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Making Spaces

April 28, 2011

When I’m not complaining about my health or lying around feeling rubbish, I have enjoyed obsessing over the write up for this e-course which looks fabulous.  Not in my budget right now (those jabs won’t pay for themselves) but I will be investing in her book when it comes out in the summer.  I love the idea of allowing environment to shape experience and looking at the gorgeous pics on the Playful Learning website had me hooked on the idea of creating a writing centre.

One trip to the Dollar Store and Staples later I had set Huwyl up with a writing station in his bedroom where a certain toddler brother couldn’t reach and destroy.  I stocked it with new gel pens, a variety of cards, some stickers and some resources I printed off from the Write Start website (in the templates section).  I’ll add new things periodically to refresh Huwyl’s interest but already he has enjoyed making endless cards and writing little notes.  Most of the time he just likes to write To Mummy/Daddy love from Huwyl, which is very cute and always well received.

In comparison to the gorgeous spaces created by the people taking the Playful Learning e-course this is nothing but we are in a rental so this was the best we could manage!  Sorry about the rubbish photos it is really dark in Huwyl’s bedroom but he doesn’t seem to notice and the addition of a nice lamp gives it a cosy feel.  He really enjoys going up and doing some writing and I love that he initiates it rather than it being something imposed on him.

One of the other spaces I’ve created came about after I listened to a great seminar on The Waldorf Connection.  It was given by Janet Allison talking on the topic of boys.  She had lots of fascinating ideas that have really stayed with me and I’ve subsequently watched a couple of her videos and again found that she has great insights.  One of the things that really interested me was when she talked about how boys love factual books and really enjoying reading things with diagrams and instructions.  I’ve noticed how much Huwyl enjoys flicking through our children’s encyclopedias so I thought I’d create a little space where he could enjoy ‘down time’ and do some independent ‘reading’.   And so the Book Nook was born.

With the article I read about the Reggio Emilia schools (the link is in a previous post) and their belief in bringing art work into the work space fresh in my mind, I thought I’d create my own little sign.  So in some odd moments I managed to sketch up a sign for the book nook.  I always forget how much I enjoy drawing and though I lack real skill the joy of simply creating is such fun.  What a shame to deny ourselves this enjoyment because we hold ourselves up to an excessively high standard!  I’m no Monet but I can create a little sign that is cute and serves a purpose in my own home.

The last space I created was for our keyboard which, before this, was being shuttled back and forth onto the table.  I bought an inexpensive stand and a set of wall decorations that have all the notes and music info on that we need.  Our music teacher has the same set so I thought it would be a good bet!  I have never played piano so I’m hoping these will serve as a good reference for me when I’m helping Huwyl.

The other advantage of having this space properly and permanently set up (apart from a smoother rhythm in our day) is that Huwyl can stand up and play.  This seems to really improve his focus and comfort, allowing him to concentrate a little more on the music rather than shifting position constantly as his body demands that he moves.

Listening to Janet Allison talking about the differences in the male and female brains has been very enlightening and I want to pursue this line of thinking more fully.  I’ve also begun reading up a little on the temperaments after reading her vivid description, the first time I’ve seen the temperaments written about in this clear and helpful way.

I’m striving not to overload myself with too much information at the moment but I do feel these avenues of inquiry are so beneficial that they are worth me devoting the little spare brain power I have to them!  Creating a home that serves our needs and supports the way that we live can only bring us more feelings of peace and security as a family, something worth investing time in I think.

My house may never look like this or this but I can keep dreaming!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 29, 2011 12:14 am

    Greetings Emmalina – What a delight to find your post and read about how you are making a learning environment within your home to meet what your boys need to learn and be comfortable. I especially like that you noticed the difference in Huwyl’s attention when he could stand at the keyboard rather than sit. Only a few schools (so far) are realizing the value of ‘stand-up desks’ where students can choose to stand or sit on a high stool (some have foot-rest bars that swing, too). I wonder what other questions or observations you have about your boys? Let’s chat! All the best, Janet Allison (slight spelling correction there) 🙂

    • emmalina73 permalink
      May 2, 2011 11:22 pm

      Wow thanks for stopping by Janet! Can’t believe you took the time to comment on my blog : ) I’ve really been finding so much information in the articles you have on your web page, tit bits that I aim to implement over time. I think what I’m mainly ‘getting’ is to look for underlying causes when there is friction, try and work out what is needed and not working. Exploring the difference in the male mind is fascinating and revealing. I’m also becoming more aware of Huwyl’s need for clarity, brevity and sometimes quiet. Being peaceful is something he finds very hard, he is always moving always restless, he even tosses and turns in sleep!

      I’m planning on buying and reading your book over the summer, I’m also really keen to find out more about temperaments though your explanation is the only one I’ve found terribly useful. Is there more on this in your book?

      Thanks so much for visiting!

  2. April 29, 2011 10:36 am

    My boys refuse to do anything sitting down, but if you stand them up they are all ears🙂 Sounds like you figured this out a lot earlier in your kiddos life than I did, congrats for that!

    • emmalina73 permalink
      May 2, 2011 11:23 pm

      I’m feeling my way slowly but surely! Losing the chairs is certainly helping with the constant squirming ; ) But there is so much to learn I don’t know if I’ll ever get there!

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