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Lori Pickert
i write about mentoring self-directed learners. and i live in a barn.
i write about mentoring self-directed learners. and i live in a barn.
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Lori's posts

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“If your child has an interest that you don’t like, you should be intensely curious. What is so interesting about this? What draws her in so strongly? What is she doing with it? Is it as meaningless as I think it is? Could it lead somewhere good? What do other people think? What have other kids done with it? Are there possibilities I haven’t considered?

If your child has an interest you DO like, you should be intensely curious. What is she going to do with this? What will she find when she looks for resources? What will attract her? What questions will she ask? What does she want to play and create and share?

Doing a Pinterest search or asking online for resource and activity suggestions is the opposite of curiosity. It shuts the door on what your child would have done that was completely different and unique. It takes her by the hand and leads her firmly from wandering in the meadow to walking on the sidewalk. To be curious is to keep all the possibilities open to see what happens without your guiding hand.”

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Have anything you want to discuss? Ask? Share? Do it here! It’s your thread.

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“The truth is, as a society, in school and out, we are not at all obsessed with children’s interests. We demean them. We reject them. We overlook them. We pointedly ignore them. We claim they exist when we’re desperate to avoid a long-term obsession we’d rather forget. We try to usurp them. We push our own agenda and try to stay in our comfort zone — leading to a lot of lookalike projects in classrooms where teachers frequently replicate the projects they’ve seen at conferences or in books … leading to parents who are frustrated because they keep trying to build a campfire with damp wood.

If you’re doing the hard work of paying attention to your child’s actual interests and supporting them without taking over, you deserve celebration and support. It isn’t an either/or choice — interests OR ideas. It is an if-then choice — if interests are supported, then ideas flourish. We need to keep children in a space where their ideas are NEEDED. This means immersion in something that is meaningful to them, where they have space and materials and support, and where we aren’t getting between them and what they want to do, inserting our ideas instead of listening for theirs.

We need to support children’s authentic interests as an entry point to doing meaningful work, because the less we care about what children care about, the less likely it is they’ll be inspired to have ideas and need to make them happen.

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“[P]arental control does not simply mean yelling or using physical punishment. … Some parents’ most controlling behavior comes from their desire to provide the very best for their children and to be certain that their children are not missing out on a single opportunity.”

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“It’s not selfish to fit your community to your own needs. Understand this: every time someone creates a community, they are building for a purpose. There is no way to make something that is “fair” or “perfect” for everyone. It is perfectly legitimate for you to create something that works well for YOU. And there are plenty of other people who would prefer something different from what is usually offered — they will find you. You are creating parameters that appeal to YOU but they’ll also appeal to someone else. And if some people don’t like it, they can build their own community just as you did.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to please everyone. It’s a recipe for pleasing no one (including yourself). A great community has a strong leader who isn’t afraid to say “this is the way we do things — sorry, that’s just not for us.”

Remember that when you make a safe space for yourself, you are making it for others who want and need the same things. You don’t have to make it for everybody.”

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We’re enrolling the fall session of the PBH master class!

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I was trying to trace the line back to the resources that brought me to today, the people + practices that have caught my eye + made me want to learn more.  This journey toward art really caught fire–like so many good things in our homeschooling have–with…

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We are enrolling the summer session of the PBH Master Class starting today. Hope you can join us!
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