New site, same voice

The verdict is in…

wild challenge 2 007Goodness me Scottish island mum’s inbox has been busy receiving messages from so many of her readers from the 2013 project.  It was with some trepidation that I opened them because it became increasingly important to me that readers from last year would approve of my new site.  Thankfully, I need not have worried.  Your feedback has been so lovely and I feel rather blessed just at this time.  I know there is a lot to this new site but I also know the commitment of the Scottish island mum community so it came as no surprise to me to see that every page has been accessed and comments relate to all parts of the site.

Someone told me recently that February is when birds get married.  As I write this a male pheasant is strolling around the garden looking absolutely marvellous.  I am quite sure he will have his pick of wives.  I see this new site as a bit of a ‘blog marriage’ that aims to bring the best of 2013 into 2014 in a way that makes sense to us all.  I never, ever want to forget the roots of this project and 2013 has already lodged itself in my hearts as one of my favourite years.  But I also recognise that things move on and so Scottish island mum is venturing into new areas as well as consolidating existing passions and perspectives.

unicef logoThe new partnership with UNICEF is a complete joy.  It feels like the most natural home for Scottish island mum and I do hope that some of you will join me on our charity walk campaign.  This coming Friday (7th February) UNICEF are hosting their Day for Change in as many schools as possible.  Our little home school is joining in with a project where we design our dream school.  We are extending the invitation to other children who might like this challenge.  Briefing papers go out by Tuesday so do let me know if you have a child who would like to join us.

Ross day 2 056As part of my consolidation strategy I have my first book underway.  No more excuses, just lots of very focused writing in my studio free from disturbances.  As promised this first book is within education but I am not sure it is an education many of us will recognise.  For many years I have had issues with the way we are educating our children so it is time to step up and propose my own alternative.  It is not a structural alternative and I am certainly not advocating home school for everyone.  It is, however, a philosophical alternative that I hope all parents will be interested to investigate wherever their children are educated.  In the news just yesterday we had the headline of the introduction of base line testing for 4 years old.  This is already an untruth as it is, in fact, a reintroduction of a scheme that was tried and tested in recent years with an epic failure as its legacy.  Research showed that the tests were meaningless given the range of actual ages children enter school but there was much worse than that.  Research also showed that the only real outcome was stressed children.  So, it is beyond belief that we would even consider going there again.

I can’t change the school system but what I can do is support parents in their support of their children and so that is the intention behind this book.  The intention is to produce a book that is packed full of responsive and creative learning activities that meets the needs of different learning styles.  I will be doing my absolute best to avoid ‘teacher talk’ and hope that the book will be of maximum use to parents who would like to become more involved in their children’s learning.

In an ideal world I would like a education revolution not unlike the one outlined in this tedtalk below.  I want all children to feel relevant and nurtured in school and I want them to develop a deep and lasting passion for learning.

I will be taking an increasing role in education debates in Scotland and beyond while always keeping the child at the centre of my thoughts.  I would be interested  in a quick view from you to end this post.  I have just looked up and it looks like my gorgeous male pheasant has found and equally gorgeous female.  I am off to conduct the ceremony!

Speak very soon. xx



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