Excerpts by Sasha Axwhetten
You will find that children suffer from two types of boredom.
The first type (Occupied Boredom) is found chiefly in schools everywhere. Dull or repeated work, either with seemingly no purpose, or worse, a purpose designed to waste the time of children, victimizes both those with purpose and those who are already self-actuated. This situation is unbelievably common and is tangential to the education of the young.
Everyone considers this unhealthy. Essentially these children are forced into a prison for their minds for the duration of the exercise.
The second type (Vacant Boredom) is found among children that have moved from the common school system to an “Open learning” or “free” environment, or at any rate a place where the practice of self-actuation is curtailed to a minimum. At first they run off to explore everything around them and enjoy being free. Generally, the younger they are (for example under the age of 6) the longer that lasts, but within weeks, sometimes days, they encounter the second form of boredom. This occurs when they run out of novelty.
Surprisingly, this is a healthy sign. Unaccustomed as they are with setting themselves with a task, they turn to the icons of compelled workatainment… the nearest adults and “I’m bored” is a really a plea to entertain them.
In this case providing a list of suggestions is not recommended because it removes the necessity of exercising self-actuation. Better is to listen, or ask them what their friends are doing. Just letting them hang out and talk is good because when a child talks, they are thinking for themselves (even if it is nonsense) and when they are thinking for themselves they are exercising the self-actuation muscle.
Soon these children are never bored. Indeed, there is so much to do that their lives overflow with activity.
We are exhibiting at Tsukuruto Fukuoka in July 2018. Please come and see us!
- 2018年7月15日(日) 12:00～17:00
- 九州大学大橋キャンパス 多次元ホール
We have been very busy! Too busy to take many photos, and certainly too busy to enter them onto the site and document them! So we am submitting a summary of a summary with a theme, and today, because we are exhibiting at the Tsukuruto event at Kyushu University, the theme is making!
Making tunnels (the rabbits are anyway!)
Making silk (the silk worms are hard at work)
Making honey (we finally got bees!)
Making a life (our youngest member joined on his 4th birthday and wasted no time)
Making the line (she is making a little box)
Making the school (our boys helped paint Staff’s shirt, and also the house parts)
Making a game (International members joined for short course)
Making rules (assistant staff also speaks English, so that helps)
Making friends (the common language is purpose. And smiling!)
Making a robot head (We use a lot of cardboard here!)
Making fruit (ripe Apricots)
Making jam (as the fruit is harvested, we prepare the jam)
Making time (after collecting buckets of fruit in the hot sun, we eat ice-pops)
Making tracks (a new donation means we can run track round the school)
Making it up (our preferred way to introduce mathematics)
Making experiments (elementary physics)
Making a battle shield
Making a truck
Making sense (we don’t tell kids the game rules, they must figure them out)
Making it fair
Making a lot!
Making a design
Making a house
Making a home
Making a hole
Making a team decision
Making craft designs
Making a study desk
Making a target
Making administration beautiful
Making a complaint (we help children articulate their feeling and thoughts)
Making justice (the core of the school is the Justice Committee that hears complaints)
Making a tent (the meeting was a bit long!)
Making an edit (lucky to have Prof. Stefan Holst visit with editing equipment)
Making music and Iron Beads (Thank you for donating the piano, it’s very busy)
New and inventive uses for my rocking chair. Also a quieter moment after staff introduced game theory into a maths lesson.
Eventually most teens start study by themselves. It is part of the natural human quest to become useful and effective adults. Of course, they might have just got bored, but either way, it’s a win!
The first image is a maths lesson. The second image is not a maths lesson, although it is happening at the same time, and is just as important.
I should also like to point out that that is a real maths lesson, not the nonsense you find in elementary schools. Here, we are using Klein geometry as the set up for the child to make predictions on the transformative nature of Klein shapes. As the predictions are tested, internal models are developed within the child’s mind. The aim here is have the child explore and enjoy (a bit like the work being done on the sofa).
Play allows for the continuous adjustment of an activity, a story, and therefore the rules. We adults can show good models for them to copy. Done well, (such as in this gingerbread house) children can continue mental story-making and begin to acquire the general rules of abstract thinking.
Providing a space such as F.I.D.S. where children can exercise the altering of rules, and finding ones that are accepted by nature or the community gives rise to continuous and relentless strengthening of the imagination. Once children are used to using their imagination, we cannot know what they will create.
Play leads to use of imagination that leads to creativity that leads to concentration. That looks like study to me!
Children should learn mainly through play until age of eight, says Lego Toy company funds research suggesting educational development can be hindered by early formal schooling. So are UK schools getting it wrong?
My main concern is that they seem to think that they should start formal schooling at 8! The science that supports play until 8 also supports play after 8. Play has the same merits for a 9 and 10 year old… and beyond.
Could it be that they propose exclusive play stops at 8 because politically it is easier to bring the U.K. in line with European standards than to push for total empowerment of children?