Thursday, 24 November 2016

Trusting your judgement

So, how's the autumn treating everyone?

Wishing a very Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends, whether here, at home, or around the world :-)

And closer to home, are we mentioning the C-word yet???

I, for one, am VERY excited :-)

But in the meantime there's still November to deal with.  And I must admit today was Not my finest hour........

I got myself quite frustrated this morning trying to engage DS in 'doing some work'.  

I don't even know why I did this!! 

Some days we are so on the ball, the learning just flows and we don't 'stop' for weekends etc, if the kids are engaged in something we just carry on.  So why on earth I suddenly had this wobble of confidence this morning I don't know but I decided to wade in to battle and insist he do some comprehension work (his absolute nemesis, and the cause of endless trauma at school).  

Oh dear me Mummy - you fool!!

I think, flushed with the success of yesterday, and the fact we had an AWESOME day of Life Skills, I mistakenly thought today we needed to 'evidence' that his learning was 'on point'.  Also, I think because the C-word is around the corner, I know we will be relaxing our learning and doing all things Christmas and I think I just had a moment of November-madness that I had to prove we have 'done enough'! 


But, he sat down with me. My sweet boy who wants to please.

He wanted to do Maths. He wanted to make his Madagascan volcano for Geography Club, he wanted to research carnivorous plants, he wanted to do Scratch programming on the computer....... but I was on my "but you've also got to show you can do your written work" drive :-(

Wrong battle, wrong day.

The dear boy sat and conceded to do 6 pages of a comprehension work book, by himself. Just 10 minutes of reading and following the instructions and the stress overwhelmed him. Comprehension tasks are such an issue for him - due to delayed processing, communication difficulties, lack of social understanding and so on.  These are ALWAYS going to be an issue for him.  Why oh why did I try and push him in to an NT mold today???

Quickly I realised the error of my ways just as he dissolved with a "you're going to give me loads of crossings out."

I was mortified! All the stress I've fought to take him away from, all my resolves to be more open to child centered learning and my brain tricked me back in to the conventional thinking that progress can only be measured in proven results (or even that it needs to be measured and proven at all!)

So, we consigned the book back to the book case and got out the Lego box instead.  We tried making carnivorous plants and a greenhouse for them.  We gathered rain water for his Venus flytrap.  We fed his tortoise. We took DD to gym, and while she did her British Gymnastics Level 4 badge (yay!) we played chess, a balancing game and played with the Story Cubes  Https://
(These are a great, fun, handbag size take-along mainstay for us. Different sets of 9 six sided dice you role and make a story from the pictures/symbols you roll).
He wandered and chatted to a few friends, ate his packed lunch, lifted his sister off the floor in a celebratory hug when she passed her Level 4!

We came home, he worked on his Scratch programming, we watched Walking with Dinosaurs, cuddled, had tea together and finally, FINALLY, the I-don't-feel-well My-neck-hurts started to subside.

And now, nearly 10 hours after Mummy's totally misjudged enforced learning attempt, he is peacefully tucked up in bed, trauma assuaged.

And the moral of the story is?  You are enough. You are doing Enough. Your kids are learning ENOUGH.  Whenever, however you approach your Home Learning, you Really Do know your child BEST. League tables Do Not.

So keep doing what your doing (or not doing) and don't let the World, the nagging doubts, the fears engulf you.  This journey is as unique as our children. And that's ok. That's more than ok.  So sit back, and watch them shine.


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