This is one of the many things I enjoy & appreciate about homeschooling. Yesterday Nic (8) & I talked about a wanderingly-connected list of topics for 2 hours. He followed me from room to room while I worked & we chatted.
He was zoob building again (see early August posts for sample pix). I’ve come to understand that creating with zoobs, among other things, serves as a venue to process information. Nic reads or watches a show about Egypt or machine-building or weather catastrophes & it comes through later in his designs. In that way, building becomes a high-art of design alchemy.
It took me a good long while to see this. Had he put on costumes & played out stories, I would have seen the connection immediately. But Nic’s interest in designing & building, especially biologically-inspired robots, infuses everything. It is his deep and abiding passion. It is the thing he must do, musy follow, must investigate…it’s almost like breathing to hum.
I’m grateful that homeschooling allows him to follow his passions. And I’m grateful that he can spend a whole morning sharing with me all that comes to him about design.
Yesterday’s conversation was so lengthy & complex, that I’d never be able to document all of ut — though I’d like to. Sometimes I glimpse something very Isaac Asimov-like in him. I think he can see a future-reality imbued with technology, and he has a drive within him to move his current reality closer to the one he ‘sees’ in his future world…
One of the things we talked about yesterday was the ways in which he might design robots to one day perform many of the functions of service animals. He was particularly intrigued to learn that some service dogs sense when a person is about to have a seizure. Immediately he wanted to research what the animals was sensing, so that he could design a robot sensor to do the same thing.
Beyond the details of the conversation, I am deeply aware of how fortunate I am that my 8 year old son craves time with me & chooses interaction with me. I realize that’s relatively common within hsing families. But I am still grateful.
At one point yesterday, before our outing to the library, Nic told me he was BORED. That led to a mini-discussion about homeschooling styles. I realized I hadn’t articulated to him the difference between unschooling and curriculum-based schooling. So, I took this opprortunity to do so. I explained to him that ever privilege in life came with a responsibility. In this case, he had the privilege of following his interests when & how he liked…but that it came with the responsibilty of occupying himself when bored. I told him about the difference between unschooling and using curriculum, within this context. After a little consideration, he decided that he loved unschooling and that he thought he could be ‘not bored’ if he tried. 🙂
I was listening to a Gloria Estefan song while driving yesterday. The refrain was “happy, joyous and free.” This brought tears to my eyes, because after life being a struggle for so long (and for so many varied reasons) we are at a place now in our family where I can say that I am truly, happy, joyous and free. Then as I was going to sleep last night it occurred to me, that could be the subtitle of our homeschool: Curiosity Academy; where the students are happy, joyous and free. Sometimes I think the stereotype is that we all homeschool either because of religious preferences or to make our children the super-smart types who win national spelling bees. While both of these realities exist…tis not the case for our family. We chose homeschooling initially because we believed it was going to work better for Nic than going to school. Now, I see it as an extension of the way we parent…and I think that it is the single best way to help my children reach adulthood still being happy, joyous and free!