Saturday, March 19, 2011

Down Time

Let me start off by apologizing for not posting for a while. First I got sick, then the boys got sick, and to top it all off, we've been in a bit of a lull lately.

I've done a lot of research on unschooling. I've read books, articles and other people's blogs. From what I gather, it's normal for there to be periods of time when it seems like not much is getting done. These periods can last days, or weeks or even sometimes months. We're experiencing one of those periods right now.

Last month the boys got a new video game, Little Big Planet 2, and they've been obsessing over it. It's all Nico can talk about, think about and pretty much the only thing he wants to do at home. Of course there are times when video games are taken away from him. When he can't keep his hands off his brother for instance, he loses video games for a day. Even then, he hasn't really been interested in much else. Lucas, too, is pretty consumed.

So far this month we have had to miss two co-ops, and a really awesome field trip to Reptile World, to watch the snakes get milked. I think the boys would have really enjoyed that one, but since they were both feverish we just couldn't make it. We also had to miss several birthday parties, due to the illness that spread like wildfire through our home. We did get to take a pretty cool tour of an equestrian center here in town. The people there were super awesome! Even so, the boys really didn't seem all that interested. Sure they went along, and they liked petting the horses, but it didn't spark anything in them.

Nico did suggest a picnic in the park one day, after we were all well again. I couldn't think of any reason to say no, so we packed a lunch and headed out. It was a quiet, peaceful lunch, on a beautiful spring day. The boys played outside for a bit, which really helped to get out some of their pent up energy.

I wouldn't say that the boys haven't been learning these past few weeks. We still talk, a lot! I like to incorporate words in our conversations that I think they don't know, just to challenge them. With out fail, if they don't understand a word I use, they immediately ask me what it means. A day or so later I will hear them use the new word. I have to say, I love the way my children speak. The words and phrases they use are well beyond that of typical 5 and 7 year olds.

But what I think we've been missing is that spark of curiosity. We haven't had any big questions, projects or interests emerge this month, so it seems like we're stuck in a rut. I'd be lying if I said I don't worry about whether or not I've chosen the right path. At times like this it's difficult to trust that they will eventually learn the things they need to know. I feel like it's partly my fault we're stuck, because I've been so busy with my own stuff (work and school) that I haven't had much time to introduce new things to them. But like I said, I've done a lot of reading. I know eventually, things will turn around, and they will take off again. It's hard to hold children back, once that spark is lit.

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