What a weekend!
I've been wanting to take the time to blog about this past weekend with the Polish homeschoolers, but I've been busy with my next project, a Ladies' Tea coming up this very Friday, so I haven't had time to do the subect justice.
I still don't! But I'll do the best I can.
I took 9yo K with me to the conference, which was held at this very nicely-appointed facility. I won't go into detail about the location--the pictures are there if anyone is interested--but I will make a note that we had the most gorgeous weather imagineable for the end of September. On Saturday afternoon, the kids were wading in the water! That's amazing for Poland at this time of year.
I spoke three times at the conference, each time at some length. I started on Friday evening, the first night, with the fundamental message that was my theme: Education is the science of relations, ala Charlotte Mason. It was all theory and philosophy and I knew I was asking a lot to expect everyone to made a radical jump in their understanding of what education actually is. I definitely confused them in the beginning, but my translator felt that by the end of the evening, they were beginning to understand what I was trying to convey.
I followed up in all my other lectures with concrete examples across the spectrum of school "subjects," always bringing everything back to the fundamental principle that education is more than learning facts and information. During every single break or moment away from the lectures, individuals sought me out with more questions, personal situations to discuss, and general inquiry. Although I spoke in English with a translator, the personal contact was in Polish for the most part. Whew!
There were probably 12 or 13 couples there, although another 9 or 10 had cancelled at the last minute, mostly because of illness. They were universal in their appeal that I would speak to them again some time, but gatherings like this will probably be infrequent--these families had come from every corner of Poland and few of them live near each other. I hope within a year or two these folks will be sharing their experiences and successes with even more Polish families who desire to homeschool.
I'll be keeping in touch via the internet with a few of these folks, but for the most part they are individually very much alone in their endeavors.
There were heaps of children, the food was good, the weather was amazing, the company was never dull. As I said, what a weekend!