Sunday, January 20, 2013

R's Learning: Organizing

My son is unschooling. That's a term mostly used by homeschoolers, but we don't homeschool. (I'm a single parent, working full-time. It's not possible for us.) He goes to a 'school' in my friend Melanie's home, with about 7 kids, where the philosophy is definitely unschooling. He does what he wants with his day.

From Kindergarten to 2nd grade, he attended a free school with about 20 kids. (It closed in 2010.) Then for a year and a half, he attended 'school' with about 6 kids, in a number of locations, with a few different people 'teaching', run by a friend of mine. (It closed mid-school-year, at the end of 2011.) That situation involved classes he had to take. He hated that he couldn't opt out, and became (more) resistant to any structured classes during that time.

During that time, I had to force him to check out a trampoline class at Head Over Heels. He loved it, and he's still doing it.

Recently, I've noticed him opening up to new things. (Thanks, Melanie!) I had a hunch a few days ago, and said, "If you ever want to do some math, just let me know." He said he would. And that night we did some oral math problems while lying in bed. (For years he has said he hates math. I just now asked if he still does. He said no, and added that he never did. Ok...)

Today I suggested we take the bus to Head Over Heels, so he can practice for when he'll need to go on his own. This is part of what will eventually get him a phone, so he has lots of reason to be interested. But he would not have been eager in the past. Today, he's eager.

He asks me how to spell lots of words, because of things he's searching for online. And (the reason for this post), just now he needed the spellings so he could make folders for all the apps on his tablet! He has his stuff organized into travel, media and junk, games, and general. I told him people used to organize things alphabetically, but now, everyone organizes things their own way.

I want to keep track of things like this. Maybe I'll post more this year.


  1. This is SO interesting, and I saw that you had commented somewhere more recently that he wants his texts (!) spelled correctly. Keep us posted how things work out. You're braver than most of us, even if we DID read Summerhill in the 70s and promise ourselves that we would do unto our children better than was done unto us.

  2. I don't feel brave. I feel foolish. I worry that I've done my kid wrong. We'll see. I'm dragging him to ukelele lessons tonight, I think. (If I do, it will be my first time going, and his. I'm excited to learn ukelele. He's not. We'll see how it plays out.)