I am one of those people that really enjoys a good introspective workbook. Like a “transformative change” junkie. One of the things I find is doing these things over time–over and over again–starts to help train your brain to look at yourself a bit more objectively. That was really helpful this week…
I noticed that I was really disengaged in my kids education. It wasn’t “unschooling” at this point–it was “disengaged”. There is a difference.
This blog was started because my BigGuy wanted to go in a direction I was horribly conflicted about. He wanted to go academic and I wanted to walk barefoot in the grass. I’m now seeing that a major part of our issue was that 1) my BigGuy has some rather extreme screen reactions that limit his ability to use the computer or watch things on a TV or device and that limits his exploration abilities to some extent. Second, my BigGuy is in the autism spectrum. Although he has lots of creative ideas, he may really never leave a single concept. Unschoolers are big fans of kids leading their own education and digging into things–discovering resources and ideas–on their own. My guy’s disability limits that significantly. He has recovered remarkably well and isn’t nearly as impaired as he was, but he still has problems.
So, where another parent could unschool a neurotypical child the way I’m operating with my spectrum kid and they will have tremendous results, my spectrum kid will never reach any kind of productive potential if we continue on this path.
There is an alternative–I just needed to realize that we needed an alternative.
The alternative is that I can still have him figure out what he wants to learn and I can still opt to off-load the more academic-y stuff as long as money permits me to do so. The difference is that he and I really need to pick through it more and I need to direct him a little more in getting some executive function skills and communication skills that don’t eventually come to spectrum kids like they eventually come to neurotypical kids. Frankly, neurotypical kids his age suck at executive function stuff as it is. But unschoolers by and large don’t really worry about it because it really is developmentally just where they’re at.
But these are the things I need to really focus on and realize that he’s not a neurotypical kid and he may never just “grow out of it” or “get it eventually”.
Life has been crazy insane since summer. I had 8 weeks in bed fighting a medication reaction followed by the end of my husband’s income while facing a possible cancer AND multiple sclerosis diagnosis at the same time.
People… it’s been a season.
BigGuy has done zero math. Zero, people.
Okay–that’s a lie: he’s done some Art of Problem Solving Pre-Algebra To try to learn their method but he’s not on track with math.
All of the testing on me has (at least temporarily) cleared me of cancer and MS. We are on medication number 3 for BigGuy trying to help his distraction issues with zero change at all. We are digging deeper and deeper into answers for his issues, but they are complex and expensive. Husbeau is finally feeling worlds better and confident about his abilities to find work again.
There is so much on our plate right now. So many decisions about how to proceed for our family. But it’s spring and the light has returned which energizes me. I know that I need to “make hay while the sun shines” and plot out what will happen during the season where I don’t function best (autumn) so that my family is not plowed under.
Tell me what you are discovering about yourself… about your children… about how you live together…