Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Next weeks programme

We are resuming meet ups after the summer break. Here is whats on offer for the next week:

Monday - Play date at Metrofarm (near Nadrazi holesovice), for those that dont know this is our "apocalypse garden" - a play ground that we built on an alternative community garden where there are chicken, sheep, goats, other animals, there is a bbq spot, and lots of fun options for the kids. We will meet at 2 pm. 

Tuesday - Swimming meet up in the afternoon at Rybnik Terezka, a fairly clear water natural pond that is really nice. Its quite near Petriny metro stop.

Thursday - Excursion to Roudnice nad Labem airport and a chance to go on an acrobatic flight (at your own expense)


You will need to say in advance if you are coming and if I dont know you please present yourself also.

Sunday, 16 August 2020

Philosophy Europe Convention 2020 in Prague - An event for people seeking freedom and enlightment


I am organising the 6th year of Philosophy Convention Prague  - a unique gathering for people where we share our ideas and thoughts on philosophy and about finding our way in life towards more freedom and positivity. The Philosophy Convention aims to provide you with actionable suggestions for life and to give space for the attendees active participation so that everybody can share what they find important. 

The essence of the event is mutual enrichment. We look into topics such as psychology and self-development, as well as important aspects of life such as freedom, economics, bitcoin, education and how to raise our families without the state. 

We go back to the purpose of the original philosophy which is to simplify our living. Philosophy meant to work on problems of our everyday life and seek wisdom to show us how to live happier or more meaningful lives. The event will be partly held on walks and excursions as well in the theatre of A Maze in Tchaiovna on Kafkova 18 in Prague from 25th to 28th September 2020.

The programme of 2020

Me and Kristyna will be co-hosts and lead the convention. We will focus on the subject of "The future" this year - on how we can find enlightment in it. Some of the topics will be the digital future, how bitcoin is changing the world, what is value and can we have equal worth? While maintaining our positivity we will also point out some errors by the state and how to fix it. We will discuss how to raise our families in a morally and sustainable way not only for this generation but the coming ones as well, I will share about a better way of educating our kids without the state, amongst other things, The programme is not set yet because we just started our planning - it is a great opportunity for those that wants to share their ideas to do it here.

About the Location

We will be in A maze in Tchaiovna which is a pretty cool tea house place with the right kind of atmosphere and enough space for us. There are toys and a kids corner. The room that we will be in is behind a book shelf "secret door". There is a small stage, lots of chairs, a bar, sofas etc. There are small comfortable rooms for more private discussions as well. The location is between Hradcanska and Dejvice metrostops, its quite close to the Vitezne Namesti tram stop as well. It is Prague 6 and its quite close to Stromovka park, the castle, Letna park and Holesovice.


About the content


We have a special format where we spend about half of the time in a place where we can share our ideas, and half the time we go on philosophy walks and excursions. It is us, the participants that creates the content. It is well described in this video.


How to be a participant

Does it sound like a wonderful opportunity for you to share ideas with likeminded - and also in a kid-friendly environment? The you should secure your place here right now. You can join the facebook group for the event here. Bare in mind, that the event is created by us - it means that the people that participate will lead the discussions and workshops, or be the speakers - it is not obligatory at all but adds value to the event.

Recommendations for visitors

If you dont live in Prague and plan to come to the event we can recommend that you stay in the area where the event will be held, which is Prague 6 and 7 mostly. If you have children you will likely have a good stay if you are close to the Stromovka park which is excellent for families with its many playgrounds and romantic settings.

What are the costs?

The event is funded by donations and the content is created by the participants. Welcome.



Saturday, 25 July 2020

A worldschooling-week in Moravia



As this year's worldschooling retreat was canceled - 8 of the families from Prague and Brno took the initiative to meet anyway and to arrange an alternative worldschooling week instead. We went to a remote part of Moravia in the Eastern Czech Republic near the Bílé Karpaty mountain range and spent almost a whole week there with them. It was quite special to arrange a gathering in these uncertain Corona times, but we were happy that it happened and that it became a success.

Resort Dešná


We had no special plan other than just to meet up at the same campsite and make plans as we went along with those that wanted to. We had heard that Resort Dešná in Moravia was good but none of us had been there. It was close to the zoo in Zlín, which is an industrial city known for its shoe manufacturing there. The campsite itself was rural, near a village in a mountainous area with a lot of forests. This would be a kid-friendly and cheap option where there would be a heated pool as well - it sounded promising!



We arrived the day before the worldschooling-week was going to begin. A couple of families had already checked in. There were cottages with different kinds of standards to choose from and a camp ground. We had two smaller tents with us but one broke so we bought a large one instead, that had two "rooms" in it. The total cost for staying at the camp ground was not much so compared to moving to a cabin we could get a new tent for the difference.

The campsite was almost completely empty so we had almost the whole area to ourselves. In the restaurant there was a cheap daily menu with food that was cooked there with normal ingredients. We had a camping kitchen with us, but because it was cheap and tasty, we ate mostly in the restaurant. It was also easy to be with the toddlers there as there were several play corners. The daily dishes were advertised on the blackboard such as schnitzel, goulash, sausages and soups. It was possible to change the accessories so it could be converted to low carb versions. In addition, the staff in the restaurant were really nice and helpful. Just adjacent to the restaurant,Adjacent to the restaurant, there was also a tennis court, stage and playground.


There were several opportunities to be part of the game "werewolf" at the tables right next to the restaurant where we could have today's dishes and drinks afterwards. The children could play next to us, which was good as this game could both take time and the little ones rarely had the patience.


It rained a bit but it was also sunny or less rainy occasions when we could swim. It was convenient to have access to a pool in the same place that we stayed in.



There was very much unschooling thinking and very little structure during this camping week. The children moved freely and did things they wanted, played chess in our tent, had nerf-and-water-wars, swam and did whatever they came up with.


Some brought their jobs with them - like processing orders and serving customers from a bench or the small table we had in our tent. The boys also had math lessons in the tent on zoom with their teacher that was in South Africa. We had paid extra to get a long extension lead to our tent so that we could plug in our electronics. In the forest in the picture above, we could see fireflies flying around and flashing their lights at night.


Last year on the big worldschooling retreat, the swedish game "kubb" was an appreciated activity and it surely was this year as well.


A flock of goat wandered around freely in the whole camping resort. At night one could sometimes hear them grazing right next to the tents - feeling like they were chomping away right next to ones ear. They also laid in front of the toilet door so that the ones that wanted to go to the toilet had to jump over them or move them. 


For some strange but entertaining reason it seemed the campsite had a ghost theme. Here and there you could see the "ghosts" in the woods, at the playgrounds, or sitting on benches. The picture above shows a ghost maze.


This home-made playground was also haunted.


The ghosts by the pool area.

Hrad Lukov and an unexpected hike

We made a longer day trip together to Lukov Castle which was about 25 minute drive away from the campsite. When we got closer to our final destination, we discovered that google maps wanted us to drive on a road that you were not allowed to drive on. There was a parking lot so we parked our cars and thought we could walk the last kilometers.


The view of the mountains and rolling hills was stunning. Its not as dramatic in the picture as it was in reality.


A butterfly also wanted to be part of this selfie.


The long hike, which wasnt planned for at all, went partly along a path along a clear-cut area and forests lined with wild strawberries and greenery. The wild strawberries that were found were given directly to the hungry children.



The Czech Republic, which is probably the world's most atheist country has, after all, much to show that Christianity has been important there such as small crosses and chapels, even in the forests.


Our hike was long but it was nice to walk in a real forest.


View of the Bílé Karpaty mountain range - which continues as the Carpathians in Slovakia and Poland and then extends south in Eastern Europe. Here it is quite small mountains where the highest peaks are about 700 m but in the Carpathians they reach over 2000 m. Despite that, it felt magical. The mountains were steep and the view was amazing.



Along some of the path we found mushrooms like this one which is eaten in both Sweden and Czech republic.


Along the official hiking trails on mapy.cz, there are often information boards - like this one where you can learn what the trees are called in Czech.


Eventually we arrived at the castle and then we were very hungry because we expected to just be there for a while, without hiking, and have lunch immediately afterwards.


There should have been a small restaurant but it was closed. However, there was self-service - a shelf with shutters with soft drinks, beers and some chocolate cakes inside. It was necessary to give the chocolate cakes as a temporary lunch to the children until we had found real food. You paid by putting money in a box. The entrance to the castle worked in the same way - that those who ran the castle expected people to be honest and pay for themselves.



To get to the castle itself, you had to cross a bridge.


Once at the other side, there were large areas to explore, as well as a museum and hidden nooks and crannies. It was almost completely empty except for our group, which was probably mostly due to Corona restrictions. The next day the castle would be open "as usual" - for being corona times.





The view was breathtaking at the top of the castle as well. The walk down the mountain went very quick as we were all really hungry at this point. On the way back we found several opportunities to eat at restaurants with access to playgrounds that were nearby. Some went back and some went with us to a pizzeria with a playground.

Some of our group also went to the Zoo in Zlin, which they said was really nice, or went for walks in the local area. Several families brought their work with them and some of the children that didnt know each other before connected. It was really sweet to see Henry and Aryon get along so well. Hope they can meet each other soon! It was also fun for the families to meet like-minded people and be able to discuss freedom and other relevant topics. It was sad to break up at the end of the week but still nice to get back to Prague. We could not be away from our vegetable allotment for too long right now. We will plan to arrange a similar event for next year and surely visit the Brno-families within a not too distant future. 

Olomouc

On the way back, our family made a stop in Olomouc, which is a medium sized city that has a historic center, botanical garden and an astronomical communist clock amongst other things. Unfortunately, the communist clock was being repaired so we couldnt see it, but we had lunch, an ice cream in the square and wandered around the city for a while.


We had lunch in Plan B close to where we parked the car and walked towards the center. There were fountains, and a very nice chapel in the middle of the square.





Because the communist clock, for which the city is known for, was renovated, there was a model of the city next to it instead.


We found passages and alleys to walk through. It was good with a longer walk because the rest of the car journey came to take a very long time due to the many road works between Brno and Prague.


There seemed to be a lot to see in Olomouc. However, we were happy to just stroll around.


Next to the historic center I found a small passage that led down to the botanical garden.


There was a river and several playgrounds. There were also some instruments.



While the children played on the playground and I was ordered to spin them faster than was comfortable for me, Paul was processing orders and answering customer emails on a mushroom.


It was time to leave Olomouc for the long drive. Almost the entire rest of the road would be rebuilt into a multi-lane highway. It was a very nice stop in Olomouc though. We came home in the evening, pleased with how the worldschooling week went and we will look forward to another one next year.


Thursday, 11 June 2020

The summer with the Prague worldschoolers

We have re-launced after the Corona spring lockdown. Here are some of the things that are on offer:

1) TODDLER GROUP
We have a toddler group for libertarian families/peaceful parents on Tuesday mornings at 10 am in the Metrofarm childrens area. We learn Czech and English from each other, and our kids play together, probably with a cup of coffee in our hands as well. The aim is that the kids and adults can see their friends regularly.

2) VOYAGER ADVENTURE CLUB
We have an adventure club for the kids. Its open for children 6-12 years old (most kids are in between) and its mainly aimed at boys (but girls that want to are welcome also). Our structure is: Free play on Monday afternoons 1400-1630, where we have a bbq or picnic earlier on for those that want to. The kids do their own things like having nerf wars, looking at the animals, socialising and building things etc, they can also help out in the metrofarm community garden. On thursdays at 1400-1630 we have a structured activity . we will do experiments, and build things like crossbows, engines, other small machines and such. We will also do nature excursions to learn basic survival skills and biology. This is not a drop in type of activity, and members are expected to put in their manpower and lead workshops as well. The founding principles of the group is non violence and trust. We have regular meet ups us to strengthen connections and offer creative learning opportunities in the same time.

3) WORLDSCHOOLING CO-CAMPING
We have a week for worldschooling families in Zlin, Moravia, at a camp site, June 29th - July 6th. We will go on excursions and will have workshops arranged by the participants. This event is completely free apart from the participants paying their own costs.
4) MIDSUMMER FAIR
We arranged a Swedish midsummer fair - there will be dancing around the may pole, games such as tug wars and a "ski race", and an opportunity to try Swedish food, on the 19th of June.

Thats all for our summer programme.


Monday, 30 September 2019

Tips on regular activities for the worldschoolers this autumn




There has been a few very busy last couple of weeks. We have tried a lot of new activities, met new friends and had said good buy to those that have left.

We have some things that we will start and somethings we would like to organise for the worldschoolers:

1) On tuesdays mornings at 1030 we (me and our two year old, possibly the 7 year old) will regularly head to the childrens arts workshop in the National gallery. It costs 80 kc per person and it has been joyful everytime we have gone. We sometimes go with worldschooling friends. Its nice to go and have a coffee and chat at the cafe with the play corner afterwards, and head to Stromovka or other nearby parks. We are happy to have more families joining. It is meant for kids 1-5 years old but you will sometimes see homeschoolers with older kids. The workshop is fun for the adults too.

2) On tuesday afternoon we can really recommend the Prague navigators (boy club for boys that like survival skills etc) and the girl scouts. This is every other tuesday though the other room is available for the group that doesnt have the class. What i know there is mostly homeschooled kids and the foreign occasional foreign kid.

3) On thursday mornings I will run a toddler group for 0-5 year olds starting this thursday. We will meet in parks or indoor places. It is for foreign and czech kids. The aim is for unschooling/peaceful parents to have a regular context and meet likeminded people, and to learn czech / english (for whoever that needs it) We will go exploring, have picnics, visit the zoo, botanical gardens and other places. It is ok to bring older siblings but this is primarily for the little ones.

4) regular sports on mondays - i would like to arrange a regular sports activity on Mondays at 1 pm for homeschooled kids age 6 and up. We will meet for football, climbing, swimming, and other sports. It is ok to bring younger siblings but its primarily aimed at older kids.

5) Adventure/picnic Fridays - We would like to dedicate Fridays for regular or irregular outings to the forest making bonfires, picnics in the park, go on train journeys to explore new places, to build dens and play in the nature. Castle visits, skiing, and unusual things. This will be organised when there is enough interest.

6) Im putting together a small group for weekly arduino programming /soldering suitable from age 8 and up. If you have interest let me know

What else is within the near future?

We are arranging a:

- planetarium excursion
- pizza baking workshop
- architecture workshop
- hydrogen car building workshop
- DOX arts workshop
- in the talks with scientist to have a chemistry/physics workshop

Keep yourself informed when this is happening and hope to see you!

Friday, 26 July 2019

Report from the worldschooling / unschooling retreat in Svobodum, northern czech republic

New and old friends, play, inspiration, talks and workshops. Busy days with room for relaxation. Little adventures and luck in the misfortune. Community, recognition, initiative and new opportunities. This is the worldschooling retreat 2019 in the Czech Republic. Welcome to our story about it. 



Short about the retreat and Svoboda Učení


I have previously written about the winter visit to the Czech unschooling organization Svoboda Učenís unschooling-farm “Svobodum". Svoboda Uceni is an organization run by unschoolers for unschoolers here in the Czech Republic. They are located all over the country and organize various events, they often participate in Czech media and arrange retreats like this one. Svoboda means freedom and Učení means learning. You can see their manifesto here.


Picture from Svoboda Učení showing one of the daily meetings.

There was always someone to meet or spontaneous play when there was nothing planned

Dinner is served. Grilled meat and vegetarian options this day.

The Worldschooling retreat is the first public international event held here. 95 people from different countries participated fully or partly during the 9 days of the retreat. There were different kinds of accommodation options such as accommodation in the main building, in the bungalow, in the guest house next doors or camping.

Friends caravan looking extra epic in the sunset!

Activities


The schedule was partly arranged in advance with plenty of room for spontaneous activities. It is best to adapt to the group when you know what the group is like because you dont know in advance how the group dynamics will be. An example of a daily programme:


Child care was offered by Katka who played and organised some craft projects with the children at the speeches and workshops. Many different types of families participated in the camp. Both families that were interested in worldschooling and families that were already doing it. There were children of all ages from 0-20 approximately. The participants had different kinds of lifestyles, but the common denominators were probably the family values, the environment, health and a life without the state's involvement in the children's education. Both organizers and participants offered activities that were voluntary to participate in.

For example, there was horse riding..

..and a horse carriage taking a small group around the village.

A Swedish family brought "Kubb" - which is a swedish game where you throw wooden sticks at sticks.
One family arranged a "sock puppet" workshop.
Lainie and Miro from Project worldschool arranged a workshop to create a "worldschooling mind set".

I shared our story why we left and why homeschooling is illegal in Sweden in my speech "Leaving Sweden".

A market day for the kids in the garden where they could sell things.

Our boys loves selling so they set up their stalls almost every day,and Henry even made a meny for his shop called "Sandy witches".

Lecture with Miro and Lainie about "The ethics behind worldschooling"

Every day at 6 pm a meeting was held to reconcile the group, and to inform about the activities of the next day.

The movie Self taught


The film director, Jeremy Stuart, who makes home schooling and self-directed filming, had just released the movie "Self taught" that tells the stories of grown up unschoolers and self directed learners. It is extremely inspiring to see what the results can be like and a good way to portrait self-directed learning for those that are not so familiar with it. I wish that all teachers and politicians in Sweden would see the film.

Trying to watch the film while Edward jumps from my stomach! Apart from that it was quite relaxed with families lying on mattresses and pillows watching it projected at the ceiling and toddlers playing with Lego in the other end of the room.

Parallel hippie-festival in Wolimierz in Poland


The Unschooling farm Svobodum is just a few kilometers away from the Polish border. The area is mountaneous and there is a ski resort just 15 minutes away. And so much beautiful nature. In the small village Wolimierz there is a place in the nature where festivals are held every now and again. It's family friendly. The playgrounds are mostly made of wood by hand and painted in imaginative colors and patterns.

During the same weekend as the worldschooling retreat the hippie festival "La Consciencia colectiva" (The Collective Consciousness) was held. The retreat organizers suggested a collaboration so that we, the volunteers and some participants, arranged a discussion workshop for the curious festival attendees. We sat in a ring in a dark room with candles in the middle. All worldschoolers who wanted to attend told their stories and answered questions. Participants were not entirely unfamiliar with unschooling and worldschooling which was nice.

The campfire in front of the "station house".

An attentions-seeking Edward who dances around and on me, and then out through the entrance door with the father to the playground so that the stories can be heard.

Playground with a home-made rope slide, swings and other things to play on and inside.

There was a fun bus restaurant. Meat was banned at the festival but Paul asked around and he could buy a sausage that was not on the menu "under the table" in this place.

Permaculture, big "mushrooms", Tipi tents, caravans and a blue torso.

“Skanzen Museum” and a democratic school


There are about 15 unschooled children in the village that attend the democratic school here 3 days per week. It is not a "real" school but a kind of association for home-schooling families. The children can spend time here with each other and participate in activities. It is also an open-air museum with traditional buildings where old skills are applied. The family that runs Skanzen has renovated and arranged the land completely by themselves.

They have dug lakes, ponds, and led their drinking water from a natural spring 300 meters away. There are, among other things, permaculture, an old-fashioned mill, solar panel kitchens, a black smith workshop and a pottery workshop. During the visit we tried out different activities such as horse riding, forging in the black smiths workshop, archery and ceramics.

The main building is in the background. There is a small pond with a tiny beach.

The lovely garden attracted many different kinds of butterflies and bees.

There was a gorgeous traditional sledge in the barn.

Henry trying out forging iron for the first time in the black smiths workshop.

The cozy ceramic workshop is visible in the background.

The beautiful water lilies in the pond.

A bridge over the pond.

The mill. Thanks to the mobile phone camera I could peak into the high window.

Permaculture.

Archery.

An unexpected find on a mushroom hunt


Worldschoolers spread around in the deep forest between the Czech Republic and Poland.

There were about 10-15 families that wanted to come along and pick mushrooms. We were a small caravan of cars that went towards the deepest nearest forest a short drive away. Once there, the children and I found no edible mushrooms but we saw poisonous and disgusting fungi such as Stink horn, Phallus Impudicus. We saw a slow worm - a kind of legless lizard and wild boar poop. Our tongues and fingers were all purple from all blueberries that we ate on the way to the mushrooms we were going to pick. When it was almost time to leave the forest me, Winston and Edward walked away from the others.

We found a lethal white fly agaric and talked about it. Then we saw more white among the moss and the blueberry plants. I thought there were more fly agarics. But on closer inspection we saw this:

Winston suggested: A dinosaur?

The curious mushroom pickers stared in awe at the find.

The nature here looks just like a Swedish forest.

Edward explores the "jungle" along the roadside with one of the organizers, Ladka.

The big teeth sticking out at the front that it is a wild boar. Now there is the wild boar skull to be seen in the bungalow at Svobodum.

A blessing in disguise with joint worldschooler efforts


Early in the morning (for us 8 am is very early) I decided that we should go to Lidl in the nearby town of Frydlant to buy some breakfast items as we were running low. Henry and Edward came with me. On the way back I heard strange sounds from the wheel and stopped a couple of hundred meters  away from Lidl. Puncture! Alone and inexperienced with this with a 7 year old and a crying 1 year old (a careless lady in Lidl had crashed into him accidently with the shopping trolley) . I nursed him on the pavement until he became calm enough and started looking for the spare wheel. It was an art to move the items in the car booth and open the extra place for the spare wheel while carrying Edward on my hip.

Exciting day that could have gone really bad without worldschoolers!

A friend that had also shopped on Lidl came by to assist first. There were no tools in the car to remove the wheel. A second family came by but they had no tools either in their car. The tire workshop, which was 200 meters away, had closed for summer holidays. Some more trying and we decided it was time to go back. The kubb game was so delayed it had to be postponed, as the kubb was in the first familys car. Then a third family turned up with a 4th persons tools. Which broke! But family number 3 stayed there and helped while I went back and switched with my husband so the kids could come back to the retreat. After 6 hours the car was finally fixed and had new tires. Thanks to joint forces from the worldschoolers we were able to solve the problem and this adventure became a small anecdote in itself.

Final thoughts on the retreat


One of the meetings in the evenings. Kids grilling cookies on the fire!

I just knew a few of the participants from before, mainly friends and some core members of the Czech unschooling organization. A little more than half of the participants were Czech families. There were 3 families from Sweden, some from Germany, Luxembourg, Slovakia, USA and Poland. It was fun to get to know so many new families at the camp and get invitations, and also be able to invite back. It has been good, and more good will come out of this I think.

I gave a small talk about the situation in Sweden - why we had to leave and how we made our disadvantage an advantage. It felt good to have told the participants about it. I think there was a special respect for the situation for Swedish homeschooling families in exile as the Czech families have already experienced communism and could see some similarities.

Next year, this fantastic worldschooling camp will be held again so please note July 17-26 in your calendar. We plan to be there of course!