Wednesday, 14 December 2016

What Acting can teach you about Management and Motivation.

 I was at a Christmas wreath making workshop on Friday and I met a lovely group of 6 people.  One woman kept on going on about how “old” she was.  I realised towards the end that she was a year younger than me.  I don’t feel in the least bit old. I’m aware of my mortality a bit more than I was but nearly 50 for me isn’t old.  I have a young daughter who is nearly ten and have just launched two businesses.
Getting ready for the workshop.  Oops is that Champagne!! 
My wreath in place. 
So what is age and how do you make people feel they are young rather than creeping towards retirement? How do you increase engagement and motivate staff who have been doing the job for longer than they care to remember?

One of my first jobs out of drama school was to work at the National Theatre on the Southbank in London.  I was old starting as a professional actress as had already gone to University and worked in the BBC for two years. We were all ages from teenagers to octogenarians.  Sometimes the “youngest” people in the room were the “oldest” and vice versa. It made me realise age was a mindset.  Just like the roles we were playing, age was a role we took on. 

However we do get stuck into a way of thinking.  My business two years ago was really hard work juggling my main business and the local voluntary work I was doing.  I said to my friend, who is 15 years older than me, I was going to start taking it easy.  She said why?  I couldn’t answer the question. She said if you’re fit and healthy why take it easy? Now is the time to do something challenging because later you might not be able to.  I could sit back on my laurels and do what I always have done but this gave me the impetus to be brave and challenge myself. 

As we approach the later half of our life, finding our motivation and vision for our future can be challenging.  Our parents may be getting ill and we need more time to care for them.  We are becoming aware of how aging is affecting our bodies.  Our children, if we have them, are growing up and into the “fly away” mode. So what can we do to find or keep our motivational mojo?

     1.    Be Present.  One of the things acting teaches you is to live in the moment.  To listen with your whole self so you can react to what is around you. As a manager it is essential to listen not just to the words that people are saying but to their change in body language or behaviour.  So often we don’t feel heard and it is a managers role to listen out for challenges their staff might be facing.

Only when we are present can we listen to our instinct more closely and be bolder in our choices..

I was coaching a manager who every day came down the stairs to see her staff in action. She was worried about morale.   The staff cringed every time she walked down the stairs, expecting to be told they were doing this and that wrong. 

The manager was challenged to go into the room keeping a simple phrase in mind: “go into the room looking for something that interests you”.  With this phrase she walked down the stairs and rather than telling the staff what to do, she watched and listened and praised the staff for what they were doing.  This new approach changed the way she managed going forward. It kept her in the present and helped her listen.

We can also do this for ourselves.  Go for a walk – even if it’s on the way to work or lunchtime.  Take just 10 minutes and be present.  Now look around.  Find the things that interest you.  Be present.

     2.    Be Spontaneous.  If something interests you say YES to it – you never know where it might lead you

Just the other day, I took a detour on my journey home to look inside a building I’ve always been curious about.  It felt uncomfortable but my curiosity keep me looking for a hall I’d heard about from other locals. Sure enough 30 seconds later I bumped into a neighbour.  It turns out they may be looking for nursery places for their staff and I have just opened a nursery with my business partner. If I hadn’t listened and acted on that moment I would have missed the opportunity.

You can even read a whole book on it. One book is about persuasion called “Yes – 50 Secrets from the Science of Persuasion” by my favourite persuader, Robert Cialdini.  This is a great introduction to his work. Or if you’re looking for something more light hearted and fun Danny Wallace’s book “Yes Man” looks at a year in his life where he chose to say “Yes”.

There is so much about saying YES in theatre too. The rule of improvisation is the phrase “Yes, and”. Aim to say yes to what you’re given and then add to it. 

So what can you say YES to that will support and help you? And no that doesn’t mean you can say yes to every Christmas drink and canapĂ© going!
The building I popped into

      3.    Speak the values of others.  We all give hints about what our values are.  We are motivated by what is important to us. So if someone talks about their family time or their hobby time a lot, you can pretty much guarantee that it’s important to them. So align a work goal to a value goal and you are more likely to get buy in.  It starts with listening and then requires you to link the two goals. 

One of our staff members is thinking of retiring in 10 years. She had started doing some work for us on a temporary basis and was looking for full time work. An opportunity came up for a full time place in our office.  To motivate her to think about taking the role we aligned her passion of training to the role alongside a 10 year prospect of achieving a goal to be a trainer before she retired. She enthusiastically took on the new role.

How can you align what is important to you, into everything you do, to keep you motivated? A great exercise is to simply write down one hundred things that are important to you in your life.  Then take the next few weeks to contemplate on it.  See if you can reduce it down from one hundred to ten.  Notice you can’t just jump to the ten you have to take time to write the hundred first! The way our minds work is we often put the front of mind stuff down first eg make money, family things, dream things and then once we get passed 20 we start to get down to what is really important to us. Try it out.

The great thing is we can do this immediately.  Be present by looking around you.  Look for things you’ve not seen before, look for the detail or things that interest you.  Find the beauty in what you see. It can sound corney but it can unravel you out of your patterns.  It can free you up to concentrate on your vision and goals and it can keep you young and curious! 

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

GUEST BLOGGER Anthea Chatten looks at Raising Children with Good self esteem.

I'd like to introduce Andrea Chatten, a Children’s Emotional & Behavioural Psychologist and Author of The Blinks novels

Andrea will be delivering one of the first workshop/ lectures at the Opening of the BeBright Project Training Centre, Kitto Road SE14 on Saturday 12th November between 2pm and 4pm. The talk is aimed at parents who have children of ten years and above.  The topic will be on how to understand the emotional journey our children go on and what we can do as parents to support them. 

I'm so delighted we can offer such an exciting trainer as one of our first offerings.  More details about how to book tickets will follow but here's a little bit more about Andrea and an article that will give you an insight into the course and Andrea's approach, which I'm sure you'll agree is unique and powerful. 

Andrea has been working with vulnerable children for over 25 years in Sheffield and has decided to create a whole new professional area to help children and their parents and carers to develop positively. 

Check out her website here

She has some amazing testimonials from children and parents.  I can't wait until the 12th November to learn more techniques.  

As a teacher I very quickly specialised in children who presented with emotional and behavioural difficulties. I recognised it was my role to educate them in maths, English and the ten plus subjects that they needed to be taught, however it was also very obvious to me that these children needed more. I felt passionate and committed to help these children understand some of the difficult and complex feelings that they had which hugely affected their well-being.  No matter how clever they had potential to be, unless they received lots of emotional understanding and different ways of doing things, these kids could miss out on the most important thing we want for children - happiness.

When I became a parent I found myself challenged with the level of responsibility and pressure to ensure that my children did not become as emotionally vulnerable as some of the children who I had worked with for many years. Parenting was by far the most difficult job that I had done as it was the most important. Don’t get me wrong the love and commitment I had for my class really wasn’t much different to what I felt for my own children but this role was about me helping my children evolve from the blank canvas that they born as.

As parents we are fundamental in how our child’s canvas develops. How much colour is present? How much grey? How the colours are dispersed, how bright those colours are and more importantly how appealing the final product is within our culture.

Raising children with good-self-esteem takes patience, huge, regular bundles of patience. As children translate patience into love. Patience means being gentle. Patience makes us listen more actively. Patience means we find time in this crazy fast world to stop and just be in the moment with our children. This love then becomes locked away inside of children and activates a core message that runs through them like a stick of rock. In order for children to develop a good level of self-esteem the message needs to be positive - “I am ok. I’m not perfect, I have faults but I am ok. I am worthy of love.”

Reading this may make you feel pressured as it is your job and you, like every parent has made mistakes. You too just need to be ok, not perfect, you have flaws and bad days too. I had to have a serious word with myself when both my children were small. Coping day to day with sleep deprivation, a hungry breastfeeding baby and a toddler was tough. Some days I was not the best Mum. As I had only ever worked with children with emotional and behavioural difficulties, it seemed so easy to mess up children and damage their self-esteem. Please let me reassure you now it isn’t that easy.

Long term damage to self-esteem develops over time. Not from a bad day here and there, though how we re-engage with our child afterwards is essential. Apologies and explanations mean we take responsibility for negative actions and don’t leave them with the child. It also means that we model real emotions and make mistakes a normal part of being human.  If we don’t re-connect emotionally afterwards, that can make children feel like it is their fault and they aren’t good enough. It is this internal dialogue that can also begin the spiral of low self-esteem.

Children’s self-esteem starts with us. We have to find as many ways to show children that we not only love them but like them. Also it is essential that if our children have pushed us[ac1]  into going off them, that this stage is only ever temporary and we the parents get back on them as soon as possible. 

Children are highly sensitive to this emotional withdrawal and that too fosters low self-esteem.
Raising children with good self-esteem is not difficult if we practise positive parenting and keep reflecting throughout the process. None us are perfect but with love, patience, and emotional warmth our children’s canvases can be bright, colourful and most of all happy.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Is Theresa May a good speaker ? 5 top things she needs to do to improve her impact.

Theresa May will be our new PM as of tomorrow. So how good is she as a speaker?

There are a number of things you need to be a good speaker.  Here are 5 top things Theresa May needs to think about:

1. Presense - which gives you instant status and impact
2. Balance - you look trustworthy, open and strong
3. Vocal interest - a resonant tone that has a variety of moods within it.
4. Connection - an ability to connect well with people, with peers and with cameras
5. Congruence - everything working together, including your values

I've never met Theresa May but simply by looking at the  recent videos here's my top 5 tips to improve her impact.  Some things are subjective.

1. Presense is about looking confident. It's about having shoulders back, upper body open, your head on straight, not tilted to the side and having energy.  Theresa May needs to work on her shoulders and head placement.  It probably shows how much computer work and reading she's been doing but that doesn't cut it on the speakers stage!  A simple exercise of

a. standing against a wall
b. raising your arms above you and putting the back of your hands and forearms against the wall
c. lowering the arms to 90 degrees
d. repeating two more times

will make big impact on upper body posture.  This open upper body makes you look open and engaging and also helps the voice connect with the breath which makes you have more authority. It's pretty good but needs more work as it causes her chin to jut a bit forward and will affect her breath.

So Theresa doesn't quite have that impact yet but she does bring a lot of energy to her speeches and her posture is pretty good just needs a bit of tweaking!

2. Balance builds your impact. Balance is about your energy not moving backwards away from a camera but looking ready.  It's about looking relaxed and ready - a bit like an athlete. She's nearly there but there's a bit of technique she needs to understand.  If we are balanced people feel comfortable watching you. At the moment she doesn't look comfortable in herself.

I know I teach this stuff but it's important she also uses her own instinct.  This picture shows that she also needs to not listen to so-called experts.  She needs to find her own stance that works for her image. This picture shows her stance is too wide and her energy is on her back foot.

If she can find that balance her authority and gravitas will transcend. 

3. Vocal interest helps us listen.  With radio such an important part of the messages having a powerful, engaging voice is key to being a good speaker. 

Theresa May has a wonderful authority to her voice.  It is in a good register and has lots of professionalism about it. She's good at sounding tough and strong.  On BBC radio 4's "Today" programme interviews she does manage to get variety in he voice.   She has a very articulate face and this shows a gamut of emotions that translate into her voice.  

But her public face is still rather stoic.  However it looks like she's been working on this for some time as many of the photos of her are of her smiling.  This could be good for her image as she still has another side to show us.  A more relaxed possibly even jovial side? One we've not yet seen. The media will probably see her as strong and professional but worry about her charisma.  I believe I've seen  flashes of that charisma.  As she relaxes into the job, she'll be able to demonstrate it. 

So she has a good voice with vocal variety but needs to demonstrate more mood changes. If she gets her body posture and balance right on top of that it will bring more supported breath to her voice which will increase the authority even more! 

4. Connection is Key.  How we connect is, I believe, part of charisma.  This is the most important part I believe for Theresa May.  If you watch the video here: 

you'll see her eyes darting around the journalists.  It's key when doing media interviews to keep eye movements down to a minimum. If you don't it looks like you've not prepared.  I've seen this more than once in interviews with her.  It is key she gets better at controlling her eye movements and making them more specific and considered. 

Connection also happens with hand gestures.  Having our hands in the middle of our bodies and using them to talk can also help make our voices more engaging.  Theresa May has obviously been given this note and is using it very effectively. 

So more focus connection is needed. 

5. Congruence.  Everything needs to work together.  Everything she does needs to back up who she is, what she believes in and how we interpret her.  She needs to show us her values.  At the moment she exudes professionalism, strength and possibly a bit of vulnerability in her body language. This duality is important to iron out so people feel comfortable with who she is.  

A lot of people talk about the important of them feeing comfortable in their own skin and that is important but we also have to make others feel comfortable and sometimes that means changing how we do things. 

Theresa May isn't quite congruent in how she portrays herself yet.  However all these things can be ironed out and improved.  Nothing is tricky. All can be achieved.  She has great energy in her voice and how she stands. She has authority and depth in her voice with tonal variety.  She looks professional and strong.  

To be a great speaker means getting the small things right.  If she has the right support I'm sure she can do this over the coming months. 

Saturday, 18 June 2016

The Future of Education - what could it look like?

As I sit on the train heading towards the Alternative Educational Futures Conference in Birmingham,  I really don’t know what to expect.  It’s at Birmingham City University. Will they deliver it in a Futures way or how will it be realised?  .  I am a bit of a learning junkie but after studying Shakespeare as an actress I can sometimes be a bit dismissal of academic work.  After all a lot of Shakespeare scholars didn’t help solve practical solutions on the stage. Yet I did study science before drama and I do love some good facts to back up experiential learning. The jury is out if today will be for me.

I am a newbee to all these terms and this world so apologies if some of the content is wrong.  This document is to help me remember how I saw the day and to share with those of you interested. I may have written down names wrong as  I’ve not had time to research all the details yet.  If you want absolute truth I suggest you approach the speakers.  I've been careful about the spelling of the speakers names from the programme!   

The conference is run by the Centre for Personalised Education.

In the pre-email I discovered this first conference was to honour Prof Meighan and Philip Toogood.

Prof Meighan died in 2014.  He specialised in home education, personalised education and educational futures. It’s the next sentence that excites me.  He spent 10 years looking at the perspectives of pupils and THEIR judgement of teaching performance.  This is brilliant.  As a trainer and coach I’m evaluated after every session.  Surely children should give feedback to their teachers? Just like in the modern world employees give feedback to their managers – even if it’s a 360 survey. The bit that doesn’t interest me as much is his exploration of parental learning of parents who home educate.  It’s his third strand of research that brings me to Birmingham today; his research into democratic learning practises in teacher training over 15 years.  I’m not a teacher but I’m an educator delivering training in the political, corporate and small business sector. I am curious to learn more about self managed learning and democratic learning and see if there is anything I can assimilate into my work.

The main challenge in my world is to encourage behavioural change after learning something new.

Philip Toogood was not a professor but a teacher  He explored small schools, mini schools (both seem to be about making human connections but I may be wrong) and flexi schooling which links schools to home learning.

Now this is interesting having been told by my daughter’s Primary School headmistress “You do the parenting, we’ll do the educating” and “leave your daughter at the gates and we’ll do the teaching”.  I cried for a week after that meeting when all I wanted to know was what subjects they were teaching so I could support the learning at home.  If we can find a way to engage parents rather than push them away then I’m in.

As ever,  the more I research, the more I learn and the more my cynicism dissolves.

I always find going to any conference exciting – the learning junky in me but also with some concern – that I will have wasted a valuable day of work.  My juxta position returns.

So before I get there I’m going to do myself a glossary:
·       Pedagogy – the theory and practise of education
·       Heutagogy – self determined learning
·       Democratic Learning – learning through democratic decisions of equals built of justice, respect and trust.
·       Self Determined Learning – teaches students to be self regulated and self directed in their learning 

Well what a day.  So many people doing very different exciting learning with a very unique approach.  We had to self-manage our day too which was rather lovely. So here are the ones I chose:

1. Anna Webster Rogozinska talking about a community garden they run in Caldmore.
Anna runs a community garden, out of which developed an out of school club.  Unlike the CCC Club (Children’s Creative Community Club which I set up with other local parents) their club is run by volunteers.  It reminded me of the discussion I had with Philippe Granger last week who runs a timebank and also a community Garden in Rushy Green, Catford.  Community Gardens can be powerful places of learning and growth.  A place to help build relationships and share time and skills.

I also realised that great ideas spawn out of organic growth (pardon the garden pun). A garden can really bring a community together.  She has had a number of initiatives: outside and inside cinema and lots of events.

      2. Mark Webster was next up – who is husband to the previous speaker. An ex front man for a band he now uses art in self managed learning.

He argues the importance of using art to bring people together and explore ideas. He showed us pictures of community performances and art they had done together.  Similar to the work we do in Telegraph Hill, SE4.  They however rely on grants while The Community Show in Telegraph Hill gets local support and as a result can be sustainable year on year.  It made me really appreciate the financial structure that has grown in our community and the marvellous group of people that have made it so sustainable.  Also very aware of the community of local people who can, pay with their skills, their time and sometimes their money so everyone can benefit.

We had a wee discussion about the importance of everyone experiencing art at different levels of expertise.  Sometimes people don’t want to be experts, they just want to explore through their creativity.

       3.  Peter Humphrys introduces Dr Bernard Trafford. Peter Humphrys is Chair, trustee and a director of the Centre for Personalised Education. Both are mentees of the late Prof Roland Meighan.

He talked about the importance of openness, curiosity, zest of experience, adaptability, optimism and self awareness.  He confirmed my belief that a happy confident child learns and grows and he had lots of research to back it up (on his slides).  Also that kindness, gratitude and empathy were key life skills to learn in the learning environment.

He talked about the old school method of filling the vessel with knowledge was out-moded and out-of-date and a new view of letting children be in control of their learning was key to future success in the world today.

I found Dr Bernard Trafford’s talk conflicting.  He is the head teacher of a school, but he homeschools.  He does seem to do interesting work at his school and builds in ideas of self-managed learning.  He gets the students to take control of their learning.  It made me think about the needs of all children.  His children may benefit from homeschooling which others may thrive in a more social environment.

       4. Fred Garnett has no such conflict.  He lives and breathes his work with no conflict.  He gives so much information.  All of which could be a story or conversation in itself.

An interesting concept from Fred was the importance of Trusted intermediaries in a learning environment and those people aren’t necessarily teachers.  Children learn from those they trust.  He also talked of the importance of creative, interactive and participative learning.  Something I whole-heartedly want every person on my courses to experience, time permitting.

In the past Fred says the challenge for people was about access to information, then in the recent present the quality of content of information but now we have moved to the importance of contextualising information.  This may be why more and more universities like Massachussets State university are giving their content away – it’s the interpretation that is essential now.

Taking that idea on Fred, along with others set up WikiQuals. Which are ways to get learning qualifications that are peer reviewed. He referenced Philippa Young’s TEDx talk which was part of her Wiki Qual(ification) (note to self look her up and watch that) and how we need to empower learning.  Fred did this through a Learning Commons and (I might need to do more research on this too).

I love the words Fred introduces you to that have so much depth and research behind them.  One concept he mentioned was Reizomatic learning.  I just looked it up – it says in Wikipedia that a Rhizonme is an “image of thought” based on a botanical rhizome.  As I understand it  represents an idea where everyone can get in and they can then choose to leave whenever they want compared to the tree like structure, which is more linear.

He talks of the PAH continuum where there is the teacher who then is the teacher/learning and the learner.  As I understand it these build to the place of true learning which is cyclical between ignorance to curiosity to understanding.  As someone who teaches presenting, communicating, strategic direction and business writing I know I learn as much from my clients as they from me.

One huge curiosity point for me, which I hope to explore with Fred is the idea of a Community Curriculum.  Some of you many know Cher Walker Moore and I will shortly be setting up a Learning Centre above the Hillstation on Telegraph Hill.  It is a commercial model and we also hope we can explore the idea of a Lewisham Community Curriculum.  So we will be coming out to the community later this year to find out what you want to learn!

        5. Derry Hannam told us all about the setting up and running of the Sudbury school.  He explained its successes and how it’s model is growing across Europe but has no more schools in England.  He talked of a very successful Sudbury model school in Hanburg, Germany.  There seems to be a challenge to open one here but perhaps a political reluctance.
His curiosity seems to be around how to engage everyone.  He mentioned a Spiral Curriculum that is open and creative.  He asked the question of one class what a school would look like if it followed the UN rights for a child to the letter.

I need to do a bit more research about the Sudbury School system and the UN rights for a child.

One key thing that seemed to build success in these schools was the use of Judiciary Committees (JC) where the children and staff have equal responsibility and that often challenges have to go to the JC to be resolved.  He mentioned Ramine Faringe Tedx talk which I’ll have to look up.  It made me realise there is a difference between rules and responsibilities. I’m curious to explore this idea of a meeting group that happens regularly to deal with challenges in a learning environment.

Derry explained a beautiful story of a student who broke things in a local petrol station.  He went to the Judiciary Committee (made up of everyone in the school) who banned him from the school for 2 weeks.  He was told that he could come back on the condition that he would be expelled if he did anything similar.  They then went on to explain the importance of relationships between the school and local businesses and how a good relationship with neighbours was essential.

6. David Gribble talks about 6 continuums in Democratic schools:

a.      Curriculum
b.      Rules
c.      Punishments
d.      Self Government
e.      Clientele
f.       Freedom
It seems that Democratic schools work in various ways – with a structured curriculum or no curriculum at all; with or without rules and punishments.  Sometimes the children run their own school or the staff self govern.  The clientele can either be available to all or fee payers.  Most have a variety of forms.

A few schools he mentions as successes were: MooBaanDek in Thailand, Butterflies in New Delhi, Guy Thorpe School and Sands School where he worked. He also mentioned Cool Primary School in Fort William (I may have got the name wrong) where the Art Room is run by children.  You can go to Room 13 (The Art Room) when you’ve finished your work.  The children own the account, do the banking, publicity, exhibitions and pay for an artist in residence with their budget.

When asked what they liked about Room 13 they said:
1.      they get to talk to staff as equals
2.      they can choose what they want
3.      it belongs to them
4.      they are respected there
5.      it’s real work not school work

and the thing that was considered the most important out of all those was the fact that the work they were doing was REAL.

David explored the Rules and responsibilities a bit more stating that some schools don’t have rules as such but if you go across a hall with muddy boots you’d have to clean it.  This is not a rule necessarily but a responsibility.  I liked the difference.

        7.  Sally Alexander set up the Kimichi School which is a school that uses music to teach the curriculum.  She’s been running it for 2 years now and seems to have a good success rate for engagement.
The challenges seem to get through the norm barriers eg Ofsted and Department of Education. I believe that some benchmarking is essential.  I’m sure Sally would agree. 

Im a huge believer in evaluating your success and looking at ways of improving your offering.  Sally embodies this curiosity.

 8. Dr Ian Cunningham.  One of the reasons I wanted to come to this conference was to meet Dr Cunningham.  He has a very scientific brain and explained a few facts:

The present curriculum is completely subjective not objective.  I can’t remember the exact number he quoted but they were something like this: English curriculum has a booklet which is about 40 pages, IT 2 pages, arts and design 2 pages. So the level of detail the curriculum goes into is arbitrary not objective.

His main point was that the evidence clearly suggests that employers want more lateral creative thinkers and school doesn’t deliver that.  Students at university seem to ask “what do I need to do to get a 2:1” rather than ask learning questions about things to explore.

He also mentioned how we as a society really let down summer babies.  He says they are less likely to go to University and staff and sometimes parents can underestimate their abilities. 

His school in Brighton uses the Arts Award Portfolio Qualification which means that his students can take exams when they want.  He argues that schoosl are bound by an artificial ruling. 

        9.  Lynne O’Sullivan and Janette Mountford talked about their experience of Flexi Schooling at Hollinsclough Primary.
I so want to go and see it.  They have 3 core days they deliver the curriculum and on those three days home schooled children can come to the school.  Those children can then be at home the other 4 days. 

The Cohort is small.  They are the smallest school in England with 50 children 25 of which go 3 days a week.

        10. Alison Sauer is a font of knowledge. She is dyslexic, which is exciting for me as I”ve just found out my daughter is dyslexic. She helps with legal advice to groups of home educators. 

She explained the challenges many people perceive as barriers to home learning      
a)     finances
b)     socialisation of your children
c)      curriculum choices
d)     where learning happens
e)     methods to use

There are lot of choices online eg Massechusetts institute of Technology gives a lot of their course content free online, you only have to pay for accreditation. 

A huge block for me was “ it’s a myth that you need to be taught in order to learn”

One home learner mother says she gives her children objectives at the beginning of the week and discusses the outcomes on the Friday.  The children have to self manage their learning.  There seems to be a variety of ways to home school from the structured schooling end to the unschooling end – where children do their own learning.

Today has been a fascinating insight into different ways to teach and different ways to learn.  I feel at the beginning of my journey of learning about it.  Yet so many things are practises I use in my own learning and the way I try to inspire my daughter to learn, even though she goes to a mainstream school. 

I’ve found a lot of information today to go and self explore.  I may have got names and company names incorrect but that will be part of my learning process.   Please feel free to correct my mistakes ! 

So in conclusion I loved today. It challenged some pre-held untrue beliefs about home schooling, explored the idea of learning without teaching and gave me loads of resources to explore over the next coming months. I also met some amazing people who have gone out on a limb to do something different which challenges the status quo.  Some children love the present school system, others don’t.  These groups of pioneers are showing there are other ways to help children thrive, learn and realise their potential.