Let them play (Part Two)

When Ella was about 2 or so, we took her to the Farm Barn – a place for kids to interact with a range of little animals, and see some bigger farm animals.

She was vaguely interested. Mildly terrified at times too.

But my clearest memory is of when she decided she’d had enough of animals and wasn’t really interested anymore. Everyone else was looking at the goats sticking their heads through the fence — Ella was in her own little world, dancing her way up a hill, getting in other people’s way, but joyfully spinning around anyway. And she was happy. She didn’t care about the goats.

And in that moment, I hoped she would always be this free. Free to never have her imagination cut off, limited, restricted – for what? To see the nice goats? For the convenience of others?

Watching her absolute freedom, I could only imagine what was going on inside her mind, where her own thoughts and creations were taking her.

Continue reading “Let them play (Part Two)”

Let them play (Part One)

Let them play!

Let the children play.

Freeform and unscheduled, not limited to set blocks of “official” time so children are free to fully explore their cognitive processes without being interrupted at possibly critical points. Critical points to them, likely not always visible to others.

Just because it’s 10.30 and all of the class must come and sit on the mat and be quiet at this time…that may be what is required for a manageable classroom, but is it what is actually best for children??

What significant natural developmental processes are we interrupting & depriving them of by pushing structured ‘learning’ so early?

Continue reading “Let them play (Part One)”

Community and Individualism – is there a right way?

Any time I have a reaction of vehement disagreement towards someone or some thing – or actually, any reaction of disagreement stronger than mild but bored curiosity – I try to remember to consider closely the whys of my reaction as much as the idea to which I am reacting.

So when I read this statement from a Hmong woman:

“All men and women are mostly the same, most of the time. Everybody knows that.” (Hmong Grandmother, p 42, Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert)

I found myself having an internal reaction that I thought was worth paying attention to.

Continue reading “Community and Individualism – is there a right way?”

How going Paleo taught me life lessons

I’m not here to convert you to Paleo. My life is was ‘Paleofied’, I guess you could say. But I don’t like labels, I don’t like bandwagons… I tend to shy away from subscribing to any one thing whole heartedly. Because I think in everything there’s a bit of truth, and probably a lot that isn’t. Some things just have these things in a different balance.

I’m definitely not Paleo now, though I still love ‘paleofied’ cafes because you know it’s real food.

But over all, Paleo was a convenient catch-all for me, to help narrow down all the information available to something more manageable, when I was learning to take charge of my own health. I started there, both filtering and expanding further for myself.

I’m certainly not saying we should live like cavemen. I’m not saying we should eschew all modern conveniences. I’m not even saying you should be Paleo. (This post is not even about the food, specifically.)

What I am a fan of is balance in life. And I think modern lives are out of balance. Continue reading “How going Paleo taught me life lessons”

One Day in Sydney for Introverts

There are about a thousand and one things you could do in Sydney if you only have one day. A lot of them will cost rather large amounts of money, and will require expending rather large amounts of energy.

And for budget-conscious and spontaneous travellers like us, the ticket prices on things like the tower, the aquarium & Madame Tassauds, plus the requirement to actually plan your visit and book an arrival time — well, nope, basically.

You expect us to know when we are going to arrive somewhere, Sydney? Don’t be silly. We don’t even know what time we’ll be getting out of bed. And not to mention the crowds….

So if you’re an introvert or just a weary traveller finding yourself, like us, compelled to hit the highlights, visit the most iconic of cities — since, well, you’re passing right by it and you may as well… then

Here’s our guide to doing Sydney introvert style:

Continue reading “One Day in Sydney for Introverts”

How to explain to a 4 year old why Mummy is going away.

I’ve grown used to being misunderstood. When it comes to explaining why I am doing what I am doing — travel, ending my marriage, what I eat, what I believe — I’ve come to the realisation that all the words in the world aren’t enough to explain when someone doesn’t want to understand.

So when I leave Adelaide in December and don’t arrive back in Australia until August next year, I am quite aware of what some people are going to think. Or at least that I am going to be judged for it, perhaps harshly — at least as harshly as I already have been for my choices thus far. Continue reading “How to explain to a 4 year old why Mummy is going away.”