It is no secret, that my TBP is totally and completely against all things that resemble school…at least for now.
Initially, I tried to fight it and wanted to fill the afternoons “doing school” but only in a much smaller and more familiar setting.
This was not received well. We were both throwing out demands and exclamations about what was going to happen.
After a few days of this, I waved the white flag and decided to try another approach. I remembered what The Expert told us on a recent visit. He told us to relax. He told us to try more of an unschooling approach for a while. He told us to encourage lots of experiences and interests.
When I was reminded of his words, I put aside the workbooks that I had collected for our new adventure and started watching, listening, and questioning my son. Whenever there was something that raised his curiosity, I jumped on it. Later, I would show information from the internet or a video on You Tube that was related to his “I wonder” moment.
We have an excellent partner that we are working with on Mondays through Thursdays. She is like the Easter Bunny when she hides bits of learning throughout the day for him to discover. When I come home at lunch time, I enjoy hearing about their explorations and yes…learning.
I’m not as subtle and I don’t disguise my motives or attempts at teaching very well. When I am too obvious he calls me on it and feels the need to remind me on his position about school and learning.
Although it isn’t required, I am keeping a notebook of all the “anti-learning” activities that we are doing. I have consulted the third grade teachers at my school, reviewed the school districts science concepts, and I refer to the Common Core standards. I can’t help it! It’s my training and my background.
We are doing some kind of science and reading each day. We are using practical applications of math and watching Khan Academy math videos. I believe that social studies and history will be tackled through reading non-fiction texts and I’m hoping that his love of writing will return soon. The writing stopped when his anxiety and stress became too much. He is an excellent writer and I hope that someday, he will see the value in writing his thoughts down instead of keeping them all inside.
Keyboarding is a strength (thank you, Mine Craft) and he receives plenty of practice in that area. He is quite good at using the internet to look up information on topics that spark his interest. The bugs that we find outside, the birds that are flocking to the new feeders, and the flint needed for an outdoor project.
By the end of the week, I am quite sure that my son has experienced more learning than he was doing with his third grade teacher in school.
I can imagine that, as an education professional, it must be hard let go of the stuff we get trained (drilled?) to do. I’m sure you’re right, though, about this new approach for your son being equally effective – and that it will only get better the longer you go on. -Amy
Amy-thank you 🙂 I hope so!
Don’t let the measurement be what he ‘was’ learning at school, let the measurement be what he is learning now. 🙂
Such a good point! :)A far more positive approach and way of thinking and sometimes I forget to stay in the present and the positive 🙂 Great reminder!!
Wow….it’s almost as if I wrote this. Former public school teacher of 23 years (3rd grade was a part of that and yes was always a struggle for so many kids) and experiencing the exact same path (including referring to standards, sneaking in content, and Minecraft interest).
It seems that there are many of us out there 🙂