Unschooling: Living Without School; Living Free Range-Freedom to Learn What One Wants When One Wants

Friday, March 27, 2015

Vent-It Has Been Awhile

Let me start by saying, YES, my kid writes some of her numbers backward.  (Particularly 2 and 5, but that is beside the point.) The point IS-NO! I'm not having her checked out! She doesn't have a disability. And NO, I'm definitely not going to have her sit down and force her to do worksheets until she gets it right.

A few points: 

1. Technically,  she should be in Kindergarten this year.  (Some qualities,  including her complete lack of understanding numbers, although is quickly improving on its own,  shows her brain is still maturing like that of a child who is in Kindergarten or early 1st grade. She is 6-1/2 while most kids in 1st are now 7. 6 months makes a MAJOR difference in brain development.) And I know plenty of Kindergarten children who write their numbers backwards.

2. To a child,  a number is a number. To them,  they should be able to be written both ways. A dog is a dog whether it is facing left or right.  A tale is a table and a chair is a chair. So why not a number be a number?

3. Honest to God, she does so many other things and people want to knit pick over a backward number?!!! Like everybody. Not just one or two people. Everybody rolls their eyes because I'm allowing her brain develop in time instead of forcing it and they don't realize everything she does because if they knew they would know they are wrong to think their way is the only way. Yes, she spends much of her time drawing. More time than most parents would allow indirectly because of scheduling restrictions. But she has improved leaps and bounds. She has gone from stock figures to sketching beautiful scenaries and drawing cartoon figures with her favorite B6 pencil. When we go places, she takes her book and pencils and water colors. And she stops. We get to talk all about the plants and birds and research them. We get to use the binoculars. And Daddy teaches her bird calls sometimes as he day dreams about hunting that weekend. She just sits and studies nature for awhile as she notices the shape and texture of the leaves or the fact that the water is flowing a certain way leaving the ripples flowing in that direction. She has spent her time studying artists from the past and learning about their lives and inspiration for painting.  Then she mimics them and their styles,  trying to find her own. She has read about the different art eras. She sees the reactions the paint and water make and she calls it just THAT-A REACTION! Then she explores to see what other reactions she can make in nature to include in her art.
She spends a lot of time playing Legos, which to most people,  except homeschoolers, are just toys. (I haven't met a homeschooler yet who didn't have a giant tub of Legos in their bedroom.) And she builds and talks about the symmetry and she problem solves on her own. (Something a lot of employers complain about employees lacking these days.  Something also which they find directly correlates with our amount of play time as adults AND as children.) In her other free time,  we read anything and everything we can access. (I'm hoping eventually she will look on the pages with numbers and see which way a 5 faces. lol) She volunteers and sees things she has learned being applied and she applies them herself.  Adding up cans for the food back bags.  Dividing them between people. Reading the labels to know what goes where. All this,  naturally.  Because she knows days are not just for wasting away. They are for doing something productive. Something you love. Something that helps others. Something you learn from.
And for those who are directly academics and numbers/lists oriented...She reads on a 2nd grade level.  She knows how to add,  subtract, and do very base level multiplication, division,  and fractions.  She has studied the History of and knows about the Native Americans,  Christopher Columbus, Pocohantas, the Civil War, the Victorian era, The Great Depression, and many more topics-including Bible History. And more than just cut and paste sheets or textbook paragraphs. I'm talking about living books - auto biographies and biographies, storybooks-which we take for what they are worth,  documentaries, museums, debates on the TRUTH behind the History. Oh. Science? My apologies. Almost forgot.  She has studied a variety of topics, hands on with experiments, some of which she came up with herself, conducted with assistance,  and recorded her findings. She has also learned through her own exploration, as well as some reading/research.  Starting with her first unit at age 2: Butterflies. And yes, she still remembers it. She can tell you all about the anatomy and the probiscus and their behaviors.  Their life cycles. She had studied the human body: knows her bones and the different organs we have and why. She studied weather.  She studied plants outdoors and knows how to identify them. She is currently studying birds.  She is beginning to read maps.  She knows geological features.....
Okay. Seriously.  At this point do I have to go on?  I think I've made it pretty clear we have better things to do than worksheets that correct her hand writing!!!!!!!!

Between reading,  playing, doing art-preparing for her gallery, and being in the great outdoors hiking different areas and studying their wildlife.  Learning to canoe or rock climb.  Meeting new people at the Appalachian Trail shelters and listening to their stories.....Who has the time to correct a 6 year old's writing? Sure, I've mentioned it in passing. She corrects it that time. But it hasn't clicked with her yet and that's okay.  Why harp on her when it will get fixed in its own time?

Oh. That's right. Because some people think children can't possibly learn things without someone consistently pointing out their mistakes and grading their every move.

Some people are so ignorant that they call this negligent parenting,  but It. Is. NOT. We are sticking to our philosophy of education. Negligence would be me not helping her on anything ever because I don't feel like it and not caring what she ever learns.  But do you really think at 7 or 8 years old,  once she reaches the age of reason,  with an average brain and good home life,  she won't realize by then which way is the correct way?  Who here thinks at 30 years old she will be writing checks with a backward 2 on them?

Good Lord. The nerve of some people.  To think just because she "lacks" in one area-AKA-"isn't ahead in" her math,  does not me she doesn't have rich experience in other areas. Academic or not. And they may not be on the government's "educational timeline," But who cares?  That changes every year anyway, so why can't we make our own?

And another thing,  just real quick.  I'm tired of family not having anything to do with S's education because they don't agree with it. She never gets asked what she is working on.  Nobody goes to her events. Nobody cares to teach her things-except my MIL-It is like the elephant in the room.  They ask my brother how school is and skim right past asking Samantha anything.  Urg.

Anyway,  it is getting time for S to wake up and I have laundry to fold. Forget all that. We are going to spend our day reading the Kit book and writing out a newspaper for her Daddy,  who actually cares about her day. Then a playdate outside with her friend,  Emma. Wonder what they will teach each other today. 

No comments:

Post a Comment