Thursday, 26 June 2014

How much is enough?

I've just been captured, for the millionth time, by facebook and by general browsing, and I've come to the conclusion that a lot of folks who home educate have the same question.

"Is my child doing enough?"

Or, put another way, "Is my child being lazy and not completing what he or she should be?"

Or, "How much is enough work? How much should Bub be doing?"

We're all conscious of time and the 'achievements' not only of our own children, but the neighbours' and our children's friends and, well, anyone really.

Odd, isn't it?

When you do accept that children are the most amazing beings who are learning during their waking periods and, probably, during sleep times too, then that question isn't worth asking.

Your child, my child, anyone's child has an internal set-up of his or her own. You can't hurry love, as the song would have it, but you can't hurry learning either. It happens naturally, when the individual is ready or when the time is right. As a facilitator of learning, you can have all the pieces of the jigsaw present, but you
cannot force the person to put it together. The learner is the best arbiter of his or her learning.

Education is free in that way. We all learn something when the time is right. We all learn what we need to when we should.

Any force or coercion in teaching or learning is not only trying to control the learner, but it's counterproductive.Everyone has that secret hate: the dumb Physical Education lessons, the extra hard Maths that you failed because you didn't 'get' the previous step.

So how much is enough? It's a meaningless question.

Whatever you do is enough. If it's right for the learner, the learning will always be enough.

Saturday, 14 June 2014


I am mindful that I haven't posted for some time.

We have suffered loss.

Our lives have changed irrevocably.

We are saddened. We are shocked.

We are studying mindfulness.

"After three years of study, the novice monk arrives at the dwelling of his teacher. He enters the
room, bursting with ideas about knotty issues of Buddhist metaphysics, and well-prepared for
the deep questions that await him in his examination.

'I have but one question,' his teacher intones.

'I am ready, master,' he replies.

'In the doorway, were the flowers to the left or to the right of the umbrella?'

The novice retires, abashed, for three more years of study."

Mindfulness is attention to the present moment.

If you don't pay attention to the 'now',  what will you learn?

Quotation from the amazing book Authentic Happiness by Martin E. P. Seligman