Category: Self-Motivated Learning (page 3 of 4)

Fostering Mindfulness in the Classroom with Hands-on Learning Materials

Mindfulness in the Classroom can be achieved by offering work with hands-on learning materials. The movement for mindfulness in education enhances the student’s ability to relax and pay attention through meditative exercises. Utilizing a great variety of hands-on learning materials in classrooms is a practical extension to meditative exercises. It’s another way to help students concentrate on their thoughts and activities.

Children achieve mindfulness almost effortlessly when they get the opportunity to interact with a material that speaks to their natural ability to play and explore. The materials enable students to work at their own pace and choose various degrees of difficulty for themselves.

Materials can be offered for child-directed learning or to support teacher-guided lessons. The materials give teachers an opportunity to include play and exploration while acting in accordance with the requirements of the curriculum. Children can touch and play with math (the decimal system, addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, square-roots, fractions, geometry, algebra …), language (vocabulary, phonetics, semantics, grammar: parts of speech, parts of sentence, composition…), biology, physics, history, geography and more.
Almost all topics of the curriculum can be taught with hands-on learning materials, as most lessons are basically abstractions of the world around us. Children understand ‘abstract’ concepts immediately, when they are not so abstract anymore!

The Spirit Rock Meditation Center (Marin, Ca.) invited New Learning Culture’s mobile learning center to offer mediation practitioners, mostly parents and teachers, an introduction to the infinite possibilities of achieving mindfulness with hands-on learning materials. I will let you know when the learning center will be there again!

Please contact me if you would like to know more!
With joy,
Carmen Gamper

Healthy Boundaries

Excerpt from: “THE SACRED CHILD COMPANION, A Handbook for ‘Inspired Self-Directed Learning’.”

Setting Healthy Boundaries
Each space where kids can make free choices needs stable and clear boundaries. Inspired Self-Directed Learning can only be successful in a friendly environment, when appropriate physical and emotional boundaries are stated clearly and patiently. New Learning Culture services help you create relevant boundaries that allow each child to explore independently, and reach his/her full potential with joy and ease.

Boundaries are a natural part of life. They form a safe container. When they are healthy, they protect us. Feeling safe and loved is crucial for sustainable learning processes to occur. Children feel safe when they are in the presence of a caring adult.

The Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you,” is universal. However, many boundaries are highly individual. They vary from person to person, from culture to culture. Some adults like to allow more freedom for their kids, some feel safe within a tighter structure. When the adult feels safe, the child feels safe.

Adults need to communicate their boundaries clearly and patiently to their children, usually more than once. Children don’t know what is expected of them, and they forget easily, because they are living in the present moment. The reasons why children often do not respond to boundaries are manyfold. This is one of the main topics to explore in consulting sessions.

Each learning place, where kids can make choices, needs stable boundaries. Find some inspiration here for setting boundaries in your learning place:

• Here we use common sense based on love

• Here we respect everybody and everything

• Here we allow people to focus on their work or play. You may ask once if you are welcome to participate

• Here we put things in order after we use them

• Here we accept a Yes or a No

• Here nobody is teased, startled, or shocked

• Here personal perceptions and individual creativity are respected

• Here nobody is laughed at or ridiculed

• Here enough time and patience is the foundation for every activity

• Here you can rest when you are tired

• Here we inspire each other and give suggestions, but we do not make decisions for each other

For more info on the booklet please go to

Please write to to purchase a copy of the “Sacred Child Companion” booklet for $20.

With joy,
Carmen Gamper

Being a Learning Companion

Safe Self-Directed Learning for children depends on adult companionship. The loving attention of an adult is an enormous catalyst for a child’s learning process.
Children thrive when adults show true interest in their activities and in their way of thinking.

Children get a chance to explore for themselves when adults let go of entertaining and guiding them directly. In order to let self-motivated activities emerge from children, adults need to be patient and present observers. Adults need to hold the space for learning to occur.

More than taking responsibility for a child’s individual learning process, adult learning companions take responsibility for creating a safe inspiring emotional and physical environment by setting healthy boundaries, and by updating the learning spaces with appropriate learning tools.

Being a learning companion means learning alongside the children and finding personal ways of fulfilling genuine needs for oneself and for the children. Giving and receiving loving attention is healing for adults. By relaxing in the present moment and accepting children for who they are, adults can learn to respect the Sacred Child within themselves.

New Learning Culture consulting and workshops are designed to support educators on their way towards a child-centered education. Contact carmen@newlearningculture for scheduling and pricing.

With joy,
Carmen Gamper

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