Friday link round-up
Quote for the day:
“[Creative children] ask more questions than most children. They’re usually spontaneous and enthusiastic. Their ideas are unique and occasionally strike other kids as weird. They’re independent. Not that they don’t care at all what other kids think, but they’re able to do their thing despite the fact that their peers may think it’s strange. And they have lots and lots of ideas.” — Silvia Rimm
And this week’s Facebook links!
Worried about how much your teens use the internet? It offers kids the chance to direct a lot of their own learning, including for personal projects:
“When my daughter graduates from college, I want her to be able to ask interesting questions, make wise choices in where to direct her time and attention, and find a career that is about contributing to a purpose that’s more than her own self-advancement. I am proud of her for managing a rigorous course of study both in school and out of school, but I’m also delighted that she finds the time to cultivate interests in a self-directed way that is about contributing to her community of peers. The Internet and her friends have offered my daughter a lifeline to explore new interests that are not just about the resume and getting ahead of everyone else. In today’s high-pressure climate for teens, the Internet is feeling more and more like one of the few havens they can find for the lessons that matter most.” — What Teens Get About the Internet that Parents Don’t @ The Atlantic
Another quote from the above article:
A college degree is a requirement for most good jobs, but no longer a guarantee of one.
Consequently, kids feel pressure to not only do well on tests and in school, but in their out-of-school activities as well. … The pressure to succeed along narrow paths is exacting a staggering cost on the values and well being of our children. — What Teens Get About the Internet that Parents Don’t @ The Atlantic
Along those lines, this jumped out at me this week:
“Universities must change, [Thomas Friedman] says, from a ‘time served’ model to a ‘stuff learned’ model. He reasons that ‘increasingly the world does not care what you know. Everything is on Google. The world only cares, and will only pay for, what you can do with what you know’.” — Who’s Afraid of the big, bad MOOC? @ Learning with ‘e’s
(If you want a funny take on this, try the Onion’s.)
Obviously, people who succeed have to rise above what everyone knows and what everyone knows how to do — they have to go further, do more. Along those lines, I’ll reshare a quote that I blogged earlier this week:
“Every once in a while — often when we least expect it — we encounter someone more courageous, someone who choose to strive for that which (to us) seemed unrealistically unattainable, even elusive. And we marvel. We swoon. We gape. Often, we are in awe. I think we look at these people as lucky, when in fact, luck has nothing to do with it. It is really about the strength of their imagination; it is about how they constructed the possibilities for their life. In short, unlike me, they didn’t determine what was impossible before it was even possible.” — Imagine more, not less @ Camp Creek Blog
Click over to read the whole quote.
And a couple more blog posts re: those intangible skills that we need to rise above the other B.A.s…
“The brain chunks activities into habits to save mental energy.
When a routine becomes a habit, the brain performs these routines automatically and without thinking.
Healthy habits influence healthy lives and unhealthy habits determine unhealthy lives.
Habits can be changed.” — Change a Habit @ New Discoveries
The takeaway here is that habits can be changed — you are not doomed to stay on an unproductive road! Believe it, then do it.
And another important skill — networking, making friends, building community. This is something I am asked about frequently. How do you do it? This excellent short article gives you the answer — definitely read the whole thing:
“Give. All the time. And never ask for anything return unless you really have to. … This isn’t a ‘favor for a favor’ thing. It’s being a good person. When you truly help people every chance you get, that reputation will get around and people will be more inclined to help you down the line.” — How to Network Without Shaking Hands @ What Spinks Thinks
While you’re out there attempting to build that network, keep in mind we’re all trying to put our best face forward — and we’re all human:
“I’m not the only one who wonders why other mothers seem to have such ordered lives, when mine is a whirlwind. I’m not the only one who thinks that the neighbours can hear me when I shout, and what must they think of me, because of course they never shouted at their children. I’m not the only one who wishes my house could be a little tidier, a little cleaner, like the other mothers I know.
I’m not the only one making comparisons and coming out at the bottom.” — Keeping up appearances @ The Home of Lisa Hassan Scott
Finally, some some great kid PBH goodness:
“He knew exactly where he wanted each box and bottle to go, where to put doors and windows, and even added water to a bottle for a fuel tank.
It was SO HARD to watch him struggle with the tape, or to see him doing something one way when I knew another way would work better. I kept my mouth shut as much as I could, and when I broke down and offered suggestions he almost always said he wanted to figure it out.” — The Rocket Ship @ Lemon Tree Studio
Really inspirational, both the kid work and the parent/mentor work!
We are setting up an area of the blog to share kid projects like this — real, authentic, inspiring. Not a recipe for how to do things, but a glimpse of what is possible. There are quite a few other new site additions in the works, so stay tuned — and join our e-mailing list if you haven’t already. (So far I’ve averaged about one e-mail every six months, so it’s not a spam factory.)
Hope your weekend is wonderful!
Be a part of the PBH community. Project-Based Homeschooling isn’t for only one kind of homeschooler — whether you’re a classicist or a radical unschooler or somewhere in-between, all kids deserve some time to direct and manage their own learning while pursuing their deepest interests. Read the posts on project-based homeschooling. Check out the book. Join the forum. Chat with me on twitter. Follow me on facebook. See my pinterest boards on learning, authentic art, play, and more. Come make friends, get some new ideas, and brainstorm about your challenges.
“You need to get comfortable with your flawed humanity. Making excuses so you don’t have to start so you can forestall pain and humiliation just keeps you out of the game. And once you’re in it, if you think success means pretending everything is easy for you and nothing hurts, you’re wrong. What binds us is our common experience. The only way to build intimacy is through vulnerability. When you lift your chin in the air, you can’t look anyone in the eyes.” — Renovating your brain: Building new habits of mind
“My children are thriving now where before I could see some struggling and frustration. It’s been fun for me too! We learn and grow together now and there’s nothing boring about our days.” — newest review of Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners