When I woke up this morning I was still buzzing from yesterday's "good day." It was just such an encouragement to my soul to watch pure learning take place. I was just planning on milking that experience for all it was worth, not expecting to get such a high again any time soon.
And then there's my Aidan. What I have managed to learn thus far in our "learning at home" adventure is that you don't push anything on him. Relaying information to him is successful almost exclusively through natural conversation and interaction. Whenever I strike a pose that singles me out as "TEACHER" and him as "STUDENT", it never goes well. It's like he can see straight through that charade and he just shuts down and moves on. He craves personal connection, not didactic gymnastics. Which is wonderful because ever since I recognized that learning at home was for us, I've never been able to find a curriculum that I felt fit. It has become more and more obvious to me that we are eclectic, relaxed, and ever evolving home based learners. We fit in no proverbial box and we are constantly responding to the day as it unfolds. In that environment we all seem to shine.
So that's the set up. It was 2:45 this afternoon. I had just finished an hour of house work that I had insisted that the boys allow me to complete. "It's not my job to think of what you should do with yourselves while I do what I need to do," were my parting words. Both boys retreated to their bedroom to look at books or magazines or play with blocks. I was true to my word and checked back in with them after an hour. I offered to do a 96 piece puzzle with Aidan and as we finished he casually said, "I can write the word 'cat' in lowercase letters." "Show me," I said. We went to his table. He proceeded to do as he said he could do. I then told him that if he could spell "cat" then he could spell "bat." He cocked his head at me and I could see him trying to figure that out. I then reminded him that cat and bat rhyme and thus, they are spelled the same. When he realized that the only letter that changed was the first his face lit up like a Christmas tree. He then went on to spell "mat, hat, rat, fat and sat." I then decided to push my luck and write out "The fat rat sat on a hat" and I proceeded to ask him to read it. The look on his face was priceless. "Read it? Who me?" is what his eyes seemed to be saying. But then he looked down at what I had written and proceeded to sound it out, even the "sight" words "The" and "on."
I'm still buzzing. How great is this? To witness the birth of new found knowledge as it is actually emerging from the womb of someone's brain is truly a miracle and a privilege.
And I didn't do anything! It was all Aidan.