DS1 wanted some computer time today, which presented me with a dilemma. You see, Daddy found a great 'Clone Wars' game online (and DS1 LOVES Clone Wars) - so ever since then, he has only wanted to play on that rather than look at any of the educational games I had set up for him. So my dilemma was: do I let him play what he wants in the spirit of deschooling, and miss out on my comfort blanket that is MathsWhizz, GridClub etc, or do I ask him to play MathsWhizz (or other educational game) and have the reassurance that he is doing something constructive, but go back on the decision to deschool? Well, we had a brief chat about it (nothing heavy) so I could try to establish where he's at with it all, and he was really happy to split his computer time in two - first half on MathsWhizz and second half on Clone Wars. So that's what he did. I think as long as the boys are happy with learning, it would be daft to avoid it altogether just because we are "deschooling" - and I have to say I was relieved, not least because Maths Whizz was not cheap and I didn't want to waste the money we'd spent on the subscription!
It made for a lovely moment for us too, because somehow he got stuck on questions that he didn't understand (converting metres to kilometres, using decimal points - ie 2,450m = 2.45km) He must have skipped the tutorial bit somehow, but it gave me the chance to sit down and explain it to him with pen & paper. We went through a few examples and he got it easily within five minutes. It was just a lovely one-on-one teaching moment, which was really successful! I've tried teaching him before when he had Maths homework he was stuck on and it didn't go well, largely because he had a defeatist attitude. This time his attitude was so much better - he was relaxed, paid attention, & got it really quickly - it made my day :)
I also had a lovely time with DS2 & 3 this morning, making a zoo out of playdough and generally indulging in imaginative play. There was a great assortment of randomly-sized animals in our zoo, (not to mention a giant bowl of soup and a "knocked-over dessert"), and three dinosaurs called Fred, Boris and Boris (!) who were having a lovely day out, until one of them did an enormous poo that got stuck to his bottom (lots of brown playdough involved).
Yet another benefit of Home Ed: I have time to play with my boys and to listen when they want to talk. I read a quote today that goes as follows:
I always knew this was true, but while they (and I) were at school, there never seemed to be enough time to spend with each of them, just enjoying them, chatting together, and getting to know them better. I LOVE that we get to hang out together most of the time now - and I believe that's one of the reasons why they're relaxing & becoming more secure :)“Listen earnestly to anything [your children] want to tell you, no matter what. If you don't listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won't tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.” - Catherine M Wallace
Once we got home from our afternoon trip into town, the icing on the cake for the day was when DS3 learned to say 'humonguous' (relating to a very long piece of spaghetti), and the point when DS2 called in from the garden, "Mummy, look at this!" and I was able to go to the window immediately to see him triumphantly completing a somersault on the trampoline. Little stuff or big stuff - however you see it, for me it just doesn't get much better :)