Yesterday was a very low-key day. I didn't end up doing anything specific with my son, but that wasn't non-deliberate. See, the day before I had been reading "In the Middle" by Nancie Atwell and she said something about getting rid of her structured plans and evolving with the kids. That really struck me: these highly structured plans do not work well with my son and so it's better to be able to flow with things. So I wrote down on Monday a page of different subject areas and some things to ask or mention with the idea that I would pick as things seemed to fit best. In the end, I only ended up bringing up about studying Canadian history like they do in school for grade 7 but that ours would be better, I thought. (He quipped that Canadians never did anything interesting, the little rat. We are so inundated by the many US battles and prominent figures and never really learn much about Canadian history and figures. I mentioned about the battles, that we tend to not to want to bring up the fact that we had this battle and that war and people got killed and he said it wasn't just that, but we didn't have interesting people like Benjamin Franklin. Aha! He's just provided a "key" to me as to what kind of focus I need to have: he's more interested in specific people and what they have accomplished than he is just general knowledge.) He spent the bulk of the morning reading from a Pearls Before Swine (his latest comic book passion; I really wonder if I'll be able to convert this passion into writing comics or something).
My daughter had her first day of online school. It took us an hour just to look through all the intro math stuff, look at the website and other things we were supposed to check and then email the teacher because a link didn't lead to where she said it would... We did end up looking at all the courses, although not necessarily as thoroughly as I had intended, but the brain can only handle so much. ;)
After that, we went out and got a Subway sandwich for my son and Tim Horton's sandwiches for me and my daughter (they were 3 doors down from each other :D) and came home and ate lunch and my daughter and I watched a recorded episode of So You Think You Can Dance. Then I let them have an hour turn for the day of computer/PS3 games, then it was take the dog to the vet at 4. It was not an exciting day, but it was a decent, gentle start to the school year.
Now it is pretty much the end of the second day. It's about 2pm. With my son today, I review part of the first Great Lesson with him and finished reading through it. I stopped every so often to really connect with what was being said, like thinking of the number of atoms the Earth contains. (Oh my!) My son made a comment yesterday that clearly showed he associated school work with "boring" math. The only thing I required of him last year was some handwriting here and there and a tiny bit of math. Now it's clear he finds math boring. (Well, I don't blame him: most of what I gave him was pretty boring!) And "school time" boring because of the things I expected of him. I'm completely reorganizing my thoughts with him and not going to go with expectations right now. I feel my job is to plant many, many seeds, to engage him in a variety of activities. Will he ever hit a point of actually choosing to do math? No clue. Not my concern at the moment. I know one project will be a stuffed animal sewing kit he got months ago that we haven't worked on yet.
I am reminded, sharply, of Maria Montessori's quote:
“One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child.”
I've been clearly not using a very correct educational procedure with my son!!
The above was written on Wednesday and I didn't manage to post. I think I'll just post it even though it seems incomplete. lol