I’m attempting to adjust my attitude towards M’s attitude (if that makes sense) by reading a book called Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self Directed Learners by Lori Pickert. In a nutshell, this book is about giving your child an environment which encourages them to follow their interests and learn ‘deeply’ and independently. By the ‘environment’ I mean both the physical space and the attitude towards learning in our home. Perhaps that wasn’t explained brilliantly, but follow the link to Amazon if you’re at all interested in finding out more!
On Monday, as my fellow Facebookers will know, I had a bit of a wobble, having had yet another ‘run in’ with M the night before. Knowing how anti-workbook she is at present (she is now refusing to do MEP too) I began to fear that she would have no Maths knowledge at all so I had a look online to see if I could find some way of getting Maths into creative projects. I found a few, including an AMAZING free booklet written by the Turner Contemporary called Maths Through Pattern. When I approached her with some ideas the look on her face suggested I had asked her to eat cat sick – she was horrified! Ho hum.
So when the girls were in pottery on Monday afternoon, I sat under a tree in a beautiful sunny church yard next door, took a deep breath and read Lori Pickert’s book.
I realised that I need to meet M where she is, instead of trying to tempt her to where I want her to go. I need to spend some REAL time with her, rather than assuming she is busy so I can get on with emptying the dishwasher or whatever. I need to show that I VALUE how SHE chooses to spend her time.
The book does stress that you’re not going to make a self-directed learner overnight but I thought I would sit down with her while she was making her Father’s Day card to see what happened. I have to say, I found it VERY difficult to be as hands off as the books suggests, but M did seem to appreciate my input anyway. I backed off from all non-specific praise and remembered to ask her what she thought she should do next; how it could be put together; was there anything else she wanted to add; what would work better etc etc.
She finished the card this afternoon, and the joy on her face as it neared completion was a sight to see. She was sooo proud of herself! As soon as it was finished she asked if I would read to her (D was busy watching Disney’s Robin Hood at this point) and I was so pleased that she still wanted to spend time with me, and doing something that I loved doing too. So we sat on our bed together and read two chapters of A Series of Unfortunate Events. It was lovely.
I will be interested to see if my new attitude makes any difference to M’s attitude… watch this space…
In other news, today we had a trip to Wimbledon and D got to ride her scooter for the first time – I was awed by how well she handled it. This scooter is a two wheeler and her old one had three. She had a few set-backs and had to go much slower than usual while she learnt to balance but she handled it with grace and maturity.
We also made England flags (painted fabric attached to an old bamboo cane with masking tape!) in readiness for the England v Italy match on Saturday. The girls are very excited as J said they can watch it even though it starts at 11pm!!!
Edit: I have reflected on my attitude 10 months on here.