Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Wednesday's Unschooling

Spoke to Greg from the UK early this morning- he has been offered a job in the UK, a full time job working as a researcher for a government body. Yay!

I tried to workout - did 30 minutes Before I Died, In A Heap, Coughing - tried the FIRM's Cardio Party.

We went to a Latin Mass ( 1962 Missal) for the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord. We all tried not to cough too much during Mass in the chapel! No point in continuing to spread our flu germs...

Some of us hadn't yet had breakfast so we had a quick muffin at the McDonalds at the food hall at Castle Tower Shopping Centre - at 10. 15 a.m.! I haven't been eating much lately, quite frankly I've been feeling too sick but was absolutely ravenous after Mass. So the Bacon and Egg McMuffin seemed like a treat, at only 302 calories (winks) .

Bought some birthday stuff for Anthony ( his birthday is Friday, the feast of Blessed Mary MacKillop).

Alexander did the driving, as a learner driver...

Home, kids did some Kumon maths or university assignments, welcomed a friend and heard about his Defence Force interview.

Jonathon went to teach catechism at a state school with one of the friars. Alexander and I went to the doctor. Alexander tested high for cat allergy - what to do with our cat Belle??

Others stayed home to play video games.

We arrived back home, had a lovely long lunch and chat with Br. after catechism. We discussed St John Bosco and Blessed Mary MacKillop and how both saints said they never used physical punishment with children. I shared with Br. some of St John Bosco's thoughts on the preventative method of education -

His idea was to persuade the boys to want to be good. Hence, Don Bosco was not greatly put out by the faults of levity proper to youth, nor to the inconstancy which is inherent in their state. Neither was he dismayed by noise or high spirits.

Don Bosco's capability to attract numerous boys and adult helpers was connected to his "Preventive System of Education". He believed education to be a "matter of the heart," and said that the boys must not only be loved, but know that they are loved. He also pointed to three components of the Preventive System: reason, religion, and kindness. Music and games also went into the mix.

"As far as possible avoid punishing . . . . try to gain love before inspiring fear."

"Not with blows, but with charity and gentleness must you draw these friends to the path of virtue."

He adopted St. Philip Neri's words: "Do as you wish, I do not care so long as you do not sin."

Back to our day.....Dh came home early with the flu. It started to rain so we rang the delivery guy for an extension re junk mail delivery, pleading icingly cold wet weather and the flu. Whew - we have until Friday now to deliver!

While I sat and chatted and researched Marytown with Br., the kids and friend ran around the house and garage, playing guns with foam dart guns. A VERY active and VERY noisy game - Br. and dh and I were in home base and so obviously safe from attack in the dining room!

Piano playing. Judo practice. Put rubbish out. Help mum clean up - next on the unschooling things-to-do list...

The kids' friend is staying for dinner ( and I feel too wiped out to cook, so it will be leftovers and more McDonalds - perhaps I should buy shares in this company??). They have hired a James Bond PS2 game and are having a four player marathon tonight...Luke, home from work, has kindly agreed to pick up the fast food..Dh is resting with the flu..I've been finishing off Kumon work stuff before resting with texts, emails and blogs.

And re-reading more stuff on radical unschooling. We've been there before, I feel a tug to go back, back to being radical and not simply unschooly. From this link, Sandra Dodd writes ~

In different discussions over the years I've seen different distinctions made about "radical." Sometimes it involves whether there is any instruction. Some people want to teach math facts and reading and other than that they're unschooling. They're not radical unschoolers.

Sometimes it involves whether there's any separation of learning and other life. Some want to give their kids uninterrupted learning opportunities and time to pursue their interests during "school hours" so that on a school day they're free to do what they want as long as it seems somewhat justifiably schoolish. And they might accept that Lego or sandbox play is schoolish because there are math and engineering and physics and nature elements, and they want to document some of that. But they might not want the kids to just sit and look out the window, or to read magazines about movie stars, or to play a video game during that same time.

If you read that and thought, "Yeah, but looking out the window, playing a video game or reading ANY magazine is still learning," then you're probably a radical unschooler.

Well, I'm nodding. I see the games, the dart gun, the hanging out and talk of today as learning.


HopewellMomSchool said...

I read "Christian Unschooling" and it really spoke to me. I really, really want to trust that my son WOULD learn...something. Then I see the anxiety build on days when he has to "entertain himself" and I see his fears grow. I think, if our prayers are answered and we get to go "back home" this year, he will have to have some structure. Now, my task is deciding what type structure will keep the anxiety at bay.
Your blog, and your attitude toward learning vs education, has helped me so much to keep hope of going back home alive the past few years.

Leonie said...

I'll pray for you - that you will be "back home" this year and find the rhythm and structure and some sense of freedom that will work for your son.

Greg said...

Frustrating to start the day with a less-than-to-the-max workout :(
This morning I was feeling tired and so did a mishmash of yoga and pilates. It was quite good fun, though in the end I don't know how much easier it was than any other day...

Leonie said...

All my workouts lately are bd - due to my flu. Haven't doen Taebo forever! Walking today. :-(

Susan <>< said...

Well yeah, I guess I'm a radical unschooler...although that is my reality, yet my dreams are different. KWIM?

I dream of being a structured school-at-home person who covers all the bases in a logical, sequential manner, teaching the art of self discipline to my children. But alas! that is not my reality.

Off to do some more reading...

p.s. have you seen the new AussieHomeschool at ?