Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Freedom to shine!

I had the joy of discovering this post yesterday, I Am What I Am. I'd had a wobbly couple of days confidence-wise: Was it 'okay' that Sprout had foregone a drumming workshop in the park with his friends in order to play Lego Universe all day with his Daddy? Were we doing the right thing by Squidge by continuing to let him develop speech at his own rate? Etc etc ad infinitum it seemed. Anne's post helped me reaffirm why we do what we do, why we radically unschool.

We're very lucky to be journeying through life with two amazing boys. Sprout is bursting at the seams with energy and 'get up and go' (or 'jump up and go' most of the time!). He currently loves Lego and all it entails, building it, talking about it, finding out about it, telling people about it, watching stop motion animation videos of it, and playing Lego Universe online. He also loves They Might Be Giants, climbing trees, Power Rangers, make believe in the park, and making potions. Squidge is generous with his cuddles, and says thank you with a blown kiss. Currently he loves cars (and watching his Daddy fix them), watching films, looking for bees, making bread, playing music, and dressing up.

I love that wherever their hearts are taking them, we can help them go, without the restrictions of school (whether that be sitting at a desk, getting up first thing in the morning, or learning what you're told to learn) or any other type of coercion. I love that they have the freedom to set their own pace in their childhoods, however speedy or laid back that might be, and however often that might change. I love that they get to develop according to their own internal timetable, without having labels or stigmas attached. I love that if, for example, they want to see a hologram, I can help them make that happen, instead of it being the wrong time and them being made to learn about phonics instead. I love that if, at 9 o'clock at night, Sprout wants to know why elephants have tails, what sound the letter K makes, whether there's anything that can turn from a solid to a gas without becoming a liquid inbetween, *and* what a sensei is, we have the freedom to help him satisfy his curiosity.

On that note, I thought I'd share a few snapshots of things we've done over the past couple of weeks when we've followed the boys' curiosities and desires...

Being undead skeleton knights...

Boating...

Going on jungle adventures,
then playing on be funky
with the photos...

Being Power Rangers,
then playing on psykopaint
with some more photos...

Planting cacti...

Making flower snacks
with homegrown strawberries...

Investigating how to get the
ball to go highest and furthest
with a Lego catapult...

Watching the geese at Westport Lake

Looking at mosaics
and planning our own...

Spotting all different
coloured wild flowers...

Feeding the ducks...

Tackling the adventure playground...

Painting our own faces (and
then flying along the pavement
like the beautiful butterflies we were!)...

Putting the world to rights over ice cream...

Painting pottery...

Bouncing high...

Climbing trees (that little
orange spot right at the
top is indeed Sprout!)...

Blowing big bubbles...

Mavelling at prisms and
the resulting rainbows...

Creating nature art...

Playing a creatively-scored
round of mini golf...

Lots of splashing, pouring,
decanting, spraying,
and er, mess :D ...

Holograms...

Changing white flowers to
blue and red with food colouring...

Playing pool...

Finding toad homes...

Swimming ecstatically...

And building a Lego laboratory
for Lego scientists.


This past couple of weeks were by no means typical, but only insomuch as no week is typical. Some weeks we're rarely at home and have more picnics in the park than meals in our own lounge. Some weeks we're so engrossed in a game or a website or a pile of books that we hardly venture out. And some weeks we have so many meet ups with the boys' friends that I have trouble fitting everything in! But however our weeks pan out, I can see the boys shining brightly, and I'm so happy and privileged to be there alongside them.

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