8 Jan 2014

A hackschooling day in the life of Mr Curious

Mr Curious at 6, measuring a tree.
Mr Curious', home educating days, have been distinctly different from one day to the next. Being an intense child in every sense of the word 'intense', Mr Curious' working pattern differs enormously everyday. Until now, any attempt in giving his home educating days some kind of routine,  has been abandoned, out of sheer frustration from his mama's part. Mr Curious does not work well within the constraints of time tables, as he would then, spend his days by being preoccupied  about how many minutes are left until he finishes one activity, or become anxious that he will never be able to do so many things in one day, or feel that life is too unfair to even be alive! as the time allocated for his favourite subjects are too less.

I seem to be forever short of time with anything regarding Mr Curious, as he lives his life in a slow motion mode for the most part, which I must agree is not a terrible thing in itself, but I do worry if this particular characteristic will become an impediment in his endeavors sometimes in the future. I do worry too much, and then I wonder why Mr Curious has such an anxious disposition at such a tender age!
Miss Delightful and Mr Curious at the ecology centre.

One of the reasons Hackschooling works well for Mr Curious is because we can go with his flow, there is no urge to compare his performance to that of peers and no deadline within which he has to complete a particular chapter in maths. Let's be honest, he might be working to deadlines for the whole of his adult life, although I doubt he will choose such a pressure ridden work environment, so why not let him savour his work now? As he does enjoy learning, well, just not your usual kind of learning. Mr Curious' idea of learning is investigative, hands on, dynamic, in depth, inspiring, as if he needs to indulge all of his senses in the process, only then he seems gratified. But, do not be misguided into thinking, that this is actually how it always happens in our homeschool, as if it did, I would be out of steam by now! I could never keep with Mr Curious' enthusiasm and zest for living or learning, therefore we hackschool. The broad range of subjects he has access to and varied medium of learning, combined with a degree of autonomy in choosing what and when to do things, have proved fruitful in the case of Mr Curious.
Mr Curious at the Look Out Discovery Centre

So a particular day in the home educating life of Mr Curious looks like this:
  • wake up using an alarm clock (no fixed time, between 7-9 depending on what time he went to bed the night before)
  • brush , wash, toilet, change (can take anything from 15 mins to an hour, depending on Mr Curious desire to start on his next task or the potentiality of getting immobilised by his daydreams)
  • stretching exercises,silent sitting in meditation and prayer 
  • Eating breakfast (10 mins to 1 hour, again depending on how focused Mr Curious can stay on the task of eating before finding it unbearably boresome).
He then  proceeds with his work. He will normally attempt a couple of the following tasks, never all of them though, as there would not be enough time in a day!
  1. assigned reading (normally a classic- he has just finished charlotte's web and currently reading Joy Hakim's story of science) and written narration (1 hour)
  2. maths (1 hour)
  3. piano practice (1 hour)
  4. watch a documentary (30 mins- 1 hour)
  5. mathletics (1 hour)
  6. grammar (30 mins)
  7. project work (on one of his interests - science, history anything at all - we will start one on sleep soon!)
  8. languages he is learning (10-15 minutes)
After working, his day normally progresses thus, role playing with Miss Delightful, spending time in the back garden, reading and reading and reading, playing with any of his toys, model building with lego, meccano, k'nex, blocks, playdough, tinkering with his 'knick knacks' ( he collects clothes tickets, small hangers, all shapes and sizes of plastic or carton boxes, pins, buttons , key rings ect ), drawing and colouring and stays busy until bed time.

Mr Curious and Miss Delightful at the park, during school hours.

Mr Curious having fun, with one of his best friends.
Some days he works in a different pattern altogether. He spends a whole day investigating and conducting experiments and pondering about his findings or he can be found playing lego, hiding under the duvet engrossed in a book (this happens all too often in winter), walking around in the garden looking for insects to observe then making records of his examinations, doing hands on science activities, running and swinging in the local park while playing with friends or with his little sister or composing on his keyboard. 

Although I do sometimes wonder where he should be, measured to his peers, I know not to compare his achievements or struggles to others, as what he cannot do, someone else can and what he excels at someone else battles with.

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