The Book

How it all began…

From the book:

“Growing up on the Kibbutz (communal village-like place, unique to Israel), we had a ritual in the children’s house: once a week we would go with one of our care-takers to the library. We were then allowed to check out three books each. I’m not sure at exactly what age I realized that was not enough for me. I would finish my books and would crave more before the next library day. I can’t remember if I mentioned it to anyone, or if I even thought I could. The Kibbutz had its rules about equal treatment to all. I do remember, though, coming up with a solution that forever tied reading for me with adventure…  On the side of the library building, leading to the small library office, was a small, narrow window. It was sometimes left open, and if not you could easily slide it open. All I remember now is that I found a secret way into the library in between official visits, and that I would carefully approach this window, look around and quickly crawl in and continue to crawl to the children’s books section. I would then sit on the floor browsing and reading to my heart’s content, carefully returning the books to their place when I finished. I would then crawl out with no one ever the wiser as to my secret adventures. This lasted for at least three years from when I was about seven until about ten. Books were like the soil on which my imagination would blossom and from which my ideas would develop. I would then enact many of them in games I would invent and invite other kids to play. Books were my source of entertainment, adventure, and life. School was more often than not a nuisance, something I had to do which greatly hindered my ability to lose myself in reading some more. Until I was eighteen I read ferociously.When in high school, at the regional school, I went back to my library sneaking ways. I would skip classes so that I could just go and sit in the library, reading again to my heart content. During one of these visits, when I was about thirteen or fourteen years old, I discovered Summerhill, a book written by A.S. Neill, describing how this democratic school (founded in the early 1900 in England), worked. The idea of child led learning described in Summerhill struck a chord with me. I knew that at least in my case it was true. I did not need anyone telling me what to do and what or how to learn. I loved the pursuit of anything that fascinated me, and all the rest were road blocks to side step. I knew in my heart of hearts that Neill had observed the truth about how children learn, and thus begun my romance with alternative, free, child led education.”

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4 thoughts on “How it all began…

  1. What an amazing and inspirational beginning. My daughter would have done the same in your place since books are her oxygen! Now she writes constantly and creates her own worlds 🙂 I appreciate your sharing this incredible beginning and I can’t wait to hear more (and more, and more…)

  2. How wonderful and how lucky for your daughter that you allowed her the freedom to immerse herself in what she loves and pursue it to her heart content! I probably would have begun writing many years earlier had I been granted such freedom during my childhood…

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