Monday, November 29, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Every morning this week, my son has woken up and gone straight downstairs to his desk to work.
As early as 7, he's sat himself down with his Life of Fred maths book to do a chapter or two. Then it's on to the Targeting English workbook (which he dug out from where I'd buried it on a shelf). He does two pages. Sometimes he does all this before he has even eaten breakfast. (Which boggles my mind)
An online computer game called Dragonfable.
To my son, this game is awesome—it's complicated, creative, and engaging. In it, you go on lots of monster-fighting quests, gather all sorts of cool outfits and different weapons and go up level after level. He loves it, and says it's even a "tiny bit educational." Bonus!
But although my boy loves this game and wants to go on it the moment he wakes, he has decided he can't just go onto the computer and play. He has to earn his computer time. School work has to be done first.
I never said he couldn't just go and play the game. I didn't say he had to earn his time on the computer. I haven't set school work, and I never made the computer a prize.
My son's boundaries.
He is my little workhorse. He asks for help when he needs it. Powers through until he is done.
He is the very picture of a self-motivated learner. So very different from the boy he was at school.
He said on Wednesday, "I can't wait 'til tomorrow!"
"Why?" I asked, and he said, "So I can do this again!"
When I said we'd be busy on Thursday, he said, "Then I can't wait 'til Friday!"
And yesterday, on Saturday, there he was at his desk. Doing maths before breakfast. (Which boggled my mind!)
My boy owns his learning; he owns his day.
He is my sweet example of the Freedom Experiment, working just so beautifully.
(And on a side note, my daughter said, "I don't have anything I want to do so badly I'd do maths for it!"
I said, "So, when you play Dragonfable, do you feel like you have to earn it, or do you just want to play?"
With a big, gorgeous grin she said, "I just play, Mum!"
Which means she owns her learning, too.
How I love the Freedom Experiment.)
Friday, November 26, 2010
And the other day,
my girl and I talked about maths.
My girl became so afraid, she wept and wept
because she thought I was going to make her do it.
But all we were doing was talking.
I drew a picture of my girl's fear.
I said, I think it looks a bit like this:
because I knew it so, so well.
I held my daughter close and said,
I know how you feel and how hard this must be.
But, if you can,
if you can,
try to not let fear be the boss of you.
You will be amazed at what you can do.
Sometimes and often, my children find a way past their fears.
It is so beautiful when they do.
I try this daily.
Keeping close to me
the promise held in those wings.
not to be outdone
drew an amended picture of her fear
Thursday, November 25, 2010
there was a woman who
once was a child.
Her childhood was very complicated.
(Complicated—the word you use in place of all the others…)
And it helped form the person she became.
She made her way through the world
and falling in love…
looking all around
She gave birth to children of her own.
These children made her heart sing, and
they made life
beautiful, all at once.
She carried many of her old fears and joys into parenthood.
Some of her fears she could manage,
and others…came swooping in and took her legs out from under her.
One was a fear of flight.
Not of dream flight (where she could soar over tree tops),
Or of the flight of birds,
which she always thought was breathtaking.
But of herself. In flight.
From one physical place to another.
Air beneath and all around and nothing between her and the ground but hope.
This fear laid her bare.
This fear would not leave and she could not seem to let it go.
It was as though all the chaos of childhood
sat inside this one
And the curious thing was, this woman wore wings
on a piece of coloured wool on her wrist.
And her friend said she thought they were angel wings.
And the woman said, "That's interesting! I never saw them that way…"
quite suddenly and without thinking, she said:
the idea of Flight."
And in that moment,
as she said those words,
Flight did not terrify her.
All the things Flight can be.
All the things that come when you let go of fear.
In less than two weeks, I am flying out to an island in the Pacific
to spread the ashes of my father.
A beautiful island
with people I love.
Which makes me scared (very)
and happy (very)
all at once.
It's complicated, isn't it?
I will fly over cloud and over sea
and the birds will follow and they will lead.
All of us
All of us
All of us
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
We'd steam cleaned our carpets on Saturday, and had to move all furniture, which included the computer desk, and which included the modem, which meant things got unplugged. Sounds simple enough, right?
Then we went away for the weekend, and when we got back (from an amazing trip with lots to write about), we moved the furniture back in. And I saw all these lovely little cords, and unwound them, and set up the computer again. I thought to myself, I'm going to write all about the things we saw and the things we did, and I'm going to put all these lovely photos up. And I grabbed a nice cord with a nice end bit and plugged it into the modem.
BANG! (Which was super super loud and made me hurl the modem onto the floor. I am not a brave person.)
SMOKE billowed gently out of the holes of the modem. So sweetly, as though it was just a little campfire, and was waving hello. So nice of it.
Except. I now had a dead modem.
And I still do.
So I borrowed a friend's modem and tried to make it work, but it needs somebody with an actual brain for technology to work it. Medic!
And I've tried to log into my blog with two different iphones. No luck!
And now I'm writing this on my mother's computer, while she waits for me to GET OFF so we can go on our "date." Which will be lovely—I haven't had a date with my mum in a very, very long time.
So I'm going, I'm going already. :)
But I really needed to get onto this blog to say, I'm here! I have things to say! I can't wait to say them! But I'm not going to say them today. Or even tomorrow, unless I manage to figure this all out by then.
I need to go to Modem School. I need me a Teacher! I need to learn me some computer stuff! Where do I enrol????!
Saturday, November 13, 2010
"Einstein wrote, "It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion."
Most parents understand how difficult it is for their children to learn something when they are rushed, threatened, or given failing grades. John Holt warned that "we think badly, and even perceive badly, or not at all, when we are anxious or afraid... when we make children afraid, we stop learning dead in its tracks." "