Blast From The Past – Who Will Go Further

“And where do your kids go to school?” It’s a question I hear pretty quickly when having a conversation with another mom while waiting at one of the kids activities. Well… with the ones I have not met yet ;-). We then chat about the homeschooling path we chose and about the school they picked. Today was no different.
One thing was different than usual though. While we were talking about our different approaches, the conversations quickly changed to how lucky we are that we had the education we got and the one we are able to offer to our children. We had this realization that we are actually very blessed, that our children are also lucky to grow up in an environment where education is possible for everyone. And this made me think of the following post that I’d like to share again today as a Blast From The Past.

I grew up in a nice environment. My parents loved each other, we had a nice house, everything we wanted to have, always enough food on the table and a cozy bed to sleep in. We also lived in a safe country with good schools. Education was never something to worry about. It was just normal.

When something is normal you usually don’t appreciate it enough. It’s just there. We headed to school, spent the day there learning with new books and from supportive, motivated and good teachers. Well… most of the time. Some of them seemed to be over it. Looking back now, knowing what can go on in other parts of this world, it was a so called luxury problem. They were still all amazing and we for sure always walked away with more knowledge than we had before.

It’s not a given.

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Blast From The Past – Chop Down The Tree

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I had a couple of conversations recently about the fantastic school systems in place in Europe, mainly Scandinavia. Where play time is huge and the approach is much more open to educating children than in some other countries. I read up a lot on their approach and I have to say it makes so much sense. Education is key for our children, I guess we all agree on that. But it’s also important that they have time to discover who they are. That they have time to recharge and most of all: Time to be kids.

While we are fortunate enough that we can choose what education we want our kids to take advantage of, not everyone can. There are many children who want to learn but simply can’t. Because they don’t have the schools or the schools simply don’t care for them. I wrote a post about this subject a while back and would like to share it again as a Blast Of The Past as I think it’s crucial to not forget about them. Everyone should have the right of education.

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Sunda Colugo – Did You Know…

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… That a Sundo Colugo is a flying lemur? There are some pretty amazing and also strange creatures in this world and sometimes I wonder if the idea of Aliens out in space should be reconsidered and we all should have a closer look to what actually roams the planet with us.

But back to our Sundo Colugo friend:

The Sunda flying lemur (Galeopterus variegatus), also known as the Malayan flying lemur, Sunda Colugo or Malayan colugo, is a species of colugo. Until recently, it was thought to be one of only two species of flying lemur, the other being the Philippine flying lemur which is found only in the Philippines. The Sunda flying lemur is found throughout Southeast Asia in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore.

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The Sunda flying lemur is not a lemur and does not fly (wonder why they called him that in the first place… maybe because of a lack of words???). Instead, it glides as it leaps among trees. It is strictly arboreal, is active at night, and feeds on soft plant parts such as young leaves, shoots, flowers, and fruits. After a 60-day gestation period, a single offspring is carried on the mother’s abdomen held by a large skin membrane. It is a forest-dependent species.

The head-body length of the Sunda flying lemur is about 33 to 42 cm (13 to 17 in). Its tail length measures 18 to 27 cm (7.1 to 10.6 in), and its weight is 0.9 to 1.3 kg (2.0 to 2.9 lb).

The Sunda flying lemur is protected by national legislation. In addition to deforestation and loss of habitat, local subsistence hunting poses a serious threat to this animal. Competition with the plantain squirrel (Callosciurus notatus) represents another challenge for this species. More information is needed on population declines, but at present, the rate of the decline is not believed to merit listing in any category lower than “Least Concern”.

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Blast From The Past – Teachers And Students

There’s one thing I see as the biggest mistake people can make: Treating kids with no respect.

I’ve always watched parents and how they treated their children. For a while I was considering becoming a teacher but my plans changed. Maybe that was why I looked at parents closer. Maybe it was just because I was curious. I don’t know why. But what I know is that it for sure taught me a lot about what I wanted to do as a parent and what attitude I never wanted to adopt.

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I wonder what those parents expect from their kids. I mean how can you possible expect them to be respectful, to talk in a respectful manner if the words you use towards them, the tone of voice you use is so below every normal standard. I had this really crazy moment this weekend. One of those moments where you stand there and shiver because of what you have witnessed. One of those moments you think that it can’t really be true. When you look at your friend or spouse with the question in your mind “did you just hear that too”…

The way this mom talked to her child almost made me sick. How can a child develop a normal attitude towards others, how can a child speak in the right tone, use the right words if it gets destroyed by words coming from the one person who should build him or her up: The parent?

The sad thing is, that kids like this will turn into adults like that too. What they grow up with will be the normal approach they will have unless some sort of “angel” enters their life and makes them see how wrong of an approach it is.

I witnessed something else tough too: Watching parents explain things to their child. Listening, answering questions, truly connecting. Not just pretending, not just making stuff up and not just shushing their child or giving them the easiest possible answer just so they stop asking.

I believe a child has the right to question things. And we have the responsibility to find the right answer and not just the easiest one. It’s how you teach your child. About everything. About life. About respect. About value. Honestly, what can be more important than taking the time to explain something properly, to truly answer a question to your child? Why would you brush it off? Why would you shut them down?

Those two examples made me think about the fact that we are all teachers. But we are also students. And I think it’s important to see that we can learn as much from our children than they learn from us. They teach us to teach. They teach us to listen, they teach us to learn again. So I figured I share a post as a Blast From The Past about teachers and students with you today.

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Who Will Go Further?

I grew up in a nice environment. My parents loved each other, we had a nice house, everything we wanted to have, always enough food on the table and a cozy bed to sleep in. We also lived in a safe country with good schools. Education was never something to worry about. It was just normal.

When something is normal you usually don’t appreciate it enough. It’s just there. We headed to school, spent the day there learning with new books and from supportive, motivated and good teachers. Well… most of the time. Some of them seemed to be over it. Looking back now, knowing what can go on in other parts of this world, it was a so called luxury problem. They were still all amazing and we for sure always walked away with more knowledge than we had before.

It’s not a given.

Continue reading

Socialization & Home-schooling / I Don’t Like Jake In Sales, Make Him Move His Desk

For me, being a homeschooling parent having finished “normal” school it’s important and interesting to get feedback from people who’ve been “on the other side”. So when Jo made a comment on my blog about being homeschooled I immediately asked her if she would be willing to share her experience, her thoughts on my blog. I truly enjoyed reading Jo’s first guest post. A fantastic take on what teaching and learning is all about, if you’d ask me…

I’m very happy to welcome Jo, blogging at Jo Robin Blog, here as one of my guest bloggers and I can’t wait to read her series of guest posts. Please head over and check out her great blog where she shares her life as a college student and so much more…

Now let me add to this, that what Jo is about to share here is one point that is always brought up by other parents when we speak about homeschooling and it’s the one point that annoys me the most. I’m so glad that Jo is writing about this very subject and I truly hope you give her some good constructive feedback here.

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Who To Vote For?

I often said in my comments I’m glad I don’t have to vote. Of course I was always talking about the election in the USA. But suddenly I realized, that me too, I have to vote. And I have to do it this Saturday.

I’m an Australian citizen now and in Australia voting is compulsory. My dilemma is, that I have no clue which party I should vote for and who I want as our future Prime Minister. Not that it truly matters because if Australia is not happy with the Prime Minister, Australia just decides to swap the Prime Minister. Almost like underpants… But more about it here...

As I said, I’m truly undecided who to vote for. Therefor I thought it would be a good idea to use a link which should help you figure out which one of the parties suits your values the most (thanks to my husband for providing me with this link).

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Chop Down The Tree

I just finished writing a guest post for Education Post. It thought I said it all already in that post but the subject is not letting me go. I find it hard to believe that there are kids out there, missing out on a proper education just because they are from a less fortunate background.

When I wrote the guest post it was all about the kids not being included, the schools not being good enough, the teachers not believing in them and a lack of support in general for the schools and in the end for the kids. Sitting here now, watching my children play and be kids I realize that it is about so much more.

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