Am I returning to blogging – not really sure….I just felt the urge to write something, so here I am. Lately it seems like Kai is SO grown up – of course he’s not – he’s still only little, only 9, but in terms of unschooling, my role in this partnership, this dance, has changed, and I wanted to write about that….
In order to really understand what I mean, I feel like I need to go through some old blog posts – as generally embarrassing as that is!
When I first started this blog, Kai was 4. We’d been learning about unschooling for about a year or so, but of course – since Kai wasn’t school age we weren’t really – because there was no school to ‘un’ at that point! But – it was still an advantage to start that early….because, looking back at some old posts, like this one (cute picture of Kai on the table, but maths workbooks, not unschooling – not in our house at least!), and this one – yeah – I hadn’t really got this whole deschooling thing down just yet!
And that’s ok – unschooling and deschooling are a process, a process that takes a LOOONG time – and yep – lucky to start when Kai was so small, because by the time he WAS school age, we were pretty set, although I possibly still had some awkward schooly ideas lingering (mostly the forced tessellations conversation in there…). But, reading through most of 2012, it seems like i’d pretty much ‘got it’ by then, though we had yet to experience full on gaming, and I had a few crises about reading after that! I will say though, that a lot of my apparent re-occupation with documenting more ‘schooly’ stuff was a result of living in a state that required extensive reporting – now we live in Victoria, that’s not an issue J
While I’ve been looking at old posts – I found this one, and it kind of says a lot about what I’m thinking about, about how we’ve evolved, and how unschooling and our understanding of it has evolved, so i’ll avoid repeating it all!
So, back to unschooling NOW…unschooling an increasingly independent, reading, 9 year old with ‘tween’ interests!
Now Kai is increasingly independent – he doesn’t need me to read things for him, or even google that much for him (he does it himself), I sometimes feel like i’m ‘not doing enough’ – or actually – ‘not doing anything’!
He has his own You Tube Channel (more subscribers/likes would make him very happy, just FYI!), and when I go look, he has all these ‘likes’ of things he’s been looking at. He’s posted some stuff on his Facebook page from gaming….these are all new things i’m learning to get used to – independent things, things he doesn’t *need* me for!
Lots of his interests have stayed the same, though – gaming is his very favourite thing, and gaming has led to all sorts of other stuff. We attended our first ‘Comic Con’ on the weekend, and did our first real ‘cosplay’ – Kai and I went as Lori and Carl from The Walking Dead (actually I just looked like me with a side-part in my hair!) – but Kai’s outfit was pretty popular and he got asked for some photo’s – which he LOVED!
Kirby was SO excited to get her photo taken with Season 2 Carl! She was very sweet!
Kai said it was the ‘BEST’ day, so I expect we will be going to more ‘cons’ in cosplay soon!
Aside from gaming, Kai is still interested in paleontology, chemistry and experiments – once known as ‘potions’ – but we’ve expanded the interest somewhat with some new experiments and reactions – you can see a couple here and here!
Since we moved to Victoria, we go to weekly park days, and Kai has a big group of friends that we see a lot. There has been interest in hair dying (blue), they skype together, and in general are exploring tween interests together.
There isn’t a lot written on unschooling tweens, unfortunately – most of the writing jumps straight to unschooling teens…For the record – Kelly Lovejoy gave a talk on Unschooling Tweens that i’m trying to get a hold of! I believe you can buy it as a podcast. Maybe my next post should focus on unschooling tweens then!?
So my role as facilitator remains, but what I facilitate has changed, and is constantly changing….I find and download new games, I help sell old books and toys to make money for new Xbox games, I research experiments and buy the chemicals, I find cool dinosaur and palaeontology stuff, I help make the cosplay outfit (the amazing self-confidence of Kai while wearing it is all him though!), I find out about the conventions and when they are on….I buy the blue hair dye….
Having a tween is super cool – who would have ever thought i’d go to Comic Con!!?? (I also put blue streaks in my hair a few weeks ago!)…