Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thankful Thursday - Inspirations and Different Perspectives

Karen Tyler is a wonderful Montessorian and has been a real inspiration to many of us,  largely   homeschooling moms...

Karen gets it...
She gets that there may very well be great reasons (ranging from spiritual to physical, from financial to philosophical) WHY we homeschool and why we choose to utilize Montessori materials and the Montessori philosophy in our homes.
She gets the notion of a Montessori inspired home and also gets the idea that some of us choose to not only use Montessori but also to incorporate some other materials and philosophies into something that works for our children.
She gets that we are all on our own life journey and that one size does not fit all with respect to educational settings, for some children have very specific environmental or learning needs, so Karen has been willing to share her expertise in helping us to navigate how to try to "do Montessori" in the home. 

Karen gives it...
She gives freely of herself, her experiences, her materials, her insights...
She has made her online training, her excellent albums, and her lectures, essays, helpful hints very accessible.
She is incredibly generous. She does not charge nearly what her training is worth...she wants to share her wealth of knowledge and does so out of the goodness of her heart.

Although I have additional degrees in education and have classroom teaching experience, going through Karen's program really helped me to chart a course for homeschooling my sons. Homeschooling is a whole other "ballgame" than being in the classroom in a school setting, regardless of whether it is public or private, traditional or progressive, etc.

So, from the bottom of my heart, Karen, thank you!
Karen is the founder and instructor for Montessori Worldwide Album Class and runs A Montessori Marketplace.


Now, for some inspiration and a very different perspective...

Jenny is a Reggio Emilia inspired, progressive education preschool teacher and blogger and new one to me...

Her blog, called let the children play, is something to behold, as it challenges my comfort zone with what I would consider safe for my sons to do...but to grow, we need to be challenged...we need to re-evaluate from time to time and think about the authentic learning process, and that includes letting children get messy and taking risks...

Here are two of her thought provoking sentences:

While we don't want children to come to harm, our fears can lead us to overreact to risky play.  If we remove risk from play, we are not encouraging children to persist at challenging tasks.  If we remove the challenges we are not developing resilience in our children.

Being a bit of a chicken comes most naturally for me...
I am good (bordering on very good) at being a chicken...

When you have three very high risk pregnancies, you lose one dear one at 20 weeks, your oldest child is born with tracheomalacia, and your youngest child has Von Willebrand's, and both of your sons have asthma and allergies, it is very easy to be overly protective...keeping them in a bubble would not be wise, nor really even feasible, nor would it be good for their intellectual / physical / emotional growth...
They need to go out and explore the world, and that is what we do try to do...but in all honesty, allowing them to try things that I would normally consider dangerous makes me feel nauseous, almost like how I feel going down a big twisty water slide ride.
Absolutely do not like feeling like I am completely out of control, so just as it completely freaks me out when we go to a water park and go on water slide rides where your whole family is all thrust togther on a big inflatable donut and you spin uncontrollably round and round as you simultaneously go downhill, without being able to see where you are going...without being able to control the direction you are headed or the speed or the trajectory of your ride... 

But as I read her blog and some of the ones she has in her sidebar, feel compelled to loosen up a bit and maybe just maybe them try some more risky outdoor activities.

So, Jenny, thank you from the bottom of my heart...you have given me so much food for thought!

We were told outright that under no certain circumstances can Little Bro play contact sports. 
Not up for consideration...just out and out, No... don't do it.

So, with that being the case, that makes us question what other outdoorsy fun will he not be able to do while growing up that usually other boys love, such as rock climbing, tree climbing, or building structures that could lead to him getting injured.

It is a tricky balancing act...but I do realize that I have to be willing to loosen up at least a little. 

Then, the other question that eats at me is how do we then make it"fair" for Big Bro, if Little Bro can't do these things?

How do I make it fair for both boys?

 If you have a child or children whom you feel you very well might shelter a little too much, then please pop over to check out Jenny's interesting blog


Well, thank you to both of these dynamic, insightful, intelligent women. 

They have made an impact on me. Hope that they will make an impact on you, too... 

One more thing, please be sure to read my post about the upcoming scavenger hunt for this weekend...it's gonna be fun!!!

3 comments:

Olives and Pickles said...

What a great post...very inspirational!!Thank you for the links..I will visit them later today..and also Thank you for giving me part of your time visiting my blog! Looking forward to check your next post.

jenny said...

Thank you so much for the lovely mention. I'm happy you discovered my blog, and I'm happy to have discovered yours too :) I'm off to read some of the links. This is the thing I love best about blogging - it is a network that just keeps on growing and provides so much inspiration and so many ideas that I have used at our own preschool.

2 Pequeños Traviesos said...

Thanks for the inspiration and all the information. I've been wanting to take Karen's course. I've heard so many good things about her. I'll be checking out this other blog you talk about. I've been afraid to mix other philosophies with Montessori, don't know why.
Big hugs!
PS: you "killed me" with the chicken part. I'm a chicken too!

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