Visit to the Ba Hai centre today 2018-11-30

We are doing a series of Religious visits and experiences at the moment. Most religions are very friendly, and invites us into their community, to tell about their beliefs. Today we were invited to visit the Ba Hai community in Hellerup, Denmark.

Ba Hai is a new religion and springs from the Muslim belief, but instead of believing that Mohammed is the prophet, they believe that there has been a new prophet 200 years ago called Bahá’u’lláh.

They believe that all the religions of the world actually is one religion and have one common god.

During our visit we were allowed to take part in a ceremony. Then we had a guided tour, where we talked about their beliefs and values. Then we had lunch together. In the end the children was given different texts, which they read together and then talked about.

Ba Hai has a large community in India and in Africa (Congo particularly). They have 4 large religious monuments in the world.

Annual Sikh day in Copenhagen 2018-08-04

Once a year you can go meet the Sikhs in Denmark on the main public square. They call it Turban Day. You can get free food, try getting tied a turban on your head, listen to music and ask in general about the religion.

We find that it is a great way to get hands on experience of the different religions practiced around the world. To go out and meet the people who live by the rules of different religions and are willing to tell about it.

To be a parent, means to be a role model for your children. Being the one to dare try new things, like going forward and trying on a turban, can be one of those things. But also being able to accept that the children find it quite enough just looking at you doing new silly things, is a parent job.

After life is always interesting to talk with the children about.

Religion often can be tied to different languages too. So language can also have a great influence on religions, which can be interesting to talk with the children about.

Where is the religion practiced geographically? Another area of learning, when you are dealing with religion.

Visit to the Jewish Museum 2018-11-29

Educational lecture on the Jews in Denmark, during the Second World War. This was our first visit to the Jewish Museum in Denmark. It was a pleasant experience with dedicated staff. They opened the museum just for us. The building was made to simulate the travels of the Jews and the persecution of the Jews through time. The floors was uneven to make you feel seasick, as most of the Jews in Denmark escaped the concentration camps, by being shipped to Sweden by little fisherman boats.

The Jews in Denmark was never made to wear the famous star, but it still was quite a sickening feeling to hold a real one in your hand.

99% of the Danish Jews managed to escape to Sweden or hide in Denmark. But the ones that got caught, was sent to the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp. It was a propaganda Concentration Camp where a part of it was a studio made to record how great life was in the Concentration Camps.

In the Concentration Camps they were paid monopoly money for their work. They had no real value.

The famous frontpage from when Denmark was freed from the Nazis 5th of May 1945.

1. We love Christmas. 1st part 2018 – candle decorations.

We love Christmas. Actually so much, that we work hard the whole first part of the year to get halfway with our books, to do just Christmas things all through December.

With candle decorations, we have to start a bit before. Because they have to be ready on first of December and Advent.

So we start by going to the forest to collect natural things to put on the decorations.

It even includes a bit of math, as the clay has to be measured to make sure everyone gets just the same 🙂

The finished result – 5 lovely decorations. One is going to be a present for granddad.

3D design with Tinkercad

Today our daughter designed this cat in tinkercad. It is a program you can use for free on their website. If you have a 3D printer you can print out your design. She had not tried that programme before, but designed it on her own. We have a friend who has a 3D printer visiting and he told her a few things to improve, and she then did that on her own.

This is what it looks like on the screen.

Our friend then sent the design to his 3D printer at home. He has a camera hooked up to the printer, so we could follow her design being printed on our phone.

Next episode on our youtube channel – now data about the Corn Snake

We have a channel on youtube called “Videnskanalen”.  We have for a long time been thinking about making a channel, with knowledge based videos, made by children.

The first movies are biology themes, but that may evolve over time. The first movie theme was about the Sea Cucumber. The next about Octopus. Now we have made one on the Corn Snake, as we have just bought one for our daughter.

School is Dead: Alternatives in Education by Everett Reimer

I just finished reading “School is Dead: Alternatives in Education” by Everett Reimer. When we interviewed the politician Bertel Haarder, he recommended us to read this book. It is from 1971.

It puts forward some interesting questions about how we have organized our learning.

It starts out by referring to Bertolt Brecht’s “If Sharks Were Men”.

It can be interpreted in many ways, but here it describes how unevenly the educations systems around the world distributes their means.

The main problems with this, as I see it, is that we are told, in most of the developed countries, that when you have a free Public Education system, we all have equal opportunities to advance. We just have to work hard enough.

The problem with this, is that advancement and getting a good well paid job as an adult, is not entirely dependent on working hard or how clever your brain is.

It is often dependent on connections, support from family and friends, having the right mentors, being related to the right people and already being well off.

One main thing the book also mentions, is that most children in the world don’t actually have the opportunity to go to school. Further more, most of the children who get the opportunity to go to school, leave them after only a few years.

Despite this worldwide data recorded (UNESCO world data on children out of school) the expences governments spend on schooling their population is increasing everywhere. It increases by a higher rate than the national income. So why do we keep on spending more and more on education when it doesn’t increase our national income? Or even break even? Has it become more of a belief or ideology?

The School is the worlds greatest Corporation, even greater than Farming, Industry and warfare.

The fact is that most of the education money is spend on a very small part of the population. The ones that possible had been able to pay for their own education anyway. The higher the education becomes, the more it costs the nation.

The point of Schools was to start with, mainly to educate the population.

The Book states the main 4 functions it has today:

  1. Care.
  2. Selection for social roles.
  3. Indoctrination.
  4. Education.

The description of these 4 areas in the book is too much to go into here, but I recommend my readers to read this book, as it really makes you think about the concept Schools generally.

Today we live in an Industrialisered world, where most people live in cities.  In such a society, Children and Old People are a problem, as there are no need for them. They are actually in the way of the rest of the people making a living. So we put them in care, until they are shaped into something that can be of use in this kind of society.

The Book has a collection of interesting quotes and one which I liked what this one. It is a note about the Native American “Savages” by Benjamin Franklin 1784: “After the principal business was settled, the commissioners from Virginia acquainted the Indians by a speech, that there was at Williamsburg a college, with a fund for educating Indian youth; and that, if the Six Nations would send down half a dozen of their young lads to that college, the government would take care that they should be well provided for, and instructed in all the learning of the white people. It is one of the Indian rules of politeness not to answer a public proposition the same day that it is made; they think it would be treating it as a light matter, and that they show it respect by taking time to consider it, as of a matter important. They therefore deferred their answer till the day following; when their speaker began, by expressing their deep sense of the kindness of the Virginia government, in making them that offer; “for we know,” says he, “that you highly esteem the kind of learning taught in those Colleges, and that the maintenance of our young men, while with you, would be very expensive to you. We are convinced, therefore, that you mean to do us good by your proposal; and we thank you heartily. But you, who are wise, must know that different nations have different conceptions of things; and you will therefore not take it amiss, if our ideas of this kind of education happen not to be the same with yours. We have had some experience of it; several of our young people were formerly brought up at the colleges of the northern provinces; they were instructed in all your sciences; but, when they came back to us, they were bad runners, ignorant of every means of living in the woods, unable to bear either cold or hunger, knew neither how to build a cabin, take a deer, or kill an enemy, spoke our language imperfectly, were therefore neither fit for hunters, warriors, nor counselors; they were totally good for nothing. We are however not the less obliged by your kind offer, though we decline accepting it; and, to show our grateful sense of it, if the gentlemen of Virginia will send us a dozen of their sons, we will take great care of their education, instruct them in all we know, and make men of them. ” link to article

“If we continue to believe, that the Industrial goal – expansion of production, and from there the expansion of consumption, technological advancement – are identical with life, will our whole lives involve around serving that purpose. We will be slaves”.

John Kenneth Galbraith, The New Industrial State, 1967.

The book does not come up with an easy to follow manuel to change our way of learning, but presents a lot of today, just as relevant questions.

Living out the Viking Age in Sagnlandet Lejre 2017-07-24 to 2017-07-28

After having lived out the Iron Age two times (Our Iron Age experience). The children started talking about wanting to try living as Vikings in Sagnlandet Lejre. It was a bit more expensive than the Iron Age trip, but included a bit more survival luxury, like having trips arranged for us and more staff to help us. We even sometimes had help cooking our food over the fire. Included, was also a trip on a vikingship in Roskilde Inlet. Also a 1½ hour horse carriage trip around Lejre. In the mornings the staff did story telling around the fire, and that was so much fun. There was also many craft opportunities. We did tin jewellery over the fire, Straw dolls, carved spoons and knives, dyed wool and spun yarn with it, forged kitchen equipment and knives.

The whole family were equipped with Viking outfits, which we wore the whole week.

We sleept 6 people in this tent. It was very little space, but waterproof.

Our youngest son enjoyed the outdoor freedom.

Every day, we had 1 hour fighting strategy training.

There was time to chill out with a knitting project.

There were goats right by our tent, and the children liked to drop by and feed and pad them.

There were blacksmith facilities and you had to work together to make a knife.

One evening we were attacked by the nearby Iron Age inhabitants and challenged to a burping duel. We lost. But the next evening we took revenge! We had a bulls horn that we had gotten quite good at blowing in. So we won, this time.

Sailing in a Viking Ship in Roskilde .

Our oldest daughter is very fond of languages and particular Antiquity and the Viking Age. So when one of the employees said he could teach her runes, she was very exited.

That is the horn we won over the Iron Age people with 🙂

The main difference we experienced between the Iron Age and the Viking Age, was the improvement in the cut of the clothes, better weapon, better knives in the kitchen and it seemed that they generally had become better trade Merchants.


Life in the Dream House with Arduino

How do you introduce knowledge about electronics in the Home School? Well, try to find a project that the children would like to use it for. In our case, it turned out to be lighting our Barbie house and installing different types of gadgets. We got really far today, but have still got some way to go.

Testing that the lights work individually.

Preparing the wires.

Sorting out all the connections at the back, so that the front only shows the lighting and gadgets.

Technical drawing of electrical installations.

This is how it looks on a daily basis.