Monday, October 17, 2011

Unschooling Works! -Unschool Monday

I'm feeling happy and relieved, unschooling works ;) Last week Iris started writing numbers. No one has taught her how to do that. She saw some numbers on my desk and said "Look Mum, you have 1 and a 3 a, but no 2. I will draw you a 2" and then she got a crayon and wrote a perfect 2, I've never seen her do anything like that before. Then she thought she'd have a go at writing 3, found it a bit difficult but found it a bit hard so moved on to 4 and aced that first go.

Then she realised we live at number 24 so she put the two numbers together and wrote the number that we live at. She's very pleased with herself too.

I'm joining in Unschool Monday at Owlet.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Some Hope

Too cool for school
I've been pondering what our lives would be like if I hadn't discovered homeschooling. How different it would be.

I am so glad that I never took anyone's advice about putting Iris in childcare and kinder, or any structured environment. The only reason I realised that she is different and not just "being difficult" is because I spend so much time with her and am connected to her.

Iris would have already been at kinder for a year now, just as we're getting her diagnosis in our homeschool journey. If she had entered the education system she would've been labelled a "difficult child" and "Sarah's child and Sarah never coped with school". 

There would have been so many "justs". "She's just difficult", "she's just bad tempered". With hindsight I probably have Aspergers too. Instead, for my entire school life I was "just rigid", "just over emotional".

Understanding the similarities between Iris and I helps because you can almost call me a functioning adult in the world. Eventually I learned how to be a functioning member of society and have relationships. It gives me hope that Iris will be okay because I'm okay.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Quote For Sarah Jane

"Unschooling is simply a way to tailor learning to the specific needs of each child and each family. No two unschooling families follow the same path-and no two children within the same unschooling family are likely to go exactly in the same direction"
- Mary Griffith, The Unschooling Handbook, page ix

Monday, October 10, 2011

Unschool & Aspergers? Unschool Monday

Our unschooling journey isn't going to work the way I thought it would because Iris has Aspergers. In one way it's positive because four years of strange social behaviour, tantrums and obsessions are explained. But I'm wondering what this means for unschooling and our family.

For the past couple of years I've wondered why following the traditional radical unschooling approach wasn't working. Why she wasn't self-moderating, why she wasn't initiating play,  why any activities we participated in and excursions ended in literal tears from both of us. With her diagnosis these things are beginning to make sense. 

But if radical unschooling isn't going to work in our family, what is our homeschooling going to look like? Is it possible to unschool a child with Aspergers?

Rationally I can see why she's with me. I have resources others don't have. But I'm still really sad about it. The Godmother I chose for Iris is perfect, she has resources to help, with her own child on the spectrum. We have people in our lives who can offer support, who have experience with children like Iris.

One of the ideas I have to let go of is that if I put in enough effort, enough activities, enough love and resources it would look like what other unschooling families seem to have. I wondered why our days didn't just flow like other families. In other families it seemed that if they gave their children enough freedom  there would be less conflict and more harmony. But it wasn't like that for us.

I wanted the flow, the natural rhythm of the day. There is no flow in our house. Right now I am sad, mourning what can't be in our family.

I'm joining in Owlet's Unschool Monday.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Day in the Unschooling Life

This week I decided to record what Harriet did all day on a day when we did not have any plans to catch up with friends. A home day that included one short trip out (which she slept through lol).

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Unschool Uniform: one size fits all?

For a quiet day at home.
  • Mumma sized sun hat
  • Sundress which is rapidly approaching the too tight to wear stage
  • One of Mumma's purple croc boots
  • One of Mumma's red croc boots

Saturday, October 1, 2011