"For many decades, an artificially induced hysteria about "basic skills" has been the masquerade used to intimidate us into abandoning our children to a form of schooling that simply doesn't work. Behind this mask, valuable lessons of service to a vibrant community of real human beings have been denied the young - and all of us have been denied the reciprocities healthy adults need with children across the full spectrum of ages."
John Taylor Gatto, "A Different Kind of Teacher.
Ruby and Sky are well-loved in our community.
They know a lot of people and are constantly stopping to chat to these people as we go about our days.
These people are of all ages and obviously enjoy the chance to chat to the girls.
The girls know them because they live inside the community, walk it's streets and visit it's library and stores, parks and walkways.
We also regularly help out people in the neighbourhood. These are often Timebank trades and so could be people we haven't known previously. Because we have chosen to do this regularly it has become part of our family's culture: we help out others where we can.
They are possible because the girls aren't whisked away into school for most of the day, five times a week.
These relationships act as glue in our community and are deeply rewarding to all concerned.
When children have a chance to regularly take part in a community in authentic contexts, adults and children have a chance to meet the other as real people with unique gifts to give. Boxing people in to a set of stereotyped roles no longer makes sense.
These photos are of us making the petal windows and candle surround. Ezy-pezy and a chance to intimately enjoy the beauty of flowers. Pick flowers, lay out waxed paper, wax-side up, design petal layout, fold layer of waxed paper on top, waxed sides together and iron. Set aside for a moment and then cut to preferred shape or staple ends together to create the candle surround. Sweet.