Sunday, August 29, 2010

What Really Matters? David Albert and Joyce Reed tell us what!

What Really Matters?
I love the title of this book because it has you questioning your priorities right off the bat.

In this collection of essays- conversations between veteran homeschooling advocates Joyce Reed and David Albert, we get to the heart of the matter:what is learning really all about?

I read the book cover to cover and found within its pages useful tips and encouraging words of wisdom as well as liberating ways to think about how people actually learn.

Most of all, I felt energized and inspired by Reed and Albert's living examples of the wonderful world that can unfold when we trust our kids; that they are learning what they need to and want to.

How do we do this? And what does it look like? These two 'elders' share their beautiful stories with us, and it makes everything seem so much more lighter.

As we read through the pages of these essays, we can look at our own children's learning paths in new light-and be heartened that they are capable of forging just as an extraordinary a path as the children of these advocates have done.

We can do our best to help them along the way-but not too much. Like Albert and Reed did (and continue to do, I'm sure), we need to offer; expose and then step back so that they can explore and discover what they are passionate about.

In keeping with my 'learning in community' theme of the past couple blog posts, there is one chapter in the book where Albert writes in a thought provoking essay called "The Curriculum of Beauty' about there being moral and ethical beauty- and how to find these in 'beautiful relationships' stepping outside our security zone to seek out these people.

"Seek out not only opportunities for service in your community or your world, but contact for your children with those who work, in their own ways, big or small for peace, l justice and equity, often at risk to themselves or in sacrifice of their own creature comfort.

He suggests having tea parties, "lots and lots of tea parties," as an easy way to get the ball rolling.

This is a book that I would give to anyone who wants an indepth depiction of what joyful learning and living, authentic education looks like.
It's published by Natural Life Books.


Lee said...

Great review! I'm adding this to my to-read pile.

Anonymous said...

Letting your kids learn what they want seems risky. Even irresponsible. What if they end up pursuing bad things? It have worked for these people but it mgiht not work for most.

Wendy Priesnitz said...

Thanks for the enthusiastic review! We appreciate your help spreading the word about this important book.

Just one point of clarification: it is actually published by my company Life Media, under its The Alternate Press imprint. Natural Life Books is our retail division. ;-)

rfs said...

@Wendy-Thanks for catching that!

Anonymous said...

Helpful review. I've read some of ALbert's work-And the Skylark sings with you i think it is called. And also, learn love play or something like that. Really good reads too.
His kids are doing amazing things. Yay for freedom in learning!

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