While it dried he had breakfast, and then asked if he could go on the computer. On went MathsWhizz, and he spent a good hour 'playing' on that! Meanwhile Eldest and Youngest were in a bit of a mooch, so I decided some strewing was in order (see my Covert Education post). With Eldest it's more of a case of exploring interesting stuff in front of him, as he doesn't seem to notice stuff that's just left laying around in the same way that Middle and Youngest do. Anyway, I went into their learning room and while I asked him what he fancied doing today, I started pulling things off the shelves for 'me' to look at. The first things I found was a birthday present that he hadn't got round to looking properly at: a How to Draw Rainforest and Ocean Animals kit with instructional DVD. He immediately grabbed hold of it and asked if he could do it (oh, all right then!) Youngest could not be prised from watching Middle on MathsWhizz, so Eldest had the lounge all to himself, and spent the next hour at least watching, learning and drawing. In fact he watched the whole thing, beginning to end, and produced four pencil sketches of a gorilla, macaw, shark and elephant...
Given that art really isn't his subject, I was particularly pleased at his ability to stick with it - if you've read my last few posts, you'll understand my current feeling of abashed-ness (did I just make that word up?). I think he did just great :)
Once it was Youngest's turn in the PC (Reading Eggs and CBeebies), Middle got into the arty mood again - he is a big fan of the craft box - and decided he was going to make a collage of a desert camel, using lollipop sticks, craft paper, glitter glue and extra sparkly bits (and two fish in the bottom left corner to show that he made it for his big brother, who loves undersea creatures!). I love his creativity :)
By the time they finished (Middle won, to his great delight) it was afternoon, and it was getting seriously HOT! (high of 84C in our garden today), so we ate lunch quickly and headed to Fairlands Valley Park, to play in the aqua playground. There were lots of little ones there, so I had to warn Eldest in particular to be careful not to knock them over as he ran around, but other than that, they had a fabulous time and cooled down nicely - no being stuck in stuffy classrooms for us - and we got away before the after-school rush began... perfect :)
So all in all, that was another lovely day! A day to put concerns to rest (yes, Middle will regain an interest in learning - and yes, Eldest will be able to concentrate when he is interested), and most importantly, another chance to just enjoy being with my lovely boys :) It's funny really, the less stressed I get about their learning, the more they learn - which isn't that funny at all, is it? In fact it's obvious when you think about it: If I'm stressed about their learning, so will they be, with the result that they won't learn, and they certainly won't enjoy learning! And most of all, I want them to enjoy learning, otherwise how will I expect them to want to pursue it? Deschooling for us has really become a sort of prolonged 'unschooling' experiment (again!) now. I still have concerns, but our confidence is growing all the time - it's not about leaving them to their own devices; it's about providing them with an environment conducive to learning (we have just a few flexible rules, such as TV off for most of the day, one hour max on computer etc), and then letting them explore - with help when requested or necessary. Anyway, deschooling/ unschooling/ whatever version of Home Ed this is, we're all learning lots, and relaxing lots too... it just gets better all the time :)