Monday, August 30, 2010

What I'm Reading

No Logo- Naomi Klein

Very interesting, but slightly depressing- at least so far. Initially I felt that I should go through all our clothes and cut the labels off!

I have recovered since, and left them all alone. At least there is very little in our house where we are directly 'branded'.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Spring is in the Air

What a lovely wet winter we've had. Even this morning, before a pleasantly mild and sunny day, there was plenty of rain. We planted some strawberries in the front garden last week, and they are looking as they're settling in well. And we're starting to have lots of lovely flowers appear amongst our bulbs.

We're also onto some new blocks. Gabriel has been doing some work on fabrics- with a bit of fabric dying happening. Willow is onto botany. So yesterday we headed out for a walk in our local neighbourhood to do some sketching. I was hoping to see some fungi, but there aren't many around here at the moment. Hopefully we'll see some to sketch before the end of the block.

And we've also moved onto some new crafts- Willow is doing her second sock. She did the first one last year, and it came out beautifully. Gabriel is now learning to crochet. Just starting simply for now, lots of chains, linking in to make loops.

And below is Willow's handsewing project that she's just finished.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Jam Factory and finished work

Last week we headed to the open day of the Jam Factory and had a fabulous time. We were there for most the day, looking round, trying crafts and exploring the place. We arrived fairly early and had a try at the glass blowing whilst it was quiet, and then went to watch some artists blowing glasses for a while whilst Willow, Gabriel and Arden had their faces painted.

Their was also the opportunity to try pottery and using the pottery wheel. So Willow and Gabriel also tried that out. And we got to look around and see some jewellery making, wood being steamed and bent, and then return to the glass blowing to have another go. I must admit the glass blowing was lots of fun, and I would like to try it again.

Meanwhile we all finished our baskets.

Willow's basket

Gabriel's Basket

And mine- think maybe I should put it in a tree as a bird's nest!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Lastest Work

So we've been busy with some more craft.

Here's Willow's and Gabriel's marionettes.

Willow's Emerald in progress.

Gabriel's King Golden in progress.

And Gabriel's King Golden finished.

Finally today we've been doing some basket making. We walked over to the park at the top of O'Connell St, and collected some pine needles, then we soaked them for an hour, and finally we got into our making.

Here's today's results.

Willow's basket.

My basket.

And Gabriel's basket.

Hopefully we'll get them all finished tomorrow.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

John Taylor Gatto

I've just started reading the history of American Education.
It's very interesting and as usual John Taylor Gatto, argues some excellent points on why traditional schooling is failing, and more particularly why it was meant to fail.

A homeschool friend recently also forwarded to me an article by John Taylor Gatto, which included this excerpt.
One afternoon when I was
seven I complained to him of boredom, and he batted me hard on the
head. He told me that I was never to use that term in his presence
again, that if I was bored it was my fault and no one else's. The
obligation to amuse and instruct myself was entirely my own, and
people who didn't know that were childish people, to be avoided if
possible. Certainty not to be trusted. That episode cured me of
boredom forever, and here and there over the years I was able to
pass on the lesson to some remarkable student. For the most part,
however, I found it futile to challenge the official notion that
boredom and childishness were the natural state of affairs in the
classroom. Often I had to defy custom, and even bend the law, to
help kids break out of this trap.

I wouldn't have quite worded my thoughts of boredom in that manner, but something in the idea of boredom being an inappropriate behaviour makes sense. When we lived in Scotland the kids never said they were bored, it was not in their mentality. Then when we arrived back in Adelaide, quite a few people we knew started making comments about stuff being boring for them. I found that totally bizarre- why encourage the notion of boredom? So we decided to ban the word 'bored' from our house- on the basis that anyone who is bored, must actually be an uninteresting person, who is unable to entertain themselves and find their own interests. Generally speaking no-one even thinks about the idea anymore, fortunately.