The Word for Wednesday was . . .

. . . Educate. What does it mean to ‘educate’ a person? These days, we seem mostly to think ‘education’ is the same as ‘teaching’, but ‘teaching’ is putting things in; facts, thoughts, ideas . . . ‘education’ springs from the root ‘educare’; “to draw forth”. In ‘educare’ lies the implication that something already lies within us, needing only to be awakened, nourished, given time, room, support, so that it might grow to its fullest capacity; so that we might become more closely a fulfillmeng of our potential.

In ‘teaching’ there is an assumption that we are born empty husks, waiting to be filled; and what better to fill us with than the kapok of facts, that we might grow to be a better fit for the factories, for the factory way of life? Why? Because good factory workers spend their lives to enrich others with material things, with ‘power over’ rather than to enrich themselves with ‘power to’ . . .

I could go on, but today will be busy. The landlord came yesterday, but the heating system required a plumber, who has just now replaced the motor that opens and shuts the valve. Now to put things back and sort a few more bags/boxes. Not to mention running the vacuum and dustcloth over places that have not seen the light of day all winter . . . and then a walk with my friend A. It’s been weeks since weather and schedules allowed a walk. I’m feeling very ‘spring-feverish’ today, likely a result of more daylight and actual sunshine together with the moving of bags, boxes and furniture that was enforced by the heating failure. The universe conspires for the greater good . . . and I’m off to join the conspiracy! 😉 Have a great day, whether Thursday or Friday!

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32 thoughts on “The Word for Wednesday was . . .

  1. “The universe conspires for the greater good . . . and I’m off to join the conspiracy!” That sentence really jumped out at me, I love it! The universe can teach us so much, all we need to do is open up our hearts and minds, and listen. A show I watched on television recently piqued my interest in education, along with many other things, and when I have my head sorted enough on the subject to do so, I intend writing a post on my own thoughts.

    I wondered how you found my blog, but I see you are a friend of lovely Stacy! Thank you for dropping by. 🙂

    • Ha! Another kindred spirit! Glad to see you here, too, Joanne. I’ve been reading about education for many years, beginning with Maria Montessori’s work. She inspired me so much! Later there were lots of alternative educational ideas around, from Steiner to John Holt and many others in between. I once knew a family where the dad was a BC aboriginal artist and the mother was a euro-descended designer whose clothing styles are based on aboriginal clothing; the two children were very talented, especially musically. They were bullied unmercifully at various schools and the parents finally pulled them out of school and free-schooled them. The children were two of the most interesting people to talk with, well-read on a wide variety of subjects, amazing at music and art; generally well-rounded people. It was my first experience of free-schooling and made a convert of me; alas, too late for my own two.

      • I don’t believe it…. that’s who the show I saw was about, Maria Montessori! My youngest finishes school at the end of next year and after watching the show I told him that they (my children) would have all been educated differently if I had realised years ago there were other alternatives.

      • What amazes me, Joanne, is that she figured out so much over a hundred years ago and we still don’t use the knowledge! It’s the same with healing (not to be confused with ‘curing’; but that’s another post . . .): I’ve often noticed (and said) that many people would rather die than change. We all have different tolerance levels for change, but still . . . Can you imagine how different our world would be if most children were educated in a more holistic fashion?

      • I wish I’d seen that show! What station carried it? I’m wondering if it will be available here. PBS out of Washington State has programmes like that.

        Ah yes, Narf7, red ‘long johns’!! With flares, no doubt . . . I can see you now LOL

        I know they’re not so practical for some kinds of work, but I LOVE long skirts/dresses . . . with petticoats . . . one of them from fine (thin) wool, if finances allowed (or I ever had time to weave the fabric ;-). Lamb’s wool, if I had a choice. All that and long johns, too! And in the summer, I like long cotton skirts/dresses and a fine cotton slip/petticoat. Good insulation from the sun, graceful . . . I have two long, full skirts given to me by a co-worker a few years back. One black, one a sort of khaki. I like jeans for housecleaning, most outdoor work and all, but otherwise it’s long skirts for me!!

  2. Hi Linne — lovely, thoughtful blog and I, too, love the word educare. I discovered you via Fran’s blog http://www.theroadtoserendipity.wordpress.com, and have read in her comments that you are pursuing kefir grains! I have some, and live in the Seattle, Washington, USA area, not so very far from western Canada. Fran tells me that hers were mailed to her (in a ziplock with a wee bit of milk) from Jess http://www.rapidlittlehippy.wordpress.com, another member of the Serendipity Farm cyber-community who lives in Australia, and I’d be happy to send/give you some if you’d like. 🙂

    • Thanks, Christi! I found Fran via rabid’s blog and through them quite a few other kindred spirits. Glad to see you here, too. I would love some kefir grains and thanks so much for the offer. I can email you my address and PayPal you a bit to cover the postage, too. Let me know what it will be, ok? Here is best, as I get so many emails and sometimes miss some.

      • You’re welcome, Linne! I’m happy to send you the kefir grains but the postage just won’t be that much so please just accept them as a gift. 🙂 (They were gifted to me.) My email is christiok@gmail.com. Send me your snail mail and I’ll let you know the day I put the grains in the mail — probably Monday!

  3. Bloody Brilliant! YES! I have done a lot of teaching and I love that “light bulb moment” when the students get it. Educare. I love this word and hadn’t heard of it before now. Great post.

    • Thank you! I took two years of Latin during high school and loved it. It has helped me so much along the way. I wish I’d taken enough to be able to read and write in it. Maybe in my old age . . . along with Greek! I had Catholic neighbours when I was in my teens and often went to Mass with them on Sunday; in those days it was in Latin and I can’t tell you how much joy I had hearing the service. I was in Education when in Uni, but didn’t finish even the first year (mostly culture shock at living in a city with upper middle-class people; nothing was familiar to me . . .) But I’m a natural teacher and love to share information (you all may have noticed this from time to time . . . lol) I love that moment, too. I used to teach knitting and crochet in 15 minute segments in the middle of the craft store I worked at for a few years. I loved that so much! But I’ll teach anything, so long as a person wants to know.

  4. Educare. I love how the word is a melding of educate and care. Isn’t that what it’s all about? I’m super keen for homeschooling but working my way up to it although Martin isn’t yet sold. I’ve got this year to prove my point before the issue of kindergarten comes up again so the next 7 or so months are pretty critical for us in my books. I’ve done some stuff with Jas and Egga this week with great success, pre-writing with tracing lines, some play based learning games a friend (and primary teacher) has given me and I feel like I’ve got my head around it a bit more. The highlight though was when Allegra asked me to play homeschools. 🙂 She is desperate to learn to sew and knit. A lofty and admiral goal for a girl not yet 3.5 years old. Time for wool and some coarse fabric I think. 🙂 She can play and educate herself on using them after some prelim showing from me. 😀 Jas too.
    I want my children to become curious, intuitive, widely skilled (Jack of all trades), independent, self contained and able to function in the new world order that is coming. Thankfully things have evolved since the 3 Rr’s hey. 🙂

    • There are some excellent resources online now for homeschooling (wish I’d had ’em). If you want to follow an ongoing discussion, there’s a section on the Pioneer Woman blog just for homeschoolers. Sometimes someone poses a question or dilemma they are facing and other homeschoolers post their own experience or suggestions. A good place to start, it’s at: http://www.thepioneerwoman.com

      You may want to read the books by Maria Montessori; they are fantastic and were the beginning of my own interest. Lots of other books, too. I can see I’ll have to get busy on my extra pages here and add a section for homeschooling in general.

      My Mum began teaching me to sew when I was about two. She cut the front off a Quaker Oats Oatmeal box, punched holes around the outline of the Quaker man, then gave me a darning needle (blunter end) threaded with fine yarn. She showed me how to ‘sew’ around the outline by putting the needle in and out of the holes. She would make sure there was an uneven number of holes so I could go around twice and create a solid line. Later I was given a bit of fabric and a real needle and thread, always coloured so I could easily see the stitches. When I was nine or ten she began teaching me to embroider. Last year she found my (unfinished; bad habits began early) first sampler and gave it to me. I plan to frame it as is, although Mum pushed for me to finish it. It was a triangular shape with rows of different stitches, then a short rectangle below. Together they form a simple tree outline. It’s in storage now or I’d share a photo with you.

      My oldest granddaughter was sewing well by age five and had completed a doll’s quilt on her own. When she was seven, she took a rectangle of knit fabric and sewed most of two ends together to make a tube; into the remaining space she hand-stitched a zipper!! The hem was asymmetrical (fashionable in some circles!), but it was quite cute and she loved wearing her new skirt. She would sew headbands as gifts for friends, too.

      So your Allegra is the right age to begin, for sure. And it’s always a teachable moment when they ask to learn, but you know that, I’m sure!

      Kids will still need the 3Rs, but also all the skills you list. I think the most important things to teach are how to learn, where and how to get information, and how to ask the right questions. Jacks and Jills of all trades will be so valuable in the future.

      One last thing: be careful how you deconstruct a word LOL. I found the following online:

      “educare” = “to educate”
      It is the present active infinitive of ēducō: “to bring up, to rear” “to educate, to train” “to produce”
      second-person singular present passive imperative of ēducō: “be thou brought up, be thou reared” “be thou educated, be thou trained” “be thou produced”

      I say ‘be careful’ because at one place I worked the company was setting up a brokerage to arrange the buying and selling of natural and organic foods and products. The then-general manager absolutely refused to call it a ‘brokerage’ because as he put it, “brokerage is formed from two words, ‘broke’ and ‘rage’, both negative in meaning”. In fact ‘to broker’ is an act and a ‘brokerage’ is the organization that brokers. And here endeth the lesson in linguistics . . . 😉

  5. Another very interesting word, Linne. I used to be an “educator” myself. I always wondered why some teachers preferred to be called educators, and now I understand why! ❤

  6. Interesting thoughts Linne…I think there is a big difference between enforced “education” and self “education” anything that you want to learn yourself is going to be retained better than something that you are simply told to learn. I love the Steiner school ideal where children are able to learn at their own pace…it stops “education” from being seen as rote learning and gives individuals back their own rate and way of learning. We don’t all have the ability to instantly recall things in our minds the same way. So many ways to learn and so many hurdles to jump. Being middle aged student hippies we spend most of our days “learning” and I love it so much I get up at 3am to educate myself 🙂 it really is true…”Knowledge is power!” 😉

    • Yep, same page again!! I homeschooled, but all I knew of was correspondence; they would have done better and been happier in school, I think now. But Steiner-type education was my intuitive goal; I needed more, though. Now there’s so much out there with the ‘net and all.

      • So many resources now and you don’t have to source it all yourself :). I wish I home schooled my kids but hey, they are bright and crazy and innovative problem solvers like me (read incorrigible, impulsive, question askers who tend not to believe anything that they are told without trying it themselves 😉 ) so I guess my job here…is DONE! 😉

      • When I think about it now, I wasn’t homeschooled; well, not really; my Mum taught me to read by age 4 and to do arithmetic, etc. I read chapter books by age 6 when I started school. Much of what I know I learned by reading, some by doing and a bit by watching/being taught. I think your kids sound great (read: just like us!!) and I do hope your job is done. However, I’m sure my Mum thought so, too, and here I am; the oldest ‘boomerang child’ in history . . .

      • Madeline (my eldest daughter) was reading at 4 and her teacher was doing her thesis on her reading ability for her masters. I didn’t think anything of it because all of my kids were early readers. I think that when kids see both parents reading it just comes naturally and I liked to read off the wall books to the kids to develop their imaginations. It will be interesting to see if any of my kids decide to move back home, I doubt it, they are loving their freedom :). The girls live in our house 4km away from the city centre and pay the rates. Very cheap rent! It works for all of us :). I lived with my mum for a year when I was 35. The local primary school was just across the road and the girls just had to get up and eat breakfast nice and late, wander over the road nibbling toast…walk back at lunch time for lunch…wander back before the bell and got home first after school…I guess they were “almost” home schooled for a while there? 😉

      • My parents both read a lot (Mum still reads hours every day!). It helped that we didn’t have tv while I was at home. My parents bought a set later. When my sons were young, we all read daily. No tv again and we would bring home a couple of boxes of books from the library every week (carried, ’cause we didn’t have a vehicle). Later we had a tv for a few months and I saw the boys’ reading dwindle along with the number of creative projects. We were then in a small apartment with no space outside for play (and a very busy street!). The tv was on much of the day at first and there was no place to escape it. Later still we got rid of tv again and went back to more normal ways (for us lol). I was very philosophical in nature (well, I still am) and read books like ‘Hope for the Flowers’, ‘the Hobbit’, ‘The Lord of the Rings’, ‘The Rising of the Dark’ and more. My boys heard the Tolkien works for the first time when one was four and a half and the other not yet born. Can’t start them too early, in my opinion.

        Narf7, you have an ideal situation with the two houses. What a great start for your girls! And they were lucky to live so near that primary school for a year. What a luxury, going home for lunch!

      • You are so right Linne, and I know how very lucky we are to be left in such a good position to choose how we want to live after my dad died. I might not have gotten on with him very well while he was alive, but it’s forgiveness all round because of his generosity. He gave us our choices and for that, I am most incredibly grateful 🙂

      • Well, you certainly deserve it and you are putting the land to great use. We need more ‘yeasties’ like you!!

      • I HAVE Laurel’s kitchen 🙂 It is one of my treasured cookbooks that I picked up at a thrift shop and it got me through my early vegetarianism in style 🙂

      • I also photocopied the entire “The Enchanted Broccoli Forest and The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest” set of Molly Katzen books :)…and THEN I ringbound them and still have them today 🙂

      • Aren’t those great books, N7?
        I don’t have those, but have read them . . . I’ll read anything, pretty much . . .
        I do have ‘The Book of Soy’ and ‘The Book of Tofu’ (in storage, of course); those are good, too. I also have a small collection of cookbooks by various church ladies’ groups. And a handful of housekeeping books, including one from the late 1800s. Also Mrs. Beeton’s cookbook (somewhere here, but in a box).

      • My sister got mums Mrs Beetons 😦 (anything that she figured might be “valuable” strangely got shifted to her home…) I had to fly home to Tassie after helping to clean out mums little unit after she died and didn’t bring much back with me…My memories of mum are locked up in my head. I might have to talk to my sister to get a few family things to hand down to my children. I did get grandma’s gardening book that is so well used it has pages out. Her handwriting is still clear and I remember her writing little notes etc. a lot. She was a list maker :). I have all kinds of weird and wonderful cookbooks that I have collected but completely envy you your tofu and soy books as they are now out of print. I keep hunting at the thrift shops and will find them one day :).

      • Narf7, try the online second-hand bookshops. I’ve only bought a couple of things, but had no problem.

        I expect some family ‘stuff’ after my Mum’s gone, too. Hope that works out for you with no stress.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading your comments. ~ Linne

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