Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Generations of Maker Ed



As I was putting this quilt on our bed for yet another morning, I started thinking about my mom and I making it. The truth is, she started it and I finished it. She cut the squares from scraps of all of the dresses, curtains, shirts and pillows she made for us when we were kids. Each of my sisters would easily recognize some piece of clothing whose material is in this quilt. My mom passed away when I was in my 20’s and I finished the quilt. 
When I think of the Maker Movement and words like tinkering, making, DIY, I think of my parents. They both were born in the early 20’s, grew up in the 30’s, experienced the war of the 40’s and built a new life together starting in the 50’s. 
I think that my mom knit, sewed, crocheted, canned, wallpapered, painted, refinished and repurposed furniture first out of necessity, and then out of enjoyment. My dad had a shop in almost every garage I can remember. He was always building things, fixing things, making things better. I remember all the times that he was “in the shop” whistling and tinkering.
They used Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics just living, just making a home and a life! They had STEAM! The science and technology may be different and even the engineering to some extent, but using the tools of the time, they tinkered, built, failed, tried again until they mastered a skill.
They passed that on to my sisters and I. What a gift! I hope that we are passing it on to our children. Our message to our children was to spend time being constructive and creative. That may be taking apart an old appliance and putting it back together again, it might be sewing a bag, a pillowcase or even a dress, it might be decorating a room, making a cake, building a fort, fixing a leak, painting a picture - the list goes on and on. 
Maker Ed has gone from the home to the classroom, but the skills are the same. As home educators, we have such a gift, that our children are not hemmed in by time. We don’t have only a 45 minute period for science, we can allow a whole day on a project, or projects over months or even years. 
Our children can enjoy one on one attention, learning a skill or we can learn new skills together! We may fail, try again and again until we have mastered that skill. Our children seeing us fail at something before mastery gives them room to do the same. 
There is not the same pressure of performance at home either, there are many more opportunities to fail and try again without the pressure of peers. This, I think supports our Makers more than anything else. Having a safe place to create and learn! 
So, enjoy being constructive and creative -including you and your children learning new skills. Join the Maker Movement!!
Blessings! Natalie

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

CHILS - Creative Ways of Teaching Social Studies and Science


Here are the slides from my afternoon session at CHILS (Christian Home Inspired Learning Symposium) on Creative Ways of Teaching Social Studies and Science. Thanks to all those who attended! Blessings!!

CHILS - Creative Ways of Teaching Literature



It was great to be at the CHILS Conference in Calgary today. For those who attended my session on Creative Ways of Teaching Literature here are the slides. It was great meeting you! Blessings!!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

CHILS - Christian Home Inspried Learning Symposium


I am very excited about speaking at the CHIL Symposium in Calgary on March 14th, 2015. 
CHILS stands for Christian Home Inspired Learning Symposium. This Symposium will be a great opportunity to be inspired as you go forward in your home education experience. I will be speaking on two topics:

 Creative Ways to Teach Literature
and
Creative Ways to Teach Social Studies and Science

Please join me and many other Inspired Home Educators at CHILS