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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Shelf Life of a Home Schooler.

The school year has ended and so have our constant arguments about boy child attending! Hooray.

Highly anxious in his last two weeks, we managed to encourage only one-day’s attendance at school. Hence, many unschooled home school activities focused our days and slotted their way around my heavy pre holiday work life.

One highlight for both Boy and myself was the building (well…putting together) of a set of shelves.

Purchased some four months previously, the shelves have lain boxed, stoic and lonely upon my office floor. Partner is not good at any manual tasks, I have been too busy, and boy oblivious to the pending task of construction.

In desperation to find a non-Christmas, non work sheet, unschooling activity capable of holding boys attention for more than five minutes, the shelves finally saw life from outside of their box.

Boy was terrific in his task of construction. Measuring, matching, balancing and erecting, boy put together the shelves WITHOUT the help of the instructions. Written in poor English, the instructions were destructional to our instructional plan of having boy complete a natural learning activity.

Once again, the greatest learning happened to me. I was amazed at how practical and handy Boy was. He measured with Aspergers dogmatic precision. He worked out how the plastic joins fitted together and calmly corrected my construction mistakes.

When I asked Boy if he had learned anything from the activity, he retorted, “Yeah, I’m better at building than you are.” Never a truer word spoken and how healthy for Boy’s increasing self-esteem. I smiled to myself and roused internally that I had expected an articulate answer that involved tenets of math, comprehension and construction.

Who needs to be unschooled here? ME!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i love this post! i unschool my 12 yr old twins with aspergers nd am always ready for non workbooky activities. one loves to build and draw, the other to read... anything. thanks for your blog!!

This blog is no longer kept. I am instead blogging only to Imaginif Child Protection became Serious Business