Friday, 9 October 2015


I am right now kicking myself, hard!
Rye has had that break through,and it's exciting him enough that he's trying to read on his own - albeit with books far too advanced for him at the moment.  I'm taking his newfound enthusiasm and running with it...

Yeah, that's the problem.
Push, push, push...meltdown!

This morning, we began with handwriting practise.  He quickly developed, what I call "duck lips", give him his dues, he did persevere and finish the set pages.  I was careful to point out the improvements he's making and encourage him to look at the whole page of his writing, rather than concentrate on the letters that were screwy.  He is so quick to criticise himself.

We went onto maths - and I kicked myself that I hadn't checked the lesson in the Singapore Maths book.  Recapping 10s, 100's and 1000, and the exercises asked for the answers to be written in both number and letter form.   Oh dear.  Still, he did really well, and by the end of the page his writing of the word "hundred" had improved dramatically, which again I focused on!  Had I checked today's maths lesson first, I would have be happy with it counting as handwriting practise too.  Rewarded his hard work with a YoYo Bear thingy - it's fruit leather swirls and comes with cards that Rye wants to collect.  So yay, completed those tasks on a high!

I should have stopped there!

I got carried away and suggested reading practise.  First we looked at the lesson in the Classical Education learn to read text book.  Excellent work.  Then I suggested having a go at reading Fox in Socks.  Started off brilliantly, read 4 or so pages really well, he was visibly tiring at this point.  Did I stop.. no push a little more... push, push, push.  Gah!
"Just read this, and we'll stop", I said.  Rye had reached saturation point, he was yawning, stretching, fidgeting more than ever, what did I do?
I got annoyed - boom, a morning of excellent work ruined.

Clearly, I have a bit of a "thing" about finishing what is started, so to combat that, from now on I shall start using the stopwatch on the Iphone, and set 10 minutes chunks.  As Rye progresses the length of time he'll be able to concentrate, without brain scramble, will increase.

We are also still trying to find the right balance of free play time and activities while also living in a co-op where Rye has friends on tap.   Perhaps I need to embrace more learning activities where his friends can join in.  The other day I was babysitting my housemate's daughters while she went away for a couple of days; the children played games, and much to my surprise they all really enjoy playing Fiddlesticks (reading game) - the luck element of the game, meant one of the younger children who isn't reading yet won several times too, so it is suitable for all levels.

Kids playing King of New York

 I think meshing the "strewing" principle of unschooling, with the Classical Education pedagogy will, I think, make it more Rye friendly, and ensuring textbook based activities are well mixed with practical hands on activities, of which some activities can be "group" friendly.

I do like to be "solution focused", which sounds terribly pouncy, in reality it means I learn from the day's lesson(s).  This morning I failed Rye, I could beat the crap out of myself, doubt myself - and initially yes, of course, I felt a failure, I briefly wondered if home education was the right option for us.  Shake it off.
Home Education IS the best for Rye, he loves being home educated.  Today I made mistakes, learn from those mistake, set strategies in place to prevent, well hopefully, a repeat of those mistakes.

Surely, the epitome of learning?


Natalie said...

Eeee don't beat yourself up lass. You do an amazing job with Rye and when a child reaches one of those natural turning points we all get a little excited and struggle to curb our enthusiasm. And you are certainly not the only Mama to get annoyed when they reach their limits for the day. It's natural for you to want Rye to do well so it's only natural to take his enthusiasm and try and squeeze every last drop out of it. We've all been there, even us non HEers! I'm currently struggling to stay off Rose's case about reading because she picked up a book for herself last week and I'm over excited about it because she's not shown an interest in reading for pleasure for a long time.

Keep doing what you're doing Jacqui. Rye is learning, you're learning and it's clearly working! xxx

Sandra Ann said...

You sound just like me :-). Benedict also loves the yo yo snacks and both him and Pip are fighting over the trading cards!!! Thanks for the reminder re setting a timer I'll be borrowing that idea!!

San xx