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“Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.” 

Albert Einstein


Q: Our daughter is four and a very curious and social child. Even though we are planning to home school and I am at home with the baby (her brother), we signed her up for a wonderful small alternative pre-school so she can have social experience and learning opportunity. They are very respectful and provide free play and group activities. 

After a short adjustment period in which she cried when I left, our daughter became comfortable and happy there. Yet, after Christmas break she refused to go back and it has become a struggle every morning. I know she enjoys herself once she is at school but she doesn’t want to leave me. I don’t want to deprive her of a learning and social opportunity, but, I also want to listen to her choice. What would you suggest?

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Naomi does not teach parents how to “get kids to be/do…” but rather how to be with children so that they are free to be their own magnificent selves. Parents say that what they get out of Naomi’s work is much more than help in parenting – they get self-realization, which frees them to see the child with clarity and wisdom.

 

 

Naomi’s Declaration of Complete Confidence in Children:

  • Children respond best to modeling and leadership, not control.
  • Trust… and wait.
  • Choose between your momentary convenience and your long-term goal for your child’s sense of self.
  • Enjoy your child for who he is, not for who you would like him to be – he will never be this age again.
  • Distinguish between your emotional needs and what your child feels and needs. Act toward your child in harmony with her needs; take care of your emotional needs elsewhere.
  • Celebrate your child’s uniqueness as well as your own.

You can sign up for Naomi Aldort’s free newsletter and read some of her parenting articles on her site.

I especially love her views on institutionalized schooling;

  

School, Learning and Self-Esteem:

When children are represented as empty and ignorant vessels, adults brace themselves for making adults out of them. This means that...

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Q: My nine-year-old son is not reading and not even interested in learning to read. He recognizes letters and can identify some words but has no passion for mastering the skill. We read to him a lot, but are worried about this delay and specially about his lack of interest. What do you suggest?

 

A: I have always been perplexed by the rush to get children to read. Why dictate a certain age for reading? Why not trust the child to acquire what he needs when he is ready? What if later is better? Could reading bring to an end some of the incredible abilities we marvel in young children; their magical memory, acute hearing, imagination, vivid experiences and exuberant artistic expressions?

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My daughter used to draw and sing and my son used to build from blocks and legos. I sang with my daughter and drew side by side with her, and my son and my husband used to build side by side. Gradually both children stopped creating, saying they don’t like to or cannot. My daughter asks me to draw for her and my son asks his father to build for him. We are happy to do it for them (and we do,) but are concerned about their loss of interest in doing things on their own. How can I assist them in enjoying their own creations?

 

 A: Your children stopped creating because you joined them. They want to be the only stars in their own discovery and creation show. Most adults would also lose interest in doing something for themselves, if someone else joined in. By her nature, a child is pleased with her own...

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At the piano, 3-year-old Lennon plays random sounds. "Why don't you teach him to play?" asks my visitor from the East Coast, who knows that I am a pianist. "He is learning," I say. "I can never match the effectiveness of this natural way of mastering a skill." My friend looks at me doubtfully. "When you come again for a visit next year you'll see," I say. Even though I have no idea where Lennon's playing is going, I figure she'll see growth in whatever he will do as long as he is free to play.

How many parents and teachers are concerned when a day goes by with play and play and more play? "When will she learn if she plays all day?"

Is play really a waste of time? Did nature goof when all cubs, including humans, are born with a drive and an ability to play?

 

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HOMESCHOOLING

 Homeschooling • Unschooling • Democratic School • Children’s Play • Child’s Emotions • Talking to Kids about and Sex • Tiger Mother • Learning to Read • Harm of Praise • Harm of Rewards • Self-Directed Learning • Child’s Social Skills • Child’s Talents • Child’s Self-Esteem • Learning Math and much more

 

 Homeschooling articles:

• The Advantages of Learning to Read Later

• Joining your child’s activities can stifle her creativity and confidence 

• And They Played All Day

Guidance on nurturing your child's musical talent

Video-Interview about Self-directed Education and Homeschooling

 

More articles about homeschooling...

 


UNSCHOOLING WEBCLASS VIDEO:

Lecture and question & answers

Watch 2 hours webclass video about unschooling. In the “deep“ classes Naomi speaks briefly and works with individual parents on their questions, doing deep inquiry designed to free the self from limiting thoughts about the particular issues.

 

Naomi Aldort raised her three sons without schooling. All three graduated universities with excellence.

• She has been a keynote speaker at many homeschooling and unschooling conferences world wide, including AERO, Rethinking Education, Canada homeschooling organization, as well as groups in Europe and Australia. Her articles and advice columns about homeschooling, music, self-directed learning and parenting have been published in magazines internationally.

• Naomi offers advice on unschooling and homeschooling as well as on alternative schools options and all parenting issues. Her guidance is flexible and accommodating family and children’s special situations and needs. She also recommends alternative schools when needed, the democratic schools, Reggio Emilia and other schools that respect the child’s inner guide.

 


HOMESCHOOLING SET of 7 CDs:

Trusting Our Children Trusting Ourselves

(Please note, this CD set is not the same as the book, Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves)

This comprehensive, indispensable 7 CD set contains six keynotes given by Naomi Aldort at the unschooling/homeschooling conference, Rethinking Education in Dallas, Texas. It covers practically all the major parenting and self-directed learning issues in one amazing package.

Disc 1: Rethinking Education: Debunking common assumptions about child development.

Disc 2: Part 1 - Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves Part I: Bring peace and unconditional love into your relationship with your children by understanding your own reaction as different from your child’s needs.

Disc 2: Part 2 - Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves Part II.

Disc 3: Debunking Praise: Find out why you really praise and at what price.

Disc 4: Children’s Behavior and Emotions: Includes many questions from audience members, and Aldort’s skillful guidance about understanding children so they can be the best of themselves.

Disc 5: Self Directed Learning: Why children learn best when they follow their own path, timetable and direction, and how to support them toward their own fulfillment.

Disc 6: Equality, Respect and Freedom for Children: From chores to bed time and dinner; how to live with children in a way that they care and respond, not out of fear, but out of joy and love, of their own free will.

 


Education quotes:

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” 
- Albert Einstein

 

“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.” 
- Albert Einstein

 

“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.” 

- Albert Einstein

 

“People with great passions, people who accomplish great deeds, people who possess strong feelings, even people with great minds and a strong personality, rarely come out of good little boys and girls.”    

– Lev Vygotsky

 

“I loathed every day and regret every day I spent in school.”        

– Woody Allen


Recommended books and authors:

John Holt: How children learn, how children fail, freedom and beyond, Teach your own, Learning all the time

A.S. Neill: Summerhill, Freedom not License

Grace Llewellyn: The Teenage Liberation Handbook; how to quit school and get real life

Daniel Greenberg: Free at Last: Sudbury Valley School (first democratic school.)

Peter Gray: Free to Learn

Pat Farenga, Former editor of Growing Without Schooling magazine

Alfie Kohn: Punished by Rewards, The Homework Myth, No contest; the case against competition, Feel Bad education, The case against Standardized testing

John Taylor Gatto: Dumbing us Down, Weapons of Mass Instruction

Matt Hern: Deschooling our Lives

 

 

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