Why the Tree of Life?


Daddy's Shoes

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Practice & Play Time

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A couple of weekends ago, some friends of ours took us out to the lake in their boat. This morning, Dunagan, Ayla and I recreated the boat, complete with downstairs cabin, stairs, bunks, shower bathroom, seats, steering and diving platform. We seemed to be more plagued by sharks than at the lake.
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Blanton Museum

We went to Blanton Museum this Thursday. The boys didn't have gymnastics, and the museum is free that day, so it was a nice opportunity. I had heard there was a contemporary exhibit in the lounge that have interactive parts that kids could play with. It turned out to be themed around educational philosphies of the past and present culminating in the theory that the abstract can only come from initial contact with the concrete. Anyway, as part of the exhibit, there were a lot of manipulatives available for children to interact with. Dunagan made a windmill with a house and river running down to it. They enjoyed the exhibit, and I hope they keep it for a while.

On the shelves circling the lounge, the artist had books from many educational philosopher of the last 150 years: Dewey, Piaget, Pestalozzi, Holt, Montessori... even Tolstoy. So many different theories. So many 'right' ways to teach children. It was good for me to see right now. So many individual educators with a professional lifetime of experience and success, and all different. Some, I'm sure, are standing on the shoulders of others, but plenty are in direct opposition to each other. So, I can't go wrong if I just pay attention to my kids.
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Home Again

We've been traveling a lot this summer, and we just got back from the Enki Conference weekend before last. We're still recovering a bit.

The boys started gymnastics today at Capital Gymnastics. It is a three hour drop-off class with gymnastics instruction, free play and lunch, and cooperative games. Both boys had a great time, but Dunagan said it was too long. It will be interesting to see which feeling wins out for him. I told him that he can go to gymnastics or he can come home with Ayla and I to have a nap.

I'm currently reworking our entire daily schedule. Something had to give. I had too much crammed in there, so I have been spending a lot of that rethinking as prioritizing. What's most important? What's out of reach? What can wait?

Along with the re-prioritizing, I have been looking over our past year with the Enki Approach, and I am having to re-evaluate where I want to stick with Enki and where I want to choose something easier for teacher health. I still really like the way new concept is brought to the student, but I am having trouble making sure that Kirven does all the other activities that go along with that to solidify those concepts. Increasingly, I am turning to some more traditional sources. For instance, my plan now is that we will do the story work with the language arts and math stories for new concepts, but that for practice work, he will do Miquon worksheets, and we'll do reading practice out of the Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading.

I'm just having trouble pulling this alternative method off and staying sane at the same time (and not feeling like I'm short-changing any of my children). I still have a lot to think through.

I still like the developmental approach (matching subject to their development).
I still like all the movement work (but there is an area I continually get resistance).
I still like.... oh, I could go on, but I'm boring myself here, so I bet I'm boring you... Needless to say, this stuff is running continuous circuits through my head.

I think I have picked the hardest philosophy to implement in the home.