestions, scribed, etc.

It was pleasing to hear children say that they were going to pray the Rosary or be more positive or be friendly or helpful, a part of their Rules...

Perhaps their Rules are also their goals?


What a great idea, Leonie! I love that!

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Leonie
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Posted: Aug 08 2007 at 6:08pm | IP Logged Quote Leonie

Just adding a link to this thread ~ an article on living an unschooling life.

Nice quote on goals and unschooling:

<<<Unschoolers do have goals, though, that impact our day-to-day interactions with our kids. We want our children to discover theirlife's passions and to jump into them with both feet, with confidence and trust in life and themselves. We want our children to know, deep inside themselves, that they are strong and capable and can make their own individual choices. We want them to be willing to buck the mainstream culture AND buck the counterculture and think for themselves and do what they think is right and good and worthy and valuable.

I think, most of all, we want them to love being aliveŚnow and in their future.>>>

Adding in our Catholic POV, of course, to know-love-and-serve God on earth so we can be happy in Heaven....


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Posted: Aug 08 2007 at 6:34pm | IP Logged Quote chicken lady

THat is a fun read, thank you Leonie!
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Willa
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Posted: Aug 09 2007 at 11:11am | IP Logged Quote Willa

I enjoyed the article, Leonie, but this made me laugh:

Quote:
Not all parents WANT their children to grow up strong-willed and truly independent-minded. And, it is fair warning to say: "Be careful what you wish for." If what we mostly want is for our children to respect us and to adopt our beliefs and goals, unschooling may not be for us.


I see what she's saying -- if you want little carbon copies of Mom and Dad, unschooling may not be the best way -- but I unschool partly because I think that unschooling is the best way of acquiring children's respect and identification with our parental goals.

IF your principles and beliefs are TRUE, and you give the kids a chance to explore and discover that in a generally free environment, then it follows that you'll have kids who are mostly aligned with those beliefs and principles -- IN their own unique ways and with their own emphasis, of course.

Plus, sometimes the parents get to learn and grow from what their kids learn and excel in.   

I guess I am saying I wouldn't want to think you have to choose -- EITHER have independent strong kids OR have kids who share/respect parental principles and beliefs -- I think it's perfectly possible to have both.   



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Willa
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Posted: Aug 09 2007 at 11:24am | IP Logged Quote Willa

Leonie wrote:

There is organization to our home - it's loose but things are available and are rotated, iykwim?

This is definitely conducive to exploration but I wonder if our environment is conducive to absorption?

Its more than physical things, isn't it? An attitude, time...


I suppose I look for balance -- not exactly the same evey day but different things in different times -- like the toddler diet -- over time it adds up to nutrition though one day may be dominated by cereal or cheese.

Yes, it has to be more than physical things.   Here is a wealthy family, and here is one scraping from paycheck to paycheck.   Does the family that can afford all the neat stuff have the unschooling advantage? I would not think so.   

I suppose unschooling's bottom line is things of the spirit -- things you quoted from the Pam Sooroshian article.   Stanford called it "intellectual vitality" -- it can actually be strengthened by some struggle or disadvantages.

Very vague and idealistic, I know... I am thinking of our year in San Francisco when Aidan was in critical care when we had very little "stuff", and very little emotional or intellectual energy.    I remember one day I took old boxes and my 6 year old and I made swords and shields -- it became a "pivot" moment.   I would say "Zen" if you wouldn't misunderstand it -- maybe "contemplative" would be a better Catholic word, if you understand contemplation as a moment when vast significance is centered around something rather small and ordinary in itself.

You couldn't reproduce it or MAKE it happen, but something happened, and it didn't take expense, or careful planning, or any of those good things. Which makes me think that planning and money and talent and all those things are nice "in aid of"s -- but aren't the heart of what learning is about.

Muddled enough?   I have to get off the computer -- hope this doesn't thoroughly make you wonder what I have been on today -- nothing besides freshly ground coffee, I promise    -- and perimenopausal hormones.

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Posted: Sept 11 2007 at 7:59am | IP Logged Quote chicken lady

WJFR wrote:
[QUOTE=Leonie]
   Does the family that can afford all the neat stuff have the unschooling advantage? I would not think so.    

You couldn't reproduce it or MAKE it happen, but something happened, and it didn't take expense, or careful planning, or any of those good things. Which makes me think that planning and money and talent and all those things are nice "in aid of"s -- but aren't the heart of what learning is about.




Love this Willa!   Two things struck me when reading this. Last week while away at vacation/retreat I spoke with a priest about how I am slowly coming to see poverty as a true gift. When we had resources I ran and bought and did. I had my dc involved in Coops and every activity I thought would bring them more education and therefore happiness. Now, I simply cannot go and do. We have stillness and family, what a forces gift. God the Father really does save uas from ourselves.
Secondly, last night, dh and I were laughingwatching our children playing for HOURS in all the trees laying in our yard. We had 12 HUGE pines felled, but we have to clean them up, since that part is to costly. So we have a forest of felled trees in our yard, in which the dc have made up all sorts of hiding places and imaginary villages.    We cannot buy this, we cannot force this, we can only sit back and allow the dc to live and learn (play). Being poor has brought us more life and more tangible opportunities than I could ever have brought.

There, now that is muddled, perhaps you could share some of that fresh ground coffee with me
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Posted: Sept 13 2007 at 5:35am | IP Logged Quote Pricelesslorna

I so agree with the above quote too.
People always laugh when I say I want to give my children the best that money CAN'T buy..... it' only a few large Cathloic families and a few other unschoolers who seem to understand me though!

Lorna
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