Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Child Lead Learning

What does that mean?

There are a lot of parenting philosophies, educational theories and pedagogy concepts around. They share similarities and they also differ a lot in their early learning approach. 

To simplify and explain why Fafu is all about open ended play and child lead learning opportunities it is best to divide those ideas into two main groups of ideas:

Most of our current education system is based on controlling ideas because all curriculum's are based on them. It would be amazing if I could write with confidence that the controlling ideas are slowly fading away to make paths for more empowering ideas but sadly I can´t (lets hope that I can someday!).

The main reason why Tom and I are so committed to child lead learning and empowering ideas in early learning and parenting is the fact that its a "brain friendly" approach. Leading your own education, taking on challenges freely, spending a LOT of time playing, exploring and connecting is learning at its best.

It is a scientifically proven fact. We can all change the future of education if we take this idea seriously and use it when communicating and working with children. Lets do it!!

Friday, 21 February 2014


Sunday is a chance to reflect, and for me, early morning without interruption, is a great time to review things and ruminate.

I just caught up with our own Face Book page and was scrolling through what has appeared during our busy weeks and came across Ethan, a young boy of six, who is autistic, but can play piano instantly and remember everything and play it beautifully.
 I am sure many of you have seen or heard of people who have this innate skill of seeing or hearing and then being able to replicate (or even improve) on it, while being labelled “disabled” across the rest of their lives.

There is some current thinking around that the ‘autistic brain’ is, in fact, the brain of the future. Parts of it are hyper developed which then create genius in aspect of being – but the rest of the brain can’t cope and are sapped...  I am not sure I fully understand this but recognise that it makes simple sense.

What it brings home more to me is the desperate need to ensure that we nurture all brains to the best of our ability to ensure that they are as well connected as possible and not affected or rejected by poor development.  I am not talking about children with Autism (although they are included of course) I am talking about every new born, who can understand every language, who can relate to positive and negative attention, who can learn respect and trust, whose needs in the first four formative years are the most important and valuable.
For those of us who are parents and child developers (and big people who get to see small people) how we relate to our children to ensure that they have the best opportunities to take and make use of the world is an imperative.  To see children sitting in chairs or cots being told what to do, or ignored in front of TV’s and Computers, or made to queue, or being shouted at to be quiet or to be “good” or  all of the other negative things I do see in places – some of which are child development centres – is a travesty.

It is essential that our next generation of developmenters are sparkly and cognoscente of the real responsibilities they have...
Time for breakfast.... Tom xx...

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Building Brains

I found this video last week and feel that it is urgent that as many caregivers see it as possible!

It explains so perfectly how the brain is built and why it is important to nurture children in a respectful way. 

It also explains why it is important to challenge children and expect them to struggle to learn but at the same time keep them away from toxic relationships and people that harm their emotional health. 

Finding balance is the key here!