Into the woods & back again

Today we went to the woods.

image

Although we did not stay long, my non-outdoorsy child spent every second building, dreaming , and enjoying. All because the rangers had enough foresight to leave offcuttings & a few examples.

I don’t think we could give him anything more valuable than possibility.

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Today we went to the woods.

image

Although we did not stay long, my non-outdoorsy child spent every second building, dreaming , and enjoying. All because the rangers had enough foresight to leave offcuttings & a few examples.

I don’t think we could give him anything more valuable than possibility.

There you have it.

My eldest son, E, is intelligent.
I know, all mums think their little boys are the cat’s miaow, but he is.

In fact, I have learned that is difficult to discuss a gifted child without trying to simultaneously highlight any faults you can think of. Otherwise it puts people off; makes the conversation seem competitive; or just makes you feel like that mother.

And believe me, I’m not her.

But he’s intelligent and things at school are easy for him. At 2 E would comment that his pineapple pieces were trapeziums. At the start of year 1 he passed an end of year 2 maths test (but, when he couldn’t explain why the answers were right they held him “back” to do year 2 maths). He reads novels in a day, while many of his friends still struggle with picture books.

The trouble is, he’s my boy. So like me before him, he doesn’t know how to deal with things that are hard. He is unfamiliar with hard work and struggle makes him question his understanding of himself. But he’s 6. And what I can personally guarantee him is that there will be hard things. He won’t win every race and he won’t be the best at every task.

How do I teach him that is ok? How do you breed resilience in a child? How do I lead him to defining himself as more than his abilities?

And how do I have the conversation with other parents without making it sound like I think my child is a prodigy?

What I don’t know

As it goes, you could fill an ocean with what I don’t know.

The professor who I most admired in university told me that by the time I finished my 4 year under graduate degree, the only thing I would know for sure is that I know nothing.

She was right.

And here I am, eleven years later…9 years of marriage…6 years of motherhood….an MA…various jobs at varying levels of expertise and grownupness…

I still know very little. Sure I have some skills and some understanding of how things and people work. But knowledge? I have but a drop in the ocean.

Having a second child (or is it just my second child?!) cemented that awareness. He taught me that everything I thought I knew was relative. He broke, and continues to break, abet rule. And I love him for it, despite the levels of frustration that can initiate.

But try my best to embrace it. It means there is more to learn, more to experience, more to feel…And that’s got to be a good thing!

Education Schmeducation


the past few days have been a flurry of thought for me, amidst our adventures (such as sand-dune sliding!). going on adventures, even if they are simple ones, always pushes me further – makes me want more. it’s so easy to fall into a slumber of the soul – to just get by instead of pursuing life. and so often, it only takes one conscious decision. like whether or not we were going to go to the beach (it was zero outside and very frosty). i started um-ing and ah-ing, thinking of reasons not to go… eden was in bed, what about meals, costs, etc…. laziness!!! and then i realised that it was saying ‘no’ that was making our lives what it currently is.

so i said yes.

boy am i glad i did!!!

the whole time i watched eden sliding down the dunes, and standing, & falling and loving every second of it I kept thinking of how much it is experiences like that that teach us about life, and the world. he would of learned SO much more there than in his bedroom, or at the wacky warehouse… because we just let him get on with it. i was slightly nervous the first time he went head first down, but as soon as i saw that it was on purpose, all was ok. He could go wherever he wanted. there were no walls.

that is what education is all about – giving the mind and soul room to wander. because minds WANT to learn.

having done my graduating thesis on montessori’s educational revolution, i’m obviously partial to her way of thinking. and yet someone recently commented that it is really hard for kids to adjust to ‘normal’ school if they attend a montessori preschool – it was their advice not to send a child there. I don’t know how i feel about that. even if mainstream education is the way you’re going to go forward (with a teacher for a husband, i’m not sure how many other options i’ll get!!!) surely letting your child have an alternate beginning is the best start? why send them to preschool that is just like school? home isn’t like school…

and homeschooling. there’s a volcano of opinion. i don’t know mine. i love the idea of ‘unschooling’ but i couldn’t cope with it, not really. and socialising is so important…so i would only do it if there was network of homeschoolers around me. *i think*.

all i know for sure is that we went to the beach and it was good.