Kia Ora my lovelies,
This beautiful picture accompanies an article I wrote for the fine folk at Family Times magazine. The article can be found here, I hope you will enjoy it.
It’s very, very cold in NZ this week. Autumn just decided to be Winter, for a few days. We have had snow, sleet and gales and we’ve all busted out our puffy jackets. At my house, I’ve relocated my laptop from my office (separate building, poorly insulated and fairly freezing) to the main abode. Here I can keep a potbelly stove alight in the kitchen, and just now I lit the main firebox in the living room as well. I know! Bad ass!
I do this despite knowing I have electric forms of heat available, but my rural setting gives me permission to burn wood freely, and my state of self-wifing means I delight in performing these loving acts of care and nurture. When I gather yet another heavy basket full of firewood, I do it as an act of love. When I empty ashes a la Cinderella, it is as a gift to my future self. As I vaccuum the inevitable trail of wood bits and sawdust, it is because I recognise my own right to pass the evening without crap stuck to my socks.
For weeks (years!) I have been grousing about my lack of a wife, (I know, greedy … because I want to keep my husband …) and sometimes I’m fairly jealous of my husband, because he has one. So I’ve decided to imagine that I am my own wife. In contrast to lots of the thinking I usually do about Self (or lack thereof!) I am mucking around with the notion of compartmentalising my time – here I am at my desk, researching and writing. Here I am folding a load of towels just so, so desk-self doesn’t have to worry about that domestic task. Worker me, wifely me. Both equally valuable.
Righty ho … I will now do the baby geek thang, and that is to share a variety of interesting links with you.
First, a news report about some important research highlighting the way that parental distraction by cell phones interrupts a child’s language learning abilities. YIKES. Tech is a risk to children in other ways, tooski, like YouTube stealing childrens’ data. Classy.
Next, a TED talk about neuroplasticity, and LOOK! The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne has issued another of their excellent Policy Briefs, this one about the first 1000 days of a child’s life.
Now an article from Scientific American, about being a scientist and a mother at the same time (I know, radical!) and that led to this piece by the same author about conferences and provision for breastfeeding mothers.
Here is a blog post advocating for sane social media policy in schools … love it. I want to quote a paragraph from this and ask you to substitute”Social media”, “Facebook” and “tweet” in the following with “SeeSaw”, which is an app showing up in schools and EC centres in NZ. I’m not a fan. (I’m also not a fan of an education strategy which aims to put digital devices in the hands of all 6 year olds, but I’ll save that convo for another day).
Finally, when teachers or administrators are using social media in the classroom or at school activities, it models the addictive, life-negating behavior that we don’t want our kids to emulate. If teachers are looking for social media opportunities during the school day, then they are being distracted from the face-to-face, in-person contact that defines classroom education. Taking a selfie with a student, however well-meaning, conveys that the moment is less significant than the Tweet. Sad. I want my kid to feel that what she’s accomplished in class matters in its own right, even if it is not posted to Facebook!
I know plenty of y’all are keen on SeeSaw, and will disagree with me, and that’s OK … let’s discuss.