I’m participating in today’s Unschooling blog hop. I barely feel qualified; I still see myself as a green, brand-new homeschooler. Never mind that it’s been 15 months, I still have no clue what I’m doing. I’ve been told that that is normal, and I’m holding on to that thought with both hands and a half Nelson.
The last 15 months have flown by. We did some deschooling (though not nearly enough), some summer relaxation (really not nearly enough), and last fall slid right into homeschooling. But. Not really.
Something I’ve discovered since we began, and something I struggle with daily, is that A refuses to be “taught.” Now, this is really no surprise to me as a parent, given that I have spent the better part of my life for the last almost 12 years dealing with that. But it sure was a wakeup call to me as a teacher. I can’t teach him…and this is coming from someone who is in a death match with the word can’t. I have tried, Lord knows I have tried. Inside, outside, upside down I have tried. The Most Complex Child on the Planet™ marches to the beat of his own cracked-out drummer, and I can’t compete with that.
See, he resists being taught something he thinks he already knows, but if he doesn’t already know what is being taught he thinks it’s too hard and shuts down. If I try to teach him, he is not in charge, and thus also shuts down. <This is why mommy drinks wine.> So I am forced to take a step back…well, half a step. I won’t go full unschool, and I have a good reason why. Because I am a control freak. Yes, yes, it’s true. I know you’re all shocked. But I can’t (sorry, won’t) just leave his education entirely to him.
So I find us somewhere between school-at-home homeschooling and full unschooling. I call it StealthSchooling; I wish to hell I could Trademark that. I quietly sneak in information in the form of documentaries, books, games, and iPad apps. Just enough pre-learning that he thinks he knows the topic. Then when he actually gets to the topic, he knows just enough to take off running. He gets daily math (ThinkWell, I big puffy heart love you), and is teaching himself three different programming languages. I plan to start re-learning Spanish (I really should have never lost my fluency) and sneaking it to him too. Co-op classes are fun, so how could that be learning? (Oh, dear son, learning is supposed to be fun!) Boy Scout merit badges are soon going to figure prominently in our curriculum. Every merit badge is its own little unit study, and the best part? Tom is taking that on. Ahhh, sneaky learning, the very best form of hacking an education when the kid has no idea how to hack an education.
At some point I know this won’t be the best setup for him. I could be wrong. But for now, StealthSchooling is working for us. In fact, it’s the (KnockWoodMyLipsToGod’sEar) the longest working educational setup we’ve ever had. I’ll take it. And hopefully, a year from now, I’ll have an even better idea of just what the hell to do.
Please visit the other participants in today’s blog hop! (Will updated throughout the day)