I’ve been reading some women’s magazines that were left at the house we’re staying at. Very informative and enlightening. No, not Cosmopolitan, but Ladies Home Journal (LHJ) and Parents (OK, I know that’s for Dads as well as Mums), in particular. Anyway, I’ve found some inspiration to write about a few topics in my blog in the near future.
Firstly, in LHJ (March 2014), I enjoyed an article entitled “The Joys of Living Small”. The essence of the article is captured in its subheading which reads “When it comes to house size, Americans like to live large [no kidding]. But more and more couples are downsizing to radically small homes – and they’ve never been happier”. Three couples/families are interviewed for the report. The first couple live in an 8 by 16 feet trailer mounted cabin. The second couple and their two children live in a 960 sq ft home in Big Bear, CA. The third family, of four, live in a 336 sq ft cabin (which looks like a tin hut from the outside) in Virginia. Since we’re currently living on a 36 ft RV, and planning to settle down to a more permanent residence sometime later this year, then I’m always thinking about what sort of place we’ll live in when our current travels are over. Over the next few months, Nina and I will be dedicating considerable effort into identifying the right type of dwelling and best location to suit our family. I’ll definitely blog on the topic as we develop our ideas and research our options.
Secondly, as a home educator (and parent) I was interested in the article “The Life Skills Every Kid Needs” in Parents (August 2014). It outlines “techniques used by educators to teach ‘executive function’ [which] will help your child succeed at practically anything”. For those not familiar with the term “executive function” (EF) it refers to a “person’s ability to organize thoughts, plan behaviors, say no to impulses and manage between what [she’s] feeling and what [she] does. I’m very familiar with the term “executive function” and have been for quite a few years. For now, let’s just say, impulse control can be a bit of problem in our family – particularly for the males. EF is not the only interesting aspect of the Parents article. It touches upon the much broader topic of how early children should focus on academics. Parents today are pushing their children into more formal teaching environments at younger ages and also many of the schools they attend are simply teaching to the test (as the cliché goes). The article specifically mentions that pre-schools adopting the Reggio Emilia approach and Montessori schools accredited by the Association Montessori Internationale methods are good places for children to develop EF skills. This point is pertinent to the education of our own children, since all three of them have attended only Montessori day-care, pre-school and elementary institutions (apart from day-care places when they were younger than 14 months). I’ve been meaning to blog on how the homeschooling/roadschooling is going for the Davies family, but for one reason or another (procrastination or maybe executive malfunction) I haven’t gotten around to it yet. There’s a lot of information out there and my family is learning about what philosophies, methods and tools do or don’t work for us. Just like everything else in life, we’re learning from our mistakes. Writing on such a topic is daunting and is likely to be quite personal.
Anyway, thanks to a couple of articles I found in some old magazines, I’m going to be more active in my blog and will write on homes, educating and other topics related to our family soon.
Portland Alternative Dwellings: https://padtinyhouses.com/