Friday, June 29, 2007

It's Friday!

And not even 11am as I start typing this. So far today, I've cleaned the kitchen (twice), baked a cake and decorated it, got some laundry going, replaced the Brita filter, dusted and, naturally, spent a bit of time online. Oh, not to mention somehow managing to have my 2yo niece fall asleep on me about 10 minutes ago while I responded to emails!

It's my last day of work until Aug. 7! I've got my niece and her brother (almost 7) here today, so my kids are all happy and busy playing. We've got a family birthday party to go to tonight, then tomorrow my kids are going over to play at niece and nephew's while dh and I go out for an early birthday supper for him (both birthday celebrations are for him; his actual birthday is next week).

I picked up a TON of paint samples yesterday for repainting our walls in our family room. While we want something cozyish, I still want something that won't push the kids away from wanting to be there, especially since school materials are stored there. While some colours have definitely been eliminated, picking from the others is going to be hard. Especially since dh is almost completely colour blind--he's not much help with the little nuances!

I've decided I have to read stuff by Plato this summer. A mom on one of my lists shared this quote:
Arithmetic, then, and geometry and all the branches of the preliminary education which is to pave the way for Dialectic should be introduced in childhood; but not in the guise of compulsory instruction, because for the free man there should be no element of slavery in learning. Enforced exercise does no harm to the body, but enforced learning will not stay in the mind. So avoid compulsion, and let your children's lesons take the form of play. This will also help you to see what they are naturally fitted for.

So in line with Montessori! I struggle still with wanting to give the kids freedom yet trying to have them meet certain standards. I suppose it's a natural struggle. It'd be nice if what I really wanted were clearer to me. :D


Lisia said...

That's amazing! I never knew Plato advocated freedom in learning too. Whenever I read a modern educationist advocating freedom (usually as if it's something new - based on the latest research), I think, Montessori said the same thing nearly 100 yrs ago; when are people going to take this concept seriously? And now I find out Plato said the same thing *2000* yrs ago! I wonder why we (I) find it so hard to trust freedom.

I've recently been reading "Guerrilla Learning" by Grace Llewellyn and Amy Silver, which is a lovely book on incorporating freedom in education.

Daisy said...

I think it's a quote from Plato's Republic. It's one of those classic books that have been on my to-read list for sometime and I've never read it. I'm thinking now I should!

But it's also interesting how things work out: I had been thinking more and more about just being more traditional and less Montessori in style with my kids come September. Why? Because it's easier. lol. Not only that, but I have to admit to "feeling the pressure" of having homeschooled kids at a certain academic level. (But that's about *me* and not about my kids!) Yet less than 24 hours passed between that thought and the quote showing up in the group. Jolted me back to thinking more about what I want, what I feel is right, rather than just fulfilling some self-centered desire!

Correne said...

I don't know if you have to rush out and read Plato. I majored in Political Philosophy, so I read some of his stuff. I believe that the Republic is where he describes his "ideal society," including taking children away from their parents so they can be raised away from their influence, and be assigned roles in society based on their attributes.

Not to dissuade you. Some of it is interesting. Some of it is just bizarre.

Daisy said...

Thanks for the warning, Correne! I have it out from the library anyhow--they didn't have Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (can you believe it?), which I need to read as a possibility for the oldest's novel study next year, but they did have The Republic, so I got that. I've only read a few pages so far. It's interesting! I won't agree with his stance on kids being taken from his kids, but that's okay. :)