And why should conferences be on your priority list for learning resources?
Because conferences provide inspiration, connection, and if you allow it, transformation.
A conference story:
The year we started homeschooling I attended the HSC.org Adventures in Homeschooling Conference in Sacramento. Carrie and I went together since we were both new and a bit scared of leaving the familiar path of schooling.
I was amazed at the breadth of offerings, from inspirational keynote talks to workshops walking you through homeschooling legal issues and how to set up your own private school entity. We enjoyed panels, sessions, group gatherings, an exhibitor display hall and a used materials exchange sale. Teens and wee ones could take advantage of a sessions just for them. More than 1000 folks participated and I was impressed–and relieved. We wouldn’t be homeschooling alone. Continue reading
This book makes me want to get on a soapbox and shout: read this! Think!
I want us to take a look at how we use praise, rewards, power, control and coercion, even inadvertently, on a daily basis.
I want us to have the courage to take steps to make changes that will truly help our children grow and learn.
I want it to be required reading for every parent, teacher and boss.
Kohn challenges us to question a pervasive mode of operating that many of us have come to accept as normal:
“My premise here is that rewarding people for compliance is not ‘the way the world works’ as many insist. It is not a fundamental law of human nature. It is but one way of thinking and organizing our experience and dealing with others. It may seem natural to us, but it actually reflects a particular ideology that can be questioned. I think it is long past time that we do so…”
Kohn examines the underlying beliefs of behaviorism and the spread of these ideas across institutions and through society. He looks at the implication of the use of rewards in the workplace, in schools and in the home. Continue reading
One of my favorite resources for real world learning is people.
Some of us take people for granted in our quest to learn or only realize how important people were once we are looking back over our life.
There’s no reason to wait to appreciate the potential of learning from just about anyone you meet. You can actively seek to build more relationships with people who can help you learn in any area of your life. Some folks call this developing a personal learning network, or PLN.
Every person and interaction is a potential source of learning – even though we may not imagine ahead of time what we will learn. Everyone has something to share, whether or not they have credentials or are considered an “expert.”
Perhaps a neighbor has a great recipe, insights from when they were in the Japanese internment camps, or may be able to introduce you to just the right person you need for future learning. You can seek people with particular subject area knowledge out at a conference or meeting. And of course, an internet connection offers access to a whole world of new people.
Don’t discount anyone as a potential source of learning and connection. The earlier you model this attitude of openness and appreciation with your children, the sooner they will understand the value of and start developing their own PLN.
Some examples of how this worked for us.