Mathemagenic

Teams, communities and networks: a case of our homeschooling group

Mathemagenic

We had a meeting in our homeschooling group yesterday to discuss what do and how do we actually want to do together after a period of “let’s see where things go by themselves” Over last few months I almost gave up on investing in our local homeschooling community.

2019 116

Open web, newcomers and community tools

Mathemagenic

Over last years I made many attempts to return to blogging, but couldn’t quite get the feeling of how it was before. That feeling of belonging. To the idea space. To the tribe of people connected by the intricate network of invisible stories and traces of digital artefacts. I guess it had to do not only with the state of things on the web but also with my own processes of learning in other spaces and building up enough energy to rejoin in the open.

2019 89

Growing ideas and PKMastery workshop

Mathemagenic

When I stopped working the most difficult part was to leave that space where ideas are grown and to leave seeds of new insights to be there without helping them to grow. I needed to make that choice eight years ago, to be able to recover from burnout and to learn how to care for myself, our three kids and my permaculture garden.

2019 89

Three musketeers, time and knowledge gaps

Mathemagenic

I wanted to share with the kids D’Artagnan and Three Musketeers movie of my childhood, an iconic musical of its time. So we set into it, spreading three series over three evenings. And then, as usual, it became watching a movie turned into a learning experience. The first part includes musketeers song that was written to become a hit, as we found out later, watching stories about how the movie was made. Of course, it became a hit with my kids and they started to sing it.

2019 89

The politics of translation and the role of staff in Sudbury schools

Mathemagenic

In the last few months, I’ve got involved into translating some of the materials of Sudburyschool Hardewijk from Dutch into Russian. This is a strange experience: I’m into the topics of self-directed education for quite a while but didn’t dive in-depth into the specifics of Sudbury schools until recently. Since my reading on it is primarily in English I am not familiar with the choices made when terminology is translated into Russian.

2019 89

Parkours and pyjamas

Mathemagenic

Yesterday was Alexander’s parkour birthday party with his homeschooling friends. He was the one responsible for preparing it and this added a lot of extra tasks to the planning in the days before. During the party 11 kids were building three different obstacle courses, inside and outside, and then practicing going through them with their own bodies and remote controlled vehicles.

2019 89

Helping kids learning to move around confidently

Mathemagenic

Being able to move around without an adult is part of growing up. As the kids grow, their space also grows, from house and garden, to familiar spaces and parks, and then to the town, the country and the world. And, since I do not really enjoy the logistics of bringing theree kids back and forth to where they have to be, helping them to move around without me being involved is a process that I’m happy to speed up.

2019 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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

Winter rhythm 2018-2019

Mathemagenic

September-October are always transitional months, where travel and projects with inner rhythm give space to the weekly structure of externals clubs, sports and lessons (see previous winter seasons ). This year there are also more online group lessons that kids do in Russian (marked “R”). There are also more shorted courses that might be replaced by something else later in the season. So this is how our “external schedule” looks so far: Monday.

2018 89

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

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

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

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

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

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

Small things to enjoy

Mathemagenic

2018 89

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Educational innovation: schools vs homeschooling?

Mathemagenic

2015 190

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

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