Monday, November 16, 2015
Layla built a #simplemachine this morning for co-op. I am so proud of her for sticking to it and following it through but I definitely learned that building, constructing, this kind of project is not for everyone. Sure, we can brush up our skills, persevere, learn a lesson in grit and in seeing something through --- but it reminded me that kids aren't and don't have to be interested in everything (and neither do adults!) She walked away at least three times completely frustrating, getting angry, deciding to leave for some deep breaths in a cardboard house built in the living room. Lincoln (age 2) sat in the kitchen, the whole duration of the project, trying to figure it our and put it together - inspired by the problem solving in front of him and determined to do it. Layla said several times how much she didn't enjoy "this part" or "that".
And it's okay.
We all have talents an gifts. And they aren't all the same (thank goodness). This was a good reminder for me while I focus on the gifts of each of my children and help them to discover on their own what gifts they have that they want to OWN and nurture. #ahamoments
#mindfulnessmonday #mindfulkids #mindfulparenting #peacefulparenting #homeschool #homeschooling #unschooling #unschool #mamamayi #mamamayishop #mamamayimake
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Our morning. For these few moments - before the chaos ensues over who does what next; no one wants to clean up; I need more food hectic ... For this moment I am embracing the quiet and stillness that is occurring in my kitchen while I cook and Layla and Lincoln build @snap_circuits_jr and Lillian does some Math-building (checking her answers as she's done).... In these moments I think #homeschooling #unschooling is ROCKING it. Everyone engaged in thought and problem solving and community. I need to bank these moments so I can easily recall them when I question why I work at home and why we homeschool (probably later today around 4 or 5 when everyone goes batshit crazy). For now, I'll drink this in, along with my morning coffee.
#grateful #mindfulkids #mindfulness #MamaMayi #MamaMayiShop #MamaMayiLearn #science #steam #stem #math #kidscience #kidsmath #kidengineer
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Sometimes I completely stress out about "unschooling" ... Letting my child lead the way. Sometimes I wonder
Am I doing enough?
Is she doing enough?
Is she on par?
It seems silly, when I slow down and actually think about it. Silly because all children, reach milestones on their own schedule... A notion that we often refer to in early childhood and development (rolling over, smiling, crawling, walking, talking, etc) and then somehow abandon when children reach more formidable years.
There is variation in any learning task ... It hit me when Layla was almost 5 and "swimming". I had practiced and practiced and practiced with her and she just ... Wasn't getting it. She did it, but it was mechanical and hard and our practice was filled with power struggles. Though she Wanted to swim she just wasn't ready yet. Then, one day, in the pool - Bam. Without much teaching or preparation she swam underwater - from one side to the other - just like that. She has worn not a swimmy or vest or tube since.
Because she was ready.
Just like she took her first steps when she was ready.
Just as she ate when she was ready.
Just as she learned her letters (more than memorizing a song), wrote her numbers, and read .... When she was ready.
Create opportunity, absolutely. Lead by example. Show interest. Listen. Definitely.
But there need not be the struggle to learn.
Children were born learners.
They are so incredibly adept and amazing at it. Given the opportunity to investigate, question, experiment, fail...and try again .... They learn so so much.
I always stress out about our planned, unplanned ways .... because it is different than the traditional school of thought I participated in.
Our #writing lately has been #thankyou notes, #gratitude journals, #lists, and #playingpretend .... Look at alll that information she had in her head she wanted to get onto paper. Not assigned. Not for a grade. Just because she was creating a bed and breakfast at home and wanted to have a restaurant here, too. Not stopping....just going. Just writing. Totally unforced. Unplanned. Un-power-struggled.
This is pages 1 and 2 of about 5.
This girl likes to #cook, she loves, loves, loves, #lists and she loves to #plan a #party.
This was after cleaning a bathroom for an hour because she wanted the bed and breakfast to have a nice bathroom for guests; complete with toiletries, soaps, towels, and mouth wash all set out nicely. Oh, and potty books.
Sunday, October 18, 2015
Why is Gratitude important?
- Gratitude is important because it brings us back to center...it brings us back to kindness. It allows us to BE in the presence of our life's many blessings: however simple or profound.
Why do we need to PRACTICE Gratitude?
- Have you ever had a bad day that seems to spiral worse and worse? The kind where you want to curl back into bed and hide? Sometimes it's not easy to see the positives around us ... And negative energy from others (or ourselves) has a way of trickling into our thoughts and affecting how we interact with the world (which can, in turn, attract more of that same negative energy). By taking a moment to pause, center into kindness, and shift our mindset to that of thankfulness we our training our brains to slow down and notice. We are becoming aware of our state of mind, our thoughts, and momentum in the world. It is that pause and reflection that is so important.
- I try teach my children Gratitude because I think it is important to their self-care. Just as brushing your teeth is important to your oral hygiene; Just as eating a healthy, balanced meal is important to your physical body's growth and health; Just as exercise builds muscles and strengthens your physical body; Tuning into the joys and kindness in our world is essential to nurturing your Mind and Spirit. I believe the practice of Gratitude has a huge impact on how we all interact with each other and engage in our worlds. Though embracing gratitude comes more easily to some, it is a practice that becomes more easily accessible over time - with practice - acknowledgment - and pause. At first, the practice might seem daunting or over-thought, but eventually it will be second nature - a subconscious script or internal attitude that shines out towards loved ones, friends, nature, the things around us, and our world.
- Practicing Gratitude with your kids and family can be a really connecting time. I love to hear how my own little ones find Gratitude in their own lives...