Tuesday, April 8, 2014

What is Inspiring Us?

We are four children and two adults on this day as Zoe is exploring school as a way of learning and Luke is exploring the option of Kindy. 

It seems Zoe (7) already, after only 2 weeks of visits, has her reservations of how learning looks at school, feeling the restrictions of time and inspiration, and relaying this to Mum. They are discussing options and how to meet Zoe's need for knowledge.

So with these four precious souls we thought we would explore the giraffe language, languaging from the heart. Inspired by Compassionate Communication (aka Non Violent Communication http://www.nvc.org.nz/?page_id=1247) one of the many things we discuss in our weekly SelfDesign Learning Circle meetings.

Of course the children had much to say about this idea, the giraffe has the largest heart of all animals hence this animal was chosen to demonstrate this type of language. Kalea loves the giraffe and enjoyed using the puppet to play.

                          Giraffe and language of the heart.

along with trains and sand made for some interesting tramp games......

Getting creative with the bag of toys brought along for a jump.

One of the many inspirations, today we actioned making lip balm from natural ingredients. Children were so absorbed in the play this ended up being an adult activity, though the kids loved to test it out and they all had their own container.

Lip Balm Making from Natural Ingredients.

They didn't want to miss the home made pizza making though!

During lunch and afterwards we were having talks on the next big projects and actions, stemming from our passions. Ideas discussed:
* Ancient Horses play scene
* Puppet Show box/cubby house
* Collecting pre loved toys for a stall (raising money to buy more ancient horses)
* Making more scrubs and lip balms from natural ingredients
* Story writing and finding a local mentor to inspire us
* Craft/Art experiences
* Local sports teams that are available
* Nature Tracks days coming up soon
* Art classes coming up during school holidays

I took some photos of our learning room that we use once a week, as we decide how it will change to fit whats going on for us now :)

Another day of being inspired by each other, enjoying being together and learning as a group xx

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Peace-ing out with 2,3,4,5,6 year olds

The age of the children today, and it was bliss. There seem to be non-stop play creation in all sorts of peaceful ways:
* quietly zooming around the train track
* creating a dark space in a room where they had pretending-to-go-to-sleep play
* collecting eggs and feeding chickens
* making home made ice-cream in the Thermomix
* reading off the wish list
* ancient horses
* sand pit buildings
* lentil hotpot lunch
* climbing the doorframe with a bean bag underneath

......and towards the end of the day a snuggle with National Geographic Documentary on Seals

So much learning, so much fun!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


HIVE is another community resource we have in our community.

Following is from their website http://www.hivetaranaki.co.nz/

Liveable Communities ~ Sustainable Lifestyles...

Mana Whenua, Mana Tangata, Manaaki.

Our mission is to facilitate systemic change to achieve sustainable communities.

A school outdoor activity they planned was an opportunity for us to be involved as home based learners. Our group certainly looked different with so many Mums tagging along :)

HIVE Flyer For The Event

                                      Pukeiti Garden

Beautiful place to spend the morning, with spectacular Taranaki weather. There were many very well planned activities which I noticed suited some children and not others. The beginning there were many welcome speeches, for some our children to sit through these was quite long......for me they were quite long :)

Then off to the activities the first one for us was listening to a Maori legend about native birds then colouring in a paper feather, writing the words of known local birds, then handing it in for a "prize". This acknowledgment the feather was then stuck onto a cloak with all the other children's creations.

One of the Mum's from Taranaki Learners pointed out to an organiser that out children not only may not choose to write they also do things because they want to and never receive "prizes" simply for finishing a task. Initially this was met with some resistance, then soon after she came back and acknowledged this could possibly be a much better way to be in this world. Working from a place of internal motivation, from the heart rather than external motivation set by someone outside of ourselves and our own true desires :) This was lovely episode to witness.

Needless to say I noticed some very unique creations completed by the children.

Next activity was bird watching, wandering the gardens, checking out the tree houses which were prime bird watching locations and using binoculars for bird spotting.

After the lunch and a game, Grace had had her fill of many people and directions so we headed home. I heard the rest of the event went really well and at the end was a time to exchange gifts. The box we had created between all of our families was full of goodies such as seedlings, couple of nice plants for the garden, pesto, fresh garden carrots and a few other lovely things. Apparently the return gift was one plant to share amongst the whole group. By all accounts the children instead of being disappointed were grateful for what they had and  empathic of others who had less abundance to give :)

Certainly a magnificent spot to visit.