Shortly before we began our home-ed journey, I went out and bought some folders, notebooks and art materials. I also purchased a spelling book and a Kumon division book. (I had intended to follow the approach laid out in ‘The Classically Trained Mind’ by Jessie Wise.) As mentioned in another post we have since left this method behind and the books are now gathering dust.
How thankful I am that I had the courage to allow a more fluid approach. As I watch Kai’s interest in science grow, it seems that his curiosities would have been stifled had he still been at school. This week he has been keen to make things or conduct experiments such as making a taser pen( gives you a shock when you touch it), a smoke ring maker; he has also been showing an interest in light and the rainbow effect created when light is refracted. .
This has led to us buying materials which relate specifically to his interests. I have bought him a glass prism for him to further investigate the properties of refraction; a metre stick (for some perspective on how tall Goliath was in the bible story of David and Goliath). This has made the purchases so much more meaningful, and Kai, more importantly, learns to understand and appreciate educational tools in the proper context.
There were a number of periods this week where Kai didn’t know what to do with himself. And I as usual jumped in with what I thought were helpful suggestions. But more often than not this has been counterproductive, as it ends up putting him off doing an activity he may otherwise have enjoyed. These types of situations tend to go better when my prompting is more discreet. So for example, I go on the piano and play a song in the hope that he will join in, rather than, “Kai let’s go on the piano.”
A Journey towards Inspired living
An interesting thing happened today. Following a number of weeks of not having any time to myself, I desperately tried to encourage Kai to go to a local Saturday school (recommended by a friend), but he refused. I would not force him, and resigned myself to another 24 hour shift with no break. To deal with my exhaustion and pent-up frustration I went for a walk in the local woodland area and had a lovely chat with a man his dog (seriously). As I walked home (feeling much better) a friend shouted out to me, asking if I would do her a favour. And joy of joys, she asked if I would be happy to tutor her daughter in mathematics. I had half expected her to ask if I could babysit and cringed as the words “Could you do me a …” came out of her mouth. But God is good!
The glad tidings don’t end there. Back at home I received a text from my brother asking if he could take my son out for the day. Yay!! It didn’t take me long to realise that I was right not to force Kai to go to Saturday school, regardless of my personal needs. And without my coercion Kai got to the opportunity to have a fantastic day out, and I got to have a break too.
It would appear we are moving ever closer to a form of inspired learning.