This week I have been reading How Children Learn, by John Holt. The first two thirds of this book are written almost as a diary of observations and conclusions deduced from them. These observations are of children's learning behaviours at home and in school, from toddlerhood to maybe age ten. I found this format difficult to understand: it seemed to suggest that he was drawing substantial conclusions from single, empirical observations. As the book continues there is a shift to discussing more general observations amassed during his teaching time, with individual illustrations, which I found much easier to make sense of. There was so much in this book that resounded with my experience of my children's learning styles. My boys are so different in how they approach problems and the unknown. I strongly felt that this book reinforced my intuitions about how to approach my children's education, which is reassuring! I have a friend whose son is very like Sausages, and today we discussed how much sense the theories of this book make when applied to their learning styles. It's so good to feel that what I know about my child is expressed and experienced by others! Sausages hates to be encouraged to participate in activities or to do anything really; it turns him off the activity entirely. He does much better if he can come to the activity on his own terms, and then draw me in if he feels he needs something from me. Given that he has pretty much managed to teach himself to read, count, add and subtract this way, alongside lots of other interesting things, I'm happy to support this learning style for him for as long as I can. A great example of this is his swimming experience. Sausages has had swimming lessons for his entire life, but it was only when we were messing about informally recently that I discovered that he actually could swim - he has never done this in a lesson, although he clearly can! Holt encourages letting children make their own learning discoveries and guide their own journeys into knowledge and experience, which absolutely seems to be the best option for us. I'm glad I picked this up!
I dyed some very pretty self-striping sock yarn this week, two identical 50g balls. I LOVE these colours, and can't wait to knit them up. These will be for meeee!
The hoodie for Bob is finished and blocking, although I still haven't decided on a fastening method. I just don't fancy a zip in my knitwear! Last time I knitted this pattern I used a fawn yarn, with wooden toggles and crochet button loops, but wooden toggles wouldn't suit this yarn, and I don't really fancy plastic. More thought required, and suggestions gratefully received! Thankfully it's quite a bit too big for my dinky little man, so I have time to think about it. I'll ponder while I work on the secret knitting!
As always don't forget to pop along to Ginny's and Nicole's to see what everyone else is up to. If you're anything like me it's a weekly session of adding patterns to the ravelry queue! Have a good week,