Saturday, 14 April 2012

Learning in Spades.

Unschooling is an organic, natural learning, Rye is learning from his environment, his play and interaction with others.  Quite often his learning is not visible to me; where he derived much of his knowledge is a mystery to me, and other times it amazes me just how much he does soak up, especially when it appears  he's not listening or particularly interested.  His learning is kinda like osmosis.

Yesterday, in contrast was one of those days when his learning was very visible and covered a wide spectrum.
 He learned to balance and jump on the bungee bouncer.  Huge for Rye.  Bless my lad he is a bit of klutz; some of it is deliberate klutz-y-ness; he has always had a penchant for throwing himself on the floor. Initially he threw himself off the bungee bouncer a lot.  He blamed the bouncer for not working, became really quite frustrated, so as he'd already asked if we could do workbooks, I suggested a break.   Much later in the evening he did come back to the bungee bouncer; and in those hours between play there had obviously been a mental shift.  Rye got on the bouncer and bounced, properly, he corrected his balance when he began to loose balance and he stopped deliberately throwing himself off.  Oh the sheer delight and pride on his face was marvelous.  He asked if I was proud of him, I assured him I was, and very happy that that he was enjoying bouncing.
 Misnomer for Rye, these are not workbooks but funbooks.  He really enjoys the books.  He completed 6 pages, the 7th page began to frustrate him, because it was copying patterns, the box was a bit small though and Rye's attempts too large, and the patterns were pretty difficult too.  So we agreed to take a break and move onto claywork.
Rye wasn't in the mood for clay faces at the youth centre the day before, so we had a go together after the workbooks.  Rye mostly directed me rather than actually doing any clay himself.  Still, we had fun together, especially as my mindie was taking a nap (she asked for!).  One on one time when I'm minding is, these days, very rare, and we both thoroughly enjoyed being able to immerse ourselves in an activity together.

Later Rye played on the ipad; Angry Birds game, a Montessori matching board game, oh and he also watched James and the Giant Peach. Much later in the evening he brought me one of the oxford learning tree books and asked if we could read it together.  Again a very pleasant and lovely experience for us both, I read, he copied, sometimes chiming in with the next word before I read it.  Really exciting too that at the end we discussed the story, truly discussed it, he was able to tell me which race he thought was the funniest and we talked about other types of racing.  This had been a concern of mine previously, his inability to be able coherently discuss what had been read, and to have a clear conversation.  He seemed completely unable to extrapolate parts of the story and discuss and see comparisons, or give examples outside of the story.   

These burgeoning abilities are coinciding with Rye beginning to come more out of himself.  I was always a bit skeptical of Steiner's ideas about children been in almost dreamlike state until about 7yrs, yet this does describe Rye; he is beginning to wake up and see the world around him and engage in it more. 

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