Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Mindful Learning

I like the term "mindful" education -- it reminds me again of attached mothering, which is above all responsive and respectful.

I noticed today that when I showed Paddy and Aidan the plain but elegant Alphaphonics, they were both intrigued by the words and letters and the patterns and lists. They pointed to the letters and tried to pick the X out in words like "ax" and they enjoyed themselves thoroughly. Later Paddy browsed through "Goodnight Moon" and talked and pointed. And still later Kieron was throwing a cake box into the fire to see what colors it would make, and he was fascinated by the way the flames shot through the box opening "like a building on fire" and by the way the coating on the surface bubbled and liquefied.

It occured to me yesterday that a lot of learning is like the iceberg under the depths of the water, and the "formal" academics is like the visible tip. For example, Aidan gets his therapy, but most of his "real" therapy is what he does himself day in and out. The formal therapy does two things: (1) evaluates, reinforces and targets specific skills and (2) provides him (potentially) with new activities he can do on his own, in other words a branching off point for his own games, a kind of "strewing."

In actual fact he does NOT usually build on the activities by choice. Almost never. I wonder if there's some way I can "unschool" therapy at home and build naturally on what he does artificially in his therapy sessions.

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