Tag Archive | Education

Write or read?

Write, or read?

Could you give up one or the other? Can you ever be a good writer but not read?

‘Would you rather give up writing for the rest of your life but have all the time you wanted for reading… or give up reading for the rest of your life but have all the time you want for writing?’

This is the question Rachelle Gardner asks in a recent post. http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/

To me reading and writing go together, no doubt. I cannot see myself giving one up for the other. I’m an avid reader, always has been. I was the child coming home weighed down by my findings at whichever library we lived near at the time. I learned foreign languages through my need to read. I’d pick up whatever I could lay my hands on to satisfy this need.

My children are the same. I read to them the moment I was born. I got funny looks at a time when it was not yet trendy. The result is a house full of books, our cars too. The smallest of journeys is spent with a nose in a book. They read at the table while eating if we let them. My children are bilingual as a result, my daughter has better spelling than French children her age and even older ones. OK, OK, stop bragging, I hear you.

And writing? At school, I hated the constraints imposed by teachers. Write like this, don’t deviate. I went to schools where teachers did not encourage creativity. I was the child who would write and rewrite…changing details until the very last minute.

Then I went to university. I had fantastic teachers there, ones who recognised and encouraged creativity. Life has its ups and downs, some of them delaying me for a while, but deep down I never stopped. The stories are in my head. I used to think I was slightly mad, or worse. Was I normal? What is normal anyway?

These stories have to come out eventually. I still read as I write. I feel torn at times, wanting to finish a book but characters calling me to get on with the story I’m writing. Lucky for me I’m a fast reader and a furious writer. Once the story starts forming in my head, I’m compelled to write it, so hard to stop. So I do amidst the chaos in my life, little blonde heads demanding attention…

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Extreme parenting in all cultures

I shuddered when reading the reviews and interviews of Amy Chua.

One example :

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/jan/15/amy-chua-tiger-mother-interview


She reminded me too much of my own mother, and no, she wasn’t Chinese. Rather she was from a certain background and a generation stuck in the past. I don’t believe this is necessarily a case of Chinese vs Western styles, you can find extreme ways of parenting in all cultures.
Children need love and encouragement, not being put down and threatened all the time. We all have our own strengths. Children should not feel bad if they’re less able in one are, they might be great in another. All talents are needed, otherwise, there would be no point, if we were all capable of doing absolutely everything!

I expect most children raised in this way rebel sooner or later. I’m not Chinese but the system she advocates is not far off the way my mother treated me.
It doesn’t make for happy children or adults. I had to learn to shake off all the labels and the fear.

With my children, I am the complete opposite. I want them to feel loved and have the confidence to find their strengths and thus give their best.

https://elleamberley.wordpress.com/2010/03/16/mother-love/


http://thegoodchinesemother.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/challenging-chua/

http://blog.seattlepi.com/parentingadabsurdum/archives/235930.asp

Homeschooling sense

Homeschoolers have so much potential and Stanford university wants them
Quotes on homeschooling from this article in Stanford university magazine:

http://www.stanfordalumni.org/news/magazine/2000/novdec/articles/homeschooling.html

  • Among the nation’s elite universities, Stanford has been one of the most eager to embrace them. Despite the uncertainties of admitting students with no transcripts or teacher recommendations, the University welcomes at least a handful every year. Stanford has found that the brightest homeschoolers bring a mix of unusual experiences, special motivation and intellectual independence that makes them a good bet to flourish on the Farm.
  • It’s hard to define, but they swear they know it when they see it. It’s the spark, the passion, that sets the truly exceptional student–the one driven to pursue independent research and explore difficult concepts from a very early age–apart from your typical bright kid. Stanford wants students who have it.
  • “The distinguishing factor is intellectual vitality,” says Reider. “These kids have it, and everything they do is responding to it.”
  • But conviction, more than convenience, is the reason Baruch kept her children at home. At age 16, she vowed that if she ever had kids, their education would differ from hers. Baruch attended a traditional Hebrew yeshiva in Brooklyn. “I was very much excited about learning, but there was not time to just learn for the love of learning,” she says. “There was an hour [for each subject], and when it was up, the bell rang. That was it. Interested, not interested, awake, asleep–you moved on to the next thing.”
  • Backing her up is a 1999 survey organized by Brian Ray, president of the National Home Education Research Institute. Ray found that the typical homeschooler takes part in at least five social activities outside the home every week–from dance classes and sports teams to scout troops and community theater. He also collected previous findings by educators and psychologists suggesting that children taught at home are actually socially and emotionally healthier than those in schools. They are more comfortable interacting with adults and less likely to pin their self-esteem to the fads and whims of teenagers, Ray says.

 

Homeschool fun

My daughter completed a project on otters and gave us a presentation today. She enlightened us with various facts at the end.

Baby otters do not like water. Mums have to push them in the water.

LOL Her little brother thought it hilarious.

On another note, she has just completed another short story which has been entered in a competition. Fingers crossed!

She certainly has caught the bug and is forever looking at my wordcount. Yes, Mummy is writing her new book and is not tweeting much, apologies to fellow birds. I shall be back!


How little we know

My daughter thinks I know everything and believes I’m always right.I’m forever explaining to her that in reality no-one knows it all and that learning is a constant process, that in fact we all know very little .

I tell her how we never stop learning and remind her how her “know-it-all” mother struggles with new technical terms and that perseverance is the key.

Yes,I might speak foreign languages, I’m a writer, I’m well-read and well-travelled.Yet, there is so much I do not know, languages I cannot speak.

There are also subjects I have no interest in, ones that even if I can manage to get my head round them do not create this urge in me to find out more and more.

I do not care for finances much being the creative type.I love making and creating, I cannot get enthused about the revenue it creates.

Sometimes I could make my life a little easier and instead of struggling with all the technical stuff , I could have had someone  help me but I take  pride  in learning by myself.It’s not perfect and there’s much more to do but I feel I have accomplished something and pushed myself a little further.

That is the message I try to convey to my children.You can always go the extra length and take pride in what you do.The more you learn , the more you realise how much more there is to know.How exciting it is to be on a perpetual voyage of discovery!