How do you live life to the full?
How do you make a positive difference?
On The Blueprint we explore a wide variety of principles and expressions of 'success' from parents, educators and entrepreneurs who refuse to settle for 'ordinary' and who are now using different styles of education to scale their success in the community.
A plan to tick year 10 boxes for homeschooling
My daughter, Lily, recently came to me because she was interested in getting her 10-year accreditation for homeschooling. My initial reaction was "Why?"
She's 16 and she's currently studying beauty therapy at TAFE after graduating from hairdressing. She doesn't really need the Year 10 certificate since she already has one Cert III, and is in the process of getting another one - and these are MUCH more valuable if she ever decides to apply for tertiary education, but I get it. She's been homeschooling for 10 years and wants this certificate more as recognition - a 'right of passage'. Acknowledgement that she's done it. That's important a young person. And so, if it's important to her, then it's important to me.
As we were planning for this, I thought about the conversations that I've been having with Ortal Green, our guest on last week's podcast about Project-Based Learning (PBL), design thinking, and the PBL homeschool conference that we're organising together. We want to help parents and homeschoolers to take a more holistic approach to education and use design thinking as a framework for doing this.
But on the other hand, I'm always in the middle of trying out new, outside-the-box ideas in giving the best education for my children and what NESA requires of homeschoolers. That's why for this podcast episode, I'd like to share with you the homeschool plan that I did with Lily to help her with her interview and getting her certificate. You might find this useful for your own homeschool program.
Think Unique - with Ortal Green
In the process of writing my book and meeting people to make it the best it can be, book coach Kylie Zeal, our last week's guest, introduced me to Ortal Green! Ortal is the CEO and founder of Glittering Minds, a movement that aims to empower teachers and parents in creating tomorrow's innovators and great thinkers. She recently published her second book "Thinking Unique: Raising a Successful Innovative Child".
Ortal is a design thinker and creativity expert. She started her career in the tech industry in Israel where she helps advance technology for the future. When she became a mother, she was curious as to what her children were learning at school. Through volunteering at the school, she found out that there is a clear gap between what was taught in the education system today in terms of skills that children need to learn to succeed in the future with its uncertainties and unknowns. The rapid pace of technological advancement means that the jobs that we have now are evolving and new types of jobs are popping up every day. Because of this, she decided to close this gap by teaching children design thinking as a way to develop 21st-century skills such as creative thinking, innovative mindset, collaboration, problem-solving, and critical thinking.
She helps home educators and teachers with project-based learning so that children can be better learners and more empowered. Through design thinking, she uses a combination of mindset approaches, tools, and methodologies to solve problems in an innovative way. Her problem-solving approach is human-centric, meaning she works WITH the people who face the problem and does not solve it for them.
Ortal shared the idea and process behind design thinking and how at a young age, we can give our children a better chance of being successful in the future. In this interview, she answered some questions like:
What is design thinking and what does it consist of?
How can parents and educators start their journey of helping the children develop these skills? How can parents better provide an environment where children can learn those skills?
What is the difference between design thinking and other frameworks for learning?
What is success for her as an educator and advocate of design thinking?
My interview with Ortal Green opened up all sorts of new possibilities. The overlap of design thinking and project-based learning and achieving success in life is something worth sharing. So if you want to be a better parent, a better guide for your child, one of the best ways to do that is to learn how to become a creative-based educator. Check out Ortal Green's Glittering Minds program and website where you can access the free resources that they share.
Visit Ortal Green's books and Glittering Minds Program:
Visit Glittering Minds
Read Ortal Green's book "Thinking Unique: Raising a Successful Innovative Child"
Insights from a Book Coach - with Kylie Zeal
I've been busy the past twelve months writing THRIVE BY DESIGN, and not long after the manuscript was finished, a contact of mine introduced me to an amazing book coach! (just a little late!) But even though she normally helps move people from idea to finished manuscript, as a twice published author, she's still been super helpful. An abundance of knowledge and insight, I thought I'd love to introduce you to her in case YOU are getting ready to write YOUR BOOK!
Meet Kylie Zeal.
Kylie was attracted to positive psychology, which then led her to coaching, which she's been doing for fourteen years now. She has done executive coaching and health coaching in the past but decided to focus on book coaching after publishing two books and realising her love of immersing in stories and words. She wants to help people create wonderful books to put out into the world.
In this interview, she shared about her journey in writing her own books, which hopefully can inspire you to write your own as well.
What are her favorite books and how did they impact her life
How did the experience of writing her first book go and how did it inform and improve her next books?
How different is writing fiction from non-fiction?
How does she define success as an author?
How does she define her client's success as a book coach?
As someone who is at the end of publishing a book, I really appreciate the nuggets of wisdom that she's been able to offer and I wish I knew some of those sooner. It was really great talking to Kylie. If you are thinking about writing a book, or that maybe you might have a book in you, I urge you to connect with Kylie. She's easy to talk to, generous with her time, honest, and candid and tells you exactly what you need to know. I highly recommend her ability to help you to sort through those big questions about whether you should go on and write your book.
To learn more about Kylie's Book Coaching:
Follow Kylie Zeal on Facebook
Visit Kylie's website
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Promoting Health & Wellbeing - with Jules
So much of who we are shapes the work that we do.
That's the key message that came out of this insightful interview with one of Port Macquarie's leading Health & Wellness advocates - Julie Jamieson (aka Jules) - the Community Engagement Coordinator for Headspace Port Macquarie.
Hear the inside story of how Jules first stepped into public life as a model, featuring in high-profile publications like Marie Clare and Cosmopolitan magazine - but not enamored by her own success, she took it all in her stride, travelling the globe, and remaining continually curious and hungry to learn.
She now brings this appreciation for diversity into her role at Headspace, developing all sorts of different programs for young people that promote mental health and wellbeing.
To learn more about the Headspace programs - Follow Headspace on Facebook
To learn more about Yoga with Jules - Follow Yoga with Jules on Facebook
Zen and the Art of Education
I am not a Buddhist, but I am very interested in the concepts explored by Eastern religion and philosophy. The concepts are more holistic, and they are very applicable to everyday living. In fact, that's what they're all about - finding the divine in the ordinary.
In this episode we are going to be looking at 'Zen' and how this can be applied to the experience of education.
'Zen' is not a religion in the traditional sense. It is not a set of principles or dogmas that you adhere to, but its focus is on what the Zen Studies Society calls 'an ultimate reality' - it is life in its fullest sense - the maximised life we seek out here on the Blueprint.
When we think of 'education' we usually think of the structures. The building, or at least the formalised social framework where learning is supposed to take place. Teachers. Students. Classrooms... But not a lot of thought is given to those divine moments of connection when all of that external structure 'disappears' and a student becomes one with the content they are studying. It's a magical experience, that unfortunately is all too rare in the traditional educational setting.
Due to the mass-production style of education we have adopted, the focus has shifted from transforming young people - to managing young people. The underlying premise is that structured learning cannot happen in a chaotic environment, therefore structures are put in place to ensure that the learning environment is as controlled as possible - unfortunately this also squeezes out individuality, which in turn reduces engagement! The very structures that we put in place to help young people to learn - stop them from owning the experience.
In this episode we are going to explore the vital importance of 'leaving spaces' for learning to happen - sure we can have structures that promote positive behaviours BUT how can we do this without 'sterilising' and destroying the natural curiosity that students inherently carry?
I think this will help...
March has traditionally been a watershed month for me.
Lots of my big shifts have happened around this time of year.
I’m wondering is that the same for you?
When I Googled ‘why is March significant’, it all referred to the Northern Hemisphere.
Things like, ‘animals are waking up from hibernation’ (remember Punxsutawney Phil from Ground Hog Day?), and March is named after the Roman god of war, because all the military campaigns that went on hold for the winter, now swung back into full force!
But that doesn’t make sense here does it?
Here, in March, I find energy is starting to wane, and people are simultaneously looking up and asking, "OMG, what happened to the year? How is it March already?!"
All the good intentions that motivated us through January and February have now been spent, and we're left asking “Is this really it? Why am I feeling so empty? What am I missing?"
When you get to that point, you’ve got 2 options.
1) Tell yourself to shut up. Get busier until you have drowned that nagging sense of dissatisfaction with activity. Meaningless or otherwise.
2) Give yourself a minute, take a breath and sit a moment with those uncomfortable questions and to try and find an answer.
We ALL need an answer. We exist in to realms simultaneously. The natural realm (what you can see/smell/taste/touch) and the higher realm (spiritual?). We operate in both. We all need to find our bigger reason, and then a practical lifestyle plan to carry it out. Make sense?
Can you imagine what clear-minded, confident and deliberately intentional about how you choose to spend your time, looks and feels like?
Have you already achieved this? Or is there still elements missing?
This is a season for building inwardly. You can fight it, or you can flow with it.
Fighting means you keep 'spinning your wheels', faster and faster until you either A) burn out and crash, or B) somehow make it through to the twilight of life – 50 or so years later, wondering where it all got spent…
That’s would be a shame. I don’t want that for you.
Last year I put together a series of podcast episodes inspired by my upcoming book (yes, it’s nearly done!) and these were reflective exercises designed to help get you closer to answering those questions. Interestingly, they are all from the autumn months last year!
I’ve put these all together below and created a free downloadable guide – The First 3 Questions I’d Ask You if I was your Coach - to help get your reflections started. I’m sure these will be helpful as the days get shorter and we’re reminded that days are finite. On that guide there’s also a link you can use to book a free coaching call with me if you’d like to take those 3 questions a little deeper.
Hope to talk to you soon,
EPISODE 49 – Travelling through Time!
EPISODE 50 – The Wheel of Life
EPISODE 56 – A Quantum Leap
EPISODE 57 – Overcome the ONE thing that is stopping you…
PS: you don’t need to listen to all the episodes, just one will be enough to get you thinking deeply!