Reflections on our home learning journey 11/2

It has been an interesting week for us here. Hormones were something I had on the very far distant radar and mainly in regard to Kanga. Boys and hormones had never really entered my thought process and certainly not 6 year old boys. The past three weeks or so have been somewhat strained as Bob has bounced off the walls and I put it down to a combination of cabin fever and a possible developmental leap, though those seem to be harder to detect than with younger ones even though they are happening. Nowadays developmental leaps are so much more internal and it feels slower to emerge as they are deeper character forming changes. Yesterday he had a much requested appointment with our osteopath. I love that he can read his body well enough even at this young age to know when he needs help. Her conclusion was that he was adjusting to that surge of testosterone that 6 year old boys get. With that knowledge the past 3 weeks makes so much more sense. I knew it was bigger than cabin fever but could not put my finger on it.

Energy, strength, boundary pushing were flowing through his body and mind in copious amounts and we have felt at sea trying to help him navigate it all. It also makes sense of the widening gap between the two boys at the moment. There have been slight occurrences before but then Zog has a development leap and it evens out and so in time this one will too though I suspect we are beginning to enter that season in their lives when age will show itself. So not only are we helping Bob navigate this step in life but also navigating Zog through it as he feels that gap between his hero and himself. He shadows Bob and suddenly Bob wants to go off and play his own older games which at the moment tend to be rougher and revolve around battles in a way Zog does not like and so we have tears aplenty. While it means it is intense I am thankful that we have lots of time at home together to navigate these seasons together and to talk about them and to work through them altogether. For Bob to see with more privileges and opportunities comes a responsibility too, to help Zog and Kanga and others around him. We have some way to go with him seeing and accepting the responsibilities but my prayer is that we are sowing deep seeds that will in turn to fruit down the road. And what I love is that while I am writing this and though getting to bed has not been without push back I can now hear him engaged and eager as he does Bible time with Mark. He loves that time of the day, the two of them considering the Bible, spotting great questions and coming out with deep deep thoughts.

We had a break through with maths this week as we have a large number chart on the wall with the numbers stuck on with velcro and I realised that   he was getting confused with his addition and subtraction as you counted down to 99 and went up the chart to take away. In his mind that was the wrong way round. So we unstuck all the numbers and rebuilt our number chart starting at 0 at the bottom, working our way up to 99.

His reading is crazy and nothing gets passed him now without him knowing. His desire though is that all the world were history and science with no need for writing or maths. Though I am hopeful about the writing coming in its own time as he said to me this week that he wanted to write his own story. In his words he said he would borrow a word from each of his books because to simply copy another story would be stealing their story, never told him about plagiarism, but he thought it would be ok to borrow a word from each book to write his own story. Still waiting for the actual writing but he says it is going to take him awhile to pick all the words to make his own story. At least he has the idea there to write. The need to borrow a word I think stems from his refusal to do anything that is not perfect and so spelling phonetically risks that and so he needs to copy actual words to get them right. That sadly is one of the few things he has inherited from me, along with being a completer finisher.

Zog is hungry for more time with me, doing more lessons. I long to do more constructive activities but evenings where bedtimes have not run as smoothly as I might like or nights as solid as I might desire have meant that there has been no free time to prepare activites that I have filed away for him. Somehow I am going to work out how to carve out more time. Part of this is as we adjust to Mark’s job and the lack of flexibility that comes with it; though I am very thankful for the income it brings.

It is fascinating watching the differences in the boys’ passions. For Zog numbers are something he is very confident of and content with while Bob would rather they were not a necessary part of life. On the other hand Zog is not in any way rushed to spend his days buried in a  book. He loves a story and loves being read to, especially by either Nana or Grandma Jan, but words are extra, external to him, in contrast to Bob’s insatiable appetite for them. Zog loves nothing better than being left in peace with paper and colours and if the paper runs out then he just carries on across the bed or wherever he has squirrelled himself away. It is not uncommon to find our bed sheet, a big wide space, has become a work in progress as he just sees all the space as a big invitation to create, never registering that it is actually just a bed. As with Bob he too can get totally lost in his own world, albeit a visual colourful one in contrast to Bob’s black and white world of words.

From next week we head into Advent and Christmas and so lessons will take on a mix of normal exercises and Christmas focused ones. With lots more creative opportunities which should delight Zog.









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