Struggling for content to write in this post. Not because of an unwillingness to document and share, more so because the week has been very quiet and chilled out (apart from our exciting site visit!)
T’s task chart has been wonderfully helpful, to both him and me. He knows what he is doing each day, and completes each task with no trouble. As said previously these tasks are not massive tasks, just daily things that he needs to do (chosen by him so that I don’t have to keep asking him!) including cleaning teeth (self care), feeding the animals (caring for others) and 10 minutes maths work out (keeping brain switched on). Once he has done all of his tasks he is free to do as he pleases, and if it’s after 3pm he is allowed some screen time.
The limit on screen time has been imposed after noticing that if he went on a screen (to watch Youtube or play Minecraft) in the morning, he would end up being on the screen for longer. Many will say that this is part of deschooling, however after watching this happen for a few days, I decided to step in and regain control of it. I read somewhere that kids becoming bored often leads to greater creative play, this is so true in T’s case, since moving the screen time until after 3pm, he has engaged in more imaginative play (after his tasks), just like he did in the first week home educating!
There is also something else that I’ve noticed in him (apart from the crazy dancing, singing, shouting random words as described here), he is so much calmer, he is not having any tantrums, and I’ve not seen any tears for AGES. The other night I asked him “Have you noticed that you’ve not had any tantrums – especially at bed time?!” and he smiled and said “Yes, I used to feel so sad about going to school, I didn’t want to go to bed because I’d have to wake up and go again!”
Seeing his little face smiling, reflecting on what was, and looking at what is now, absolutely warmed my heart and gave me even more reassurance that this lifestyle is the right one for him.
We’re off on a little 4 night break tomorrow (taking advantage
of term time cheap deals!) so looking forward to what week 5 brings!
Today was our first official Home Education meet up, The Greeks’ Takeover at Manchester Art Gallery an activity open to both schools and home ed groups. The company was great, and it was wonderful (for me mostly) to meet and talk to other ‘established’ home ed parents.
The morning consisted of a very traditional ‘school trip ‘ set up, a lovely knowledgeable story teller guided us through the gallery, providing an interactive tour. I was enjoying it! However around 30 minutes into the 2 hour session I realised that T was not. I put this down to settling in to new surroundings with new people so encouraged him to sit with the other children and to try and join in when asked. He sat with the other children, however they were very engrossed in the workshop with most of them participating, so there was no communication between him and the other children. Seeing his discomfort I sat by him and asked him what was wrong, his reply was “This is too much like school” and then it clicked with me – this is not what to do when deschooling! So soon after we left session (with much understanding from the more experienced parents!) and reflected over an apple juice and cake in the gallery cafe. Even though he’s always shown interest in Greek stories / mythology (the main reason I booked him on) he felt as though he was being taught and not learning of his own accord, he even stated “It smells like school”.
So the unexpected lesson we (I) learned today is a better understanding of the importance of focusing on deschooling, and to concentrate on playing & child led learning rather than taking him to places where he feels as though he’s being taught until the whole school thing is out of his system! .
Before we left one of the other parents suggested a play date on Thursday, this will be a great opportunity for him to connect with other children and form new home ed friendships in a non learning environment, so very much looking forward to that!
Whilst this is all new to us, the fear of the unknown and him not going back to school seems to have faded fast. I’m now experiencing wonderful feelings of excitement and eagerness, its a great feeling, a mixture of relief and clarity.
While I’ve been relishing in these feelings I’ve been observing him. We’ve been hanging around the house most of the day, he’s been playing with our dog, playing minecraft, he’s made himself and his Dad lunch and washed up after himself, now he’s watching youtube clips.
In addition to this I’ve been smiling inside watching and hearing him…
Roaming around the house with no top on
Loudly singing ‘barbie girl’ (Ugh!) at random intervals
Doing crazy random dances at random intervals
Giggling at Youtube Vids
Noticing these little simple things further validates my decision. I know they’re only small things (and it is usually how he is on the weekends!) but its sad to think of him in the past having these same urges during the week at school and not being able to release them, when all he’s doing is being himself & growing! I’m not going to fall into the trap of feeling guilty for sending him to school in the first place (Just mentioning that proved I nearly did!), I’m going to concentrate on feeling glad that I took him out when I did and embrace the fact that from now on I can witness him being himself EVERY DAY!