Reflections of a mother: Vacations and learning

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We have spring vacations here and are enjoying some days off.
While my husband, some laborers and the excavator are diligently working on the construction of the building for the secondary school, the children and I are mostly home, enjoying the warm weather and some free time to read, play, cook, spring clean…

With four children age two to eleven, alhamdulillah, the range of interests is very wide and different and it becomes sometimes quiet a challenge to satisfy all.
While the smallest two still are very happy just to discover life and play beside me, the older ones are quickly bored and need more suggestions.
The older they get, the stronger gets the temptation to just sit in front of the computer or television. We’ve scheduled and limited these times to encourage real activities, their imagination and creativity and not to overload their still little heads with too much abstract informatics.  So most of the day they play, draw, make sports, sometimes read or write, but every now and then they get really bored.
“Mummy, I don’t know what to do….” – These are the moments they need some companionship; these are the days when I  have to take the role as a facilitator on their learning path.



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I then try to figure out in small discussions what their actual area of interest is by attentively asking, listening and feeling, by questioning, giving some small input, a little advice, an impulse, a book, some material, a helping hand or simply by the pronouncing of some empathetic “ah’s” and “oh’s”. That, together with some openness and a lot of confidence in their abilities, is often enough to get them started into a new project full of learning and growing.
Those projects, like the billiard-table they made these days (see the pictures), like the bows and arrows,  the birds-project and many others, are often day-filling and really holistic, they are challenging and opportunities for deep learning:
by putting ideas to paper, by searching information in books, drawing plans, writing material-lists, thinking about construction and details, calculate measurements, buying or producing  supplies, using tools, fixing and putting things together, they learn often more than they would in a whole week of classical school.
And that’s how we, at the école vivante often organize student-projects –  because the whole world and every possible activity is a chance for real learning and growing, often including all subjects one could possibly have in a regular school day.

Happy creative spring vacations to you!



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