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Julie graduated from Creighton University with a major in dance and Theology and taught for several years at an inner-city school in Milwaukee. With a desire to expand her knowledge of the arts and spirituality, she attended St. John’s University in Collegeville and completed a Masters in Theology and Liturgical Studies. Over the years, her quest to merge diverse religious beliefs and practices through the commonalities of love and peaceful living, led her to travel, live, and study with shaman practitioners, herbal healers, Native American medicine women, Buddhist priests and other earth-based spiritual teachers. Through these experiences and experiences with global metaphysical teachings, she learned to honor the eternal source of love in all people.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Education and Children in a Kin Domain

One of the areas Anastasia, the Siberian recluse, touches upon in the Ringing Cedar series, which has provided me with much reflection, is the crisis in the modern education system. As a pro-home schooler, I witnessed that my children learned with very little interference. For instance, when the element of time became important to them, they asked for an explanation about how to read a face clock. The explanation took less than five minutes, the concept stuck; I didn’t need anything fancy--just my pointer finger and a face clock. How old was my child when he asked? Six. The same thing happened with calendars, days of the week, and the moon and planet cycles.

Though people elect to home school for a myriad of reasons, I home schooled because I wanted to experience the joy of watching my children learn. There is nothing that can quite duplicate the glow in a child’s eyes and the matching facial expression when a concept has opened another world of thought for a child--that “ah, ha” moment we’ve all experienced. As it turned out, my children are both dyslexic so hindsight being twenty-twenty, they had the best educational foundation possible—direct instruction.

When they couldn’t read, instead of taking up the painstaking task of repetition, we spent the time developing other gifts. I read aloud everything they selected, plus what I sprinkled in. When my eldest was four he began to pick chapter books. He wanted content not pictures. He hadn’t been exposed to media that created pictures for him like television and computers, thus he had a well developed imagination which created vivid images from the written text on the page. For several hours everyday, I read history, science, and all manner of quality literature. Instead of a written exam at the end of each chapter or book, we held a discussion. I became famous for closing a book and saying, so tell me about what we read today.

By understanding their thought processes, I could funnel appropriate material their direction. I guess I could go on forever with examples of positive learning based on my parenting choices, but I’m more curious to hear positive results from others who have witnessed children learning. No educational system can create, replace, or duplicate a loving, respectful, interested, interactive parent. The most I'd venture to say is the system can enhance the foundation created in the space of love, the Kin Domain.


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