Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Sudden Realisation

thanks Deena

Interestingly enough most unschoolers always write about how natural, easy, seamless and flowing it all is. Just breezing through the day cooking, crafting, making trips, playing in nature. Pretty idyllic picture, huh? But, somehow, I'm always feeling like I'm scrambling to keep up.

Autonomous Ed is a lot more work than traditional home education. It is hard to stick to a lesson plan when Winston has suddenly learned as much about Buckeyes (conkers) as he cares to know and is now moving quickly towards dragons and dinosaurs. And of course, the dear one has chosen an interest in the one topic about which there are very few home resources at hand.

I believe in both directed and child-centered learning. I don’t see them as mutually exclusive. I believe a child can be directed without too much unnecessary coercion. Sometimes, I think - he hasn’t learned a damn thing other than how to say please, thank you and your welcome consistently. It is not as if I don’t try to introduce other concepts. It’s just that he has ideas. He is used to expressing his ideas and having someone do something about them.

Yesterday, he had an idea about a blue hat. He was very surprised to learn that my idea was about new shoes. I was not to be budged. It was my day for an idea. We compromised when we discovered silver sequin high top sneakers. (They look awesome with his wizard’s cape and hat. For those of you who have been following along, sometime in the summer, Winston ceased needing to be a butterfly. He is now a wizard. The kind that carries a sword. Every day. On the bus. At the musuem. In the park. I often feel like Xena The Warrior Princess. Half the time, the sword lives in my back pack. Pommel sticking out. Ready to draw at a moment's notice.)

Maybe I'm just different. Well to honest, there is no maybe about it.
Child logic is very hard to keep up with. I suspect the rosy picture painting unschoolers are just a bit more relaxed than I am. Perhaps, they are still in deep conversation with their own inner child and as a result, they trust their child to do it on their own. More likely, they are simply wiser than I am.

I say this because, I am eternally 3 months behind on all of the connections Winston has made organically. Today, I found myself bashing myself in the head - not for the first time saying, Doh! I get it now!

Buckeye, seeds,
trees, seasons, growth,
time, patterns, caterpillars,
butterflies, emergence from infancy,
transformation, power, strength
dinosaurs, dragons, fairy
tales, morality is a human quality, making
choices, consequences, preparation
to imitate adult behaviour, wizards,
knights, kindness, chivalry,
wisdom, counting, assigning values to
numbers, patterns, time.
Seasons grow patterns...oh!

We've been learning something here.

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