Educating with Our Brains in Mind
I'm enthralled with the brain— that little piece of grey matter that directs my life and yours. I don't know that I ever thought much about it in the past, but recently I've been reading, and reading, and reading about the brain.
The implications are stunning. Really. If we were to take seriously what we now know about the brain, we might do as John Medina (author of Brain Rules) suggests and totally reorganize how we teach and learn, how we work, how we schedule, how we build, and how we plan our communities. You name it.
For today, I just wanted to say... YES! YES! YES! And I wanted to say this very simply by sharing these drawings from my 9-year-old.
I was a public school teacher. I worked with countless kids and tried to give them the space they needed to cultivate the genius that really was inside each of them. But it was hard to do within the particular systems I worked in.
Now, as a home educator I have the freedom to work with my kids' brains in ways that are helpful to their individual and universal brain needs. So. Exhibit A. My daughter did these drawings while listening to a book on tape (at a loud volume, which she prefers). She sat in a sunny spot on her floor to do it. She interrupted herself countless times to move around the room. She chose her own materials, including many small toys she used as stencils or edges. In short, she created the exact learning environment she needed to produce some very lovely drawings.
I think these drawings are fantastic, but I also think that many other children are capable of fantastic drawings, experiments, written work, building projects, math discoveries— whatever!
Maybe it really is time for us to pay attention to the matter of our little grey matter.
Drawings by Sonia. Photos by L.L. Barkat.