Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mommy, I can't concentrate while the phone is ringing...

This is what I heard from my six year old today while we were homeschooling. He was reading "The Surpise" from his Frog and Toad book and the phone was ringing. I often opt not to answer it while we're doing learning time (as we call it) because it tends to get things off track and that's not a good thing in this house.

I found his comment amazing in a few ways. First, he was able to define what was causing him to lose concentration, and the mere fact that he realized he had lost concentration was big for me. Cristian is a very active child, probably somewhere between being an auditory and kinesthetic learner. We have often struggled with keeping him focused while we've done learning time, as he can become distracted by a piece of lint falling through the air. This is why his conventional preschool was not a good fit for him. Even at 4 they were requesting the students sit in their seats quietly working on a project while Cristian wanted to play with the Russian nesting dolls.

I was raised in a conventional school environment. I went to great schools, but this is a disadvantage. You see, I'm a female, I went to schools in a largely female dominated and created environment. This is what I learned. This is how I tried to teach. Can you see my dilemma? Here I am trying to recreate this environment for my son, who does not benefit from this learning style.

I'm learning a lot about my dear boy, sadly 6 years into his life. He thrives on learning things with his senses. He needs rules (not that he always follows them, nor does he always agree with them, but he needs them) clearly defined. He's an intelligent, compassionate individual and he has taught me a lot about what I thought I already knew. What an honor to be his mother.

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