Monday, February 4, 2013

Unschooling Schooling whilst traveling long term with my seven year old.

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This week should start the new year in Australia for school.

Travelling is amazing.
We see and do so much.
Yet it has proved to be really hard for both of us in some ways.
Mainly to try and get a "normal routine" is impossible.

Some days we are up at 6 am and travelling all day.

Other days we are out seeing the world.

Rarely are we sitting and doing nothing.

This journey is a world classroom.

We have tried to work through to get my seven year old son to the level
he should have finished at for his school work for the past year.

English and spelling was completed New Years Eve.
Most kids had been on holidays for weeks.
Maths was still going, and here it is and the first month of the year is already finished -
yet our maths from last year is not quite done.

I am frustrated.
He is behind with some things.
He knows he needs to do better.
Or when we will stop and if he returns to school, they would put him in a grade below.

So today - he explodes.
We have an official tantrum.
The "I can't do it", turns into a screaming match.
He walks out and slams the door.
He comes back and goes a bit nuts.
The frustration, abuse and anger is really showing.

Meanwhile this goes on for over 1.5 hours.
He is time wasting.
He wants to play on his DS, iPod, or the computer.
He doesn't want school work.

So I google other parent home-schooling that have had this issue.
Most seemed to give up and threaten sending their child to public school.
Most give in and do.
I don't have that option - unless we stop travelling.

I tell him how much he has hurt me, with how he has behaved and it is not on.
I am not going to allow this behaviour, and it will be dealt with.
I explain how hurtful he is being, and suggest he write me a sorry note.
So he starts to write, and I leave him to it.
We both need space.
And at leastI have him writing.

Suddenly, it all clicks to me.

We had found a scorpion outside - now dead.
I go out and bring it in on a piece of paper.
He is fascinated with it.
So we google scorpions.
We turn the morning into a biology lesson.
Next thing I know he is drawing and looking up all sorts of things.
He has written a whole page.
He is decided to investigate diet and habitat etc.

I realise I have to change how I school him to make this work.

So each day we will have 5 subjects.
These may change as we need.

Each subject is worth 2 points.

He has to get to 10 points a day and then he gets technology.
He also loses points if he has out of control behaviour.

He can earn extra points if he wants to do extra subjects 
and they can be credited for days we travel.

Well we have only be going with this system a few days now.

I cannot tell you the change in him.

He WANTS to study.
Especially nature he tells me.

We have done all sorts of things and school is now a time we work together on things.
He is powering ahead.

The advancement is so distinct that if he keeps it up, he will be ahead of other kids his age.

I am really proud of him.

He chooses the subjects from what is around us.

This a.m. we discovered termite tracks on the roof.
We found them in the woodwork.
So next thing the lesson was all about that.
We found a great web-site on pests.
Even games for kids on pest detection.

Yesterday we did a scavenger hunt and he had to find nature items.
Today it was a treasure hunt and map reading.

I am learning to make schooling fun.
And we are both learning - a lot!

Homeschooling - we are making art out of toothpicks -
then we turned it into a clock and improved our time management skills:)

My son also now is learning to order his food in Spanish too.

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