Thursday, October 20, 2011

Independent October, final week

This was the third and last week of independent projects.
He choreographed a whole 3 minute routine, did a 3 page illustrated report on the Saber Tooth Tiger and finished all the lessons in his "How to Draw Cartoons" book.

The initial reasons for Independent October were to give ourselves a bit of a break from each other, to give me some time to catch up on my work, and to get a taste of some unschooling.

The most important findings have been: full-time unschooling is not for us right now, but we do need to try to keep a few hours a week for self-directed learning so that he can continue to practice coming up with his own ideas, learning to do independent research, and developing confidence in doing things by himself (without mom).

We had some great breakthroughs getting through the stuck points. Several times, when he got frustrated and came to me with lines like "tell me what to do, I don't know how to continue, I don't have any more ideas...", I really had to stick to my guns and just say "Do it yourself, or drop it and find something else to do, but I am not going to tell you how to do your own project." He would leave in a huff, but return to his project and find a solution. A few times he even mentioned how proud he felt of his work, and what a good feeling it is. For this alone, the experiment was totally worthwhile. It was also a great exercise in letting go for me - slightly ControlFreak mom.

I was able to take some time to really think about how we're going to do this. We were thrown into homeschooling so suddenly that I never really had time to get organized. Now I have a much clearer picture of the amount of time we have, what we need to get done and the resources we need to do it.

Next week he'll have a bit of finishing-up of the projects, and it's his birthday week (9!), so we'll probably be taking it easy and eating the last jocotes from our trees (picture above).

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like it was a good learning experience all around. I've been thinking about giving my son a similar challenge...