Mathemagenic

Learning highlights: November 2018

Mathemagenic

November was an internally busy month for myself, but oure kids are still learning.

2018 89

November in review: transitions

Mathemagenic

November turned to be a strange month. I went to Moscow for a week, without the kids and, for a first time in many years, without a real to do list. It was good to recharge, reconnect and reconsider. It was two years since my mother passed away. It is good to feel that transition period of mourning and sorting out all the practical implications is over.

2018 89

Winter garden

Mathemagenic

There is not much to expect in the garden in the winter, I thought. Everything is harvested by now and we have a few months ahead for most of the maintenance jobs (although I know that those months fly very fast). So, this is what we found: ripe raspberries to eat in beginning of December. a raspberry plant with roots going so deep that I stopped trying finding the end of it (raspberry roots usually stay on the surface).

2018 89

Evidence of a friendship

Mathemagenic

A friend from Moscow, who was coming to our house to celebrate my birthday with me was refused a visum. Because, between the other things, they couldn’t see clearly why she was coming. Which made me thinking of what can actually can serve as an evidence of a friendship. She is a singer.

2018 116

Learning highlights: July-August 2018

Mathemagenic

It’s way into September now, but I still want to catch some of the highlights of July and August.

2018 116

Dealing with resistance and difficulties

Mathemagenic

This is something that was in drafts for a while and I hesitated about publishing it – it is personal and about difficult things. Yesterday we had a discussion with other homeschooling parents about “everything is cool and easy” picture that you usually get from the social media profiles of others and the importance of talking about the reality which is challenging enough.

2018 109

Fluid structures: a climbing frame

Mathemagenic

Russian households have a long history of indoor climbing frames, created as a space for a physical development and play. Our house in the Netherlands was no different and for many years we had a small scale climbing structure ( Early start ) in the middle of our living room, used extensively for physical activities, lounging and playing. Its best feature was openness : the frame could be turned onto any side, afforded multiple uses and could be extended endlessly with add-ons and accessories.

2018 89

Transfer of learning

Mathemagenic

In the camp of Natural School in Russia kids had to decide themselves when and what to cook* when they were hungry. And then cook that, learning all kinds of handy things on the way (e.g. how much work it takes to make a pancake cake and how many people it could feed at the end).

2018 116

Aan het filmen

Mathemagenic

Kids from our homeschooling group are working on a movie. We are not supposed to know much about it, since it’s their own project. It is managed by a 9,5 years old, who is busy with shooting and editing videos for a couple of years by now. So far they had two days to work on it f2f as a group and in-between communication to sort out what is needed.

2018 89

Household activities as part of homeschooling curriculum

Mathemagenic

Emily have learnt how to vacuum clean and is very proud of it. I still smile thinking of her beaming face when she told her grandmother that clean carpet at their feet had been cleaned by her. I always say that in our family household work is an important part of the curriculum.

2016 193

Looking for a task management tool

Mathemagenic

I am looking for a task management tool to organise work across people and contexts. So far we are with Trello, but I’m not happy with it. What do I need? a pool of tasks, some of which are shared with the others and belong to projects. being able to assign a task to multiple contexts (projects/views/boards/tags). an overview on those tasks that I can easily tweak. personalised views and organisation of the tasks (including shared) for the other team members. RTM+iGoogle combo.

2018 89

15 years of blogging, FB and what’s next

Mathemagenic

Ton’s post on 15 Years of Blogging made me realise that I had reached similar milestone all the way back in June. From all my online experiences blogging has given me the most. A habit to write regularly, a space to look back at my own progress, a network of people that I feel connected to even if we don’t interact much right now. It has also given me a benchmark of what I’d like to experience in an online social space. That brings me to more blogging, less Facebook again.

2017 143

Learning highlights: September 2018

Mathemagenic

September is a busy month: as school holidays are over there is a time to celebrate the beginning of new learning year with Not Back To School Parties and to sort out the routines of regular sports, clubs and other activities. This year we did more than usual since the kids are older and I wanted to talk more with the parents who have more experience of homeschooling beyond primary school age. So, here is a list of things that kept us busy. <photo

2018 89

Making flexible structures (2)

Mathemagenic

This is something I always liked, growing in a small apartment with lots of usable corners and self-made furniture, some of which survived for almost forty years of ebb and flow of uses. Switching away from digital with the kids gave me much more opportunities to play with making fluid physical spaces myself.

2018 89

Learning is everywhere

Mathemagenic

Yesterday I went to pick up a few things at Viermarken , a little farm close to our house. It’s may be 5 minutes cycling, but it was a crispy sunny day, so we (my crew of 3 and me) were not in a hurry and went for a walk on the farm, to look at chicken and vegetable fields in winter.

2015 237

On homeschooling, integration and Dutch

Mathemagenic

Netherlands, thank you and goodbye – This one came on FB and on It’s written by Kai-Ting Huang, a Taiwaneese user experience designer who left Netherlands after four years on study and work.

2015 204

Small things to enjoy

Mathemagenic

2018 89

Holding the space

Mathemagenic

Holding space means protecting the boundaries so that people can work. Harold Jarche. As I read this it adds up to another article on holding space and then things fall into places – this is the biggest part of my job in facilitating unschooling. I don’t really give lessons.

2015 203

Learning ice skating

Mathemagenic

Last Friday, skating with our homeschooling friends at Openluchtmuseum I though how personally important themes return again and again.

2017 116

Facilitating informal learning: mindset, lifestyle and paying attention

Mathemagenic

I’ve posted this photo of Easter celebration with our homeschooling friends on Facebook, but I feel that there is more to say about it. A lot of learning in our lives is informal, embedded, implicit.

2016 173

Marble runs and music machines

Mathemagenic

What started from a mesmerising video of a marble run turned into something more. After watching a couple of videos I’ve got curious about the people behind them and the whole phenomenon of (making money from) making marble runs. So we came to an article about it.

2017 116

Verhalen van de zee: shadow puppets, storytelling and learning around

Mathemagenic

Our shadow puppets workshop in Wowlab in April 2016 was very much focused on a puppet itself, its character and different ways to make it. This time we wanted to have a different focus, so the emphasis moved from making puppets to using them to tell a story.

2017 116

June in review

Mathemagenic

The whirlpool of transitional events and general “end of spring travel crazyness” seem to be quieting down and now it’s time to start setting in a new rhythm while enjoying the things that do not change (the berry harvest from the garden is pretty stable although which berries are there change.

2018 89

Magic work

Mathemagenic

Alexander has been into magician performances for a while now. So we didn’t want to miss an opportunity to see one just across the border in Muenster (and it was in Russian, which is always a bonus).

2017 116

A sense of community

Mathemagenic

Now, as our homeschooling community goes through what I’d call ‘growing pains’ and will morph into something new I feel like catching up a few thoughts of what made it as it is. Weekly rhythm: Thursday meetings. When we started more than three years ago we picked up Thursday as a meeting day. First it was just a convenient workday to meet, but over time schedules of several families had to evolve around it.

2018 98

What parents don’t see

Mathemagenic

Homeschoolers hear often that their kids are always supervised by their parents, that they lack time to be outside of the family to learn about other ways of doing things.

2017 116

Learning highlights: October 2017

Mathemagenic

Internet of things with Robert. Video: playing with a tripod and learning making videos together with Lilia. * Stamps and graphic art workshop at Wowlab. Observational drawing, 3d art and recycling art. Watching Nederland van boven : geography, nature, culture and data visualisations.

2017 116

Black cape

Mathemagenic

It was fun to teach him the art of ironing seams. And, with a little advice here and there, he could do the rest. But what I admire the most is the determination. He planned making a black cape for a while. We’ve got a fabric somewhere in the summer and the ribbon a couple of weeks ago.

2017 116

Converging in unschooling

Mathemagenic

Unschooling, as a way to support your children interests is a very divergent practice. There is a lot of exploration, following one’s curiousity and informal learning. Lots of bits and sometimes even parts of a puzzle.

2017 116

The magic of connecting the dots

Mathemagenic

What I like the most about facilitating learning is the magic of connecting the dots. Or, better, being patient enough to see the kids connecting the dots by themselves.

2015 182

Schat van Dalfsen

Mathemagenic

Although we missed public archeological excavation at Dalfsen with our homeschooling friends , there was another chance to do it. A couple of years ago we had a guided tour at an excavation in Velikiy Novgorod. In Dalfsen kids could not only look, but participate guided by archeologists.

2017 116

Legitimate peripheral participation and having fun

Mathemagenic

This is the essence of Wowlab workshops for me, next to making : creating conditions for legitimate peripheral participation and having fun. Unschooling learning highlights legitimate peripheral participation unschooling

2017 116

Making flexible structures

Mathemagenic

What happens if you design and build stuff for your kids’ rooms? They play a family where the parents design and build a room for their kid. And they are true to the details, including the division of tasks between the parents and designing something that can easily change.

2017 116

Do I give lessons at home?

Mathemagenic

When I tell people that we are homeschooling our kids, they usually say something like “so, you give lessons to your kids at home, right?” ” No really :). Like today.

2013 231

Mother tongue and identity

Mathemagenic

Still, for many of us, our mother tongue is bound up with our deeper identity, our memories and sense of self. The article, Can you lose your native language? , is about language attrition, but my brain picks up this piece, because it’s something I’ve been thinking a lot recently. I speak Russian to our kids, but we live in the Netherlands and recently I started to get more pressure to speak Dutch to them when other people are present.

2018 89

Things you learn while homeschooling

Mathemagenic

Recognise signal in the noise. Literally. Three kids make a lot of noise – they switch activities and materials, they produce a lot of stuff, they occupy lots of space and they are just noisy even if you don’t count the media and electronics that they use once in a while.

2015 191

Educational innovation: schools vs homeschooling?

Mathemagenic

From butterflies to pie charts

Mathemagenic

This is how learning usually happens in our family: we start at one point and end up somewhere totally different. This time Anna wanted to draw a butterfly and wasn’t sure how to draw it and how to color the wings.

2015 174

Homeschooling over time

Mathemagenic

I keep on thinking how needs of a homeschooling family change over time. No data-based generalisations here, just observations. In the beginning it’s all about role-models and information. Finding people, who made the choice, and figuring out how to fit it in in the own circumstances. Vision (why and what) and boundary conditions.

2018 89

What unschooling and unconferences have in common?

Mathemagenic

When talking with people about our choice to educate our kids outside of a school, there is a moment when I mention unschooling as the basis of our approach. And then it’s a real challenge to explain what is actually about. When I say that there is no curricula that we follow, no list of things to be done for a day of months, and that we follow the interests of our children, it looks like a chaos, where achieving anything is a challenge.

2015 162

Family bias and what to do about it when homeschooling

Mathemagenic

2015 178

Learning spaces

Mathemagenic

My interests in learning and architecture come pretty nice together with homeschooling our kids. It’s fun to observe kids in action and then go along and modify the space around them to support their activities.

2014 188

In the wind of change

Mathemagenic

Lots of unfinished and half-started posts make it more difficult to start writing again. I feel as I should did something about the backlog first, but new things are coming up and waiting becomes less and less of an option. So, I’ll write. And at some point I finish whatever has been started and post it backdated, who cares. Anyway.

2018 89