Laksmi and I were brainstorming what to call the farm for homeschoolers and we debated about:
Gopala Self-Directed Learning Center
Gopala Interest-Led Learning Center
Hmmm. Neither sounded quite right until Laksmi hit upon the perfect moniker:
Gopala Learning Haven
The word self-directed seems too forward for Philippine society. In America, the Alliance for Self-Directed Education spearheaded by Dr. Peter Gray sounds right and appropriate but in the Philippine setting, it might not be as appreciated. The word, interest-led, although nicer and gentler can be misconstrued as something to do with business or self-interest which has a negative connotation.
The Learning Haven, however fits just fine. When you go to the farm in Silang, Cavite, it truly is a haven — so lush and green plus the existing structures are the right size and distance from each other that nature still overpowers the man-made. There is more open space than closed and the enclosed spaces are well-designed, needing only a bit of renovation. You can imagine how this would be a sanctuary for homeschooling families regardless of where they are from, who their homeschool provider is, what they believe in, what methods they use in homeschooling. Everyone is welcome. Every family and every child is unique. The Gopala Learning Haven is only too happy to celebrate and live this truth.
On our last visit there on February 12, I met Mommy Sheryl from Dasmarinas, Cavite who showed me a music video their family made. Her children plays the keyboard, guitar and drums while Mom sings and their band is proudly called Granny’s Gems. A friend edited the video and the final product is quite inspiring. Once a week, Mommy Sheryl holds a small homeschooling co-op in her house with children from six other families. Her passion for teaching and music is quite contagious. I hope our family can join her group someday.
The kids collected leaves, stems and stones from their walk around the farm and made Valentine hearts.
Speaking of inspiring videos, my friend Clarie told me to check out the TED Talk of blind Master Chef winner, Christine Ha. It’s unrelated to this post but wanted to find a way to share the info.