reflections on our home learning 10

Colds have continued to have the upper hand this week, especially for Bob and myself. This has meant that once again this has been a week of going with the flow which is the gift of educating at home. Bob’s colds are intense and draining on him, and considering how healthy he is otherwise, I am willing to go with him on these. His sinues become so painful that wearing his glasses is sore which impacts his concentration and focus on reading and writing. Sleep has been unsettled if not fully disrupted and stamina is low for all of us. It has also been a week when unscheduled potty training has started and Kanga has viewed naps as utterly unnecessary and ignoring all indications that they would be highly beneficial for all of us if she did nap.

I came across a box of board games at our local charity shop; whose takings are going to take a serious dip once we leave the area; last weekend. So the week has been spent introducing Bob to Ludo, Chinese Checkers and Draughts which has been lots of fun and has allowed for some maths and logic to happen by the by. It has also been a week when we see the fruit of his perculating thoughts. Bob often takes things onboard without you realising and then mulls them over for an unknown period of time and then starts talking about them out of the blue and now even expressing ideas and thoughts in writing and detailed pictures, which are still done with either only a grey pencil or biro and any suggestion of including colour is met with resistance. This perculating takes courage on our part because it takes time and there also needs to be space given to Bob to just perculate and not always be adding new things or simply plodding on in order to keep up to speed with my timetable of lessons. But then we have a week like this one where colds have slowed us up and given him the space he needed to start processing and articulating his thoughts and we are once more reminded of how he learns best.

One such example of his perculating mind this week was on quiet time when I could hear him chatting away quietly and realised he was speaking French. He has been doing French once a week this term and while it has often been talked of as the highlight of his week there has been little evidence of Bob actually speaking any French. That is till this week when on quiet time he has taken to talking to Zog in French and teaching him animals and colours along with his lines for the play they are going to be doing of Owl Babies. And clearly Zog is taking it on board because now when we read Owl Babies when we come to Bill’s lines which Bob has to learn they both say them.

And as always if I am willing to admit it I have been learning more about myself. This week both through a great book we are reading on marriage and also as I see Bob wrestle with emotions, self awareness and consequences of actions and see the mirror held up to myself of my own stubborness and rebellion. I feel so much for Bob as I see so much of myself in him in his reactions and because it is only really now that I am seeing them so close am I seeing them for what they truly are in me. And so I have no idea how to help him navigate these feelings constructively as I do not know the best way through them in myself yet. What I do know is that I long to protect him from them and the long term impacts they have if not faced up to before reaching 40. But he is only 5 and so working out how to help him appropriately while working out how I need to address them in myself looks different even if ultimately the gospel is the only way forward for us both.

It has also been a week when I am reminded how much the children respond to where I am at spiritually, emotionally, and physically. It is also interesting as I think about how it is my spiritual loops and battles that Bob picks up on even if I have said nothing to him, while Zog responds to my emotions. We are in the process of working out the next step and I am an all or nothing girl and so with word of a possible opportunity which we are waiting to hear more on I have already searched right move for a home for Joshua’s Tree, (and found one), discoverd a couple of churches and a home schooling community all in the same area. But while we had hoped to hear more this week re the opportunity we have not, (there was never a point when we were told we would hear this week, it was the self imposed time frame I put on it) and so I have been looping myself in all sorts of ways without trying to let the children be aware. Despite not letting them know about this situation both Bob and Zog have picked up on and acted out of my spiritual and emotional lop the loops.  It will be intersting to see how Kanga responds to me but seeing it written down like this reminds of the importance of building in her and myself a confidence about our physical bodies from early on. I do not want her to grow up hearing me speak negatively about my shape which for the most part I do not have an issue with. It is not the figure I once had but it is the body that carried 5 little ones for different lengths of time and the gym has not been my prority. But twice recently a comment has been made suggesting that a new baby is on the way, which it is not. This has been hard to hear and has knocked my confidence and my resolve to not resent the added curves I have gained but I do not want Kanga to grow up body fearlful from the start. I know where my mind has taken me on that journey and I do not want that to be her path.

I think if you had given me this description of how one of our 10th week would look like back in August just as I was drawing up my nice neat timetable I would have laughed, smiled, walked away and panicked quietly inside. Surely by week 10 we would be will under way with our routine and pattern. But sitting here this week I am much more confident that we have all grown and learnt new things about our world, our family and ourselves since last week and have even made some progress with maths and Bob has read aloud some great stories. Learning thankfully happens whether you intend it or not with children.

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