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A joyous account of a progressive family's homeschooling experience.
Acting on their conviction that to educate a child well is to enable her to find her destiny, David Albert and his partner Ellen listened carefully, with respect and with love, to how their children expressed their own learning needs. Leaving traditional homeschooling methods behind, they followed their daughters' unique knowledge quests-from astronomy and botany, to opera and mythology-and then went about finding the resources and opportunities to meet those needs within their community.
Gracefully written, And the Skylark Sings with Me passionately illustrates that real learning is much richer and more mysterious than any school can encompass.
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|Publisher:||New Society Publishers|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
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About the Author
Table of Contents
Foreword , by Joseph Chilton Pearce
Ali discovers the violin, and we receive our first homeschooling lesson; on choosing a music teacher
Hares with Shells on Their Backs
the author as an advocate for all children, not just homeschoolers; "adequate" education as inadequate; learning as vital to the quality of children's lives; the end of education; Meera discovers the piano next door and learns to read music; choosing the right instrument
we sing the Messiah; music and standardized tests; our vision of the perfect learning environment; utilizing the community; educating ourselves as a family
nature awareness and the process of naming; children's delight in the natural world; what's wrong with zoos; our house becomes a menagerie and we breed snakes; the societal costs of educating indoors; the evolving journey of self-awareness
Mr. Newton's Rules
we meet Fig Newton's brother and learn about gravity and momentum; the scientific method and true scientific inference as "but the normal working of the human mind"; science centers; Ali reintroduces us to astronomy and we build a telescope; an experience of educational democracy
pattern blocks and beads; the cult of method; mathematics as language and as operations; finding a values-based context; preventing math phobia
Exits and Entrances
the complexity of 'child's play'; how toy manufacturers take control; Meera and Ali discover opera and ballet; children empowered with control over their own play scripts; opera rehearsals and playwriting; preparing kids for the theatrical experience; poetry as theater of self
letters in the environment; manipulating a book; writing before reading; phonics and whole language approaches; "reading readiness" schemes; television; writing and editing
performing at the Sri Thyagarajah Festival; talking about race; the curriculum of combating prejudice; principles for children's community involvement; our religious perspective as Quakers as it informs our homeschooling practice
my children teach me what I need to know; school as Cannery Row; the misuse of child development theory; the "Holy Grail" of educational testing; teaching thinking skills?; the bric-a-brac principle; learning music as paradigm; the "S" word; socializing the community to the needs of the child
music composition; learning to trust our children; the value of "wasted time'; the unnameable fountain)
About the Author
What People are Saying About This
"In this clear and often magical account of how David and Ellen helped their kids find ways to take charge of their own education, a universal lesson is written: real learning is much richer and more mysterious than any school can encompass, and institutional habits, rules, and assumption — which usually masquerade as scientific pedagogy — are an enormous handicap to growing up whole. Albert's intense thoughtfulness about every aspect of waking up to full humanity is a treat you should not miss."
— John Taylor Gatto, former New York State and 3-Time New York City Teacher of the Year; author, Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
"An utterly fascinating critique of American education, as well as a joyous celebration of the creative potential in every child."
— Anthony Manousas, Friends Bulletin
"This invigorating adventure story is about more than homeschooling and community-based education. It is about honoring our appetite for what is real. It is about drawing out the innate creativity and brilliance of a child. And that's good news for the child within each of us."
— Joanna Macy, author, Coming Back to Life: Practices to Reconnect Our Lives, Our World
"David Albert's And the skylark sings with me is a beautifully told story about how he and his wife are raising their daughters outside of conventional schooling, and the amazing results that they see unfolding before them. Albert's careful descriptions of what he and his wife do to nurture, support, and direct their children's learning will give heart to parents worried that before they can help their children learn about wolves, astronomy, biology, nature, math, and music — to name a few of the subjects covered — they must become certified teachers". A joyous and memorable book."
— Pat Farenga, President, Holt Associates, publisher, Growing Without Schooling
"We are tempted to say that And the skylark sings with me is of the greatest value to all homeschoolers. That would be a mistake. This articulate and moving description of care and love in education is of the greatest value to all parents and educators. May the inspiration in this book enter our hearts and minds as we honor children and life."
— Sambhava and Josette Luvmour, Encompass: The Center for Natural Learning Rhythms, Nevada City, CA