Friday, 19 February 2016

Reflections on my Permaculture Journey so far

I am sitting in the York University library writing this reflective blog post. I am setting up days like this as it gets me away from the hustle and bustle of daily home educating life. I am also here at the University library because I am "stacking my functions" as we say in Permaculture speak. My dh works here so I am going out to lunch with him. There are precious few times that I get alone with him so driving him to work and working here means that I get some work done without the distractions of the home and children AND I get some quality time with my dh.

 Having spent the morning reviewing my Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design (DAPD) journey I have realised that I have come further than I thought I had. I have documented this journey in the Diary tab of my APD project plan here but you can also see it below. I embedded the Google document on my blog last night as a way to show everyone what I am up to. I also (with a lot of help from my gorgeous dh) managed to find a way to make that blog page the full width of the page. It was too squashed to be able to view the document properly with the two side columns there (as on a normal blog page) so I amended the HTML for that page using the instructions here.

I may well amend the other pages along the same lines for ease of viewing but I was really pleased that I got this one to work as the document is quite busy and needs more space.

Anyway better get back to finishing my Goals articulation. This is the under-pinning, overview document to my APD journey and shows how all my projects, goals and activities are linked to the Permaculture Flower, Ethics and Principles.

As can be seen above and here under the Goals tab, I have attempted to list all the goals and associated activities that I want to get out of doing my Diploma. I have then listed where these goals/activity pairings fit against the Ethics, Principles and Flower in columns C, D and E respectively with the key for these in column H. I have then matched these goals against my 10 projects in column F.

I know my project ideas might change over time but I can then just updated this document. I have also added a weighted value against each aspect of the Principles, etc in column I. This scores show how many times these are listed against a goal so that I have a clear indication of whether I am missing exploring some Permaculture Principle or whether a project isn't as rounded a permaculture project as I thought. It is a simple idea but gives me a very clear indicator of how I am doing on my learning path.

This spreadsheet and all the tabbed sheets within it is how I will keep on top of everything but is also a living, breathing document which will get added to and changed on a regular basis. Embedding it in my blog will be another helpful reminder of the need to review it on a regular basis so I am very glad I worked out how to do that.

Any questions or suggestions please get in touch via the Comment Box below!!!

Sunday, 14 February 2016

My home education lifestyle

Sitting here listening to the noise from upstairs of my children playing with their various friends online, it has reminded me of why I live the life I do.
Over the last few weeks, there have been various reminders for me but there was also that report on ITV Calendar where the family were taught lessons at home.
I am a radical unschooler a.k.a how families used to live, or I am an autonomous educator a.k.a how all adults learn (if they wanted to keep learning) or some other random label. Basically, my kids learn by living and interacting with the world.

At present my 2 kids (in separate rooms) are talking to each other and at least 5 other people online discussing how (amongst other things) they are going to play an online distributed game of Dungeons and Dragons. They share information, are learning how to cooperate in groups, listen to each other, problem solve, discuss differences of opinion, etc.

This isn't all they do but it is the majority of their lives when in the house. It is beautiful to be a part of it when I can hear how they treat each other kindly and the ideas they come up with between them.

This social interaction is, for me, far more important than reading books (one of the most anti-social activities) or learning subjects out of context.
Computers and online activities are the books and radio of our time (in the past both those media were classed as problematic) but I think that being able to communicate with loads of people discussing all sorts of topics whilst playing minecraft, building stuff together, resolving problems, etc. is fab.

There are many ways to learn. Thank goodness.