Every morning before school L comes in and chats with me for around half an hour. I’m not good in the mornings, especially with the M.E. and she has offered to leave me to sleep each day, but although sometimes I’m not as conscious as I could be, I do really value the chat, as I think she does too.
Sometimes it is showing me something on the 3ds (which makes me feel old as it is a step too far in technology for me… and a bit noisy), mostly it is chatter about things at school, or friends, or what we’re going to do at the weekend. It is a lovely calm start to the day. It feels like we’ve connected before she heads off to school and I know what she’s got coming up that day. For example: today her tutor group are performing in assembly which was what she was thinking about most this morning. She also has her last end of year exam today – History which she loves, so she was all geared up for that.
Just before L goes R usually appears, they chat briefly too, and once L goes R climbs into bed and we chat about the day ahead. I often have ideas of what we could do and R usually has very different ideas, so a discussion often ensues, sometimes producing a less calm start to the day when our ideas totally clash ;-).
Having a ‘self-led learning’ child isn’t always easy, especially when you have ideas that you know they’re likely to enjoy and get a lot out of, if they try it, but they’re set on something else!
I have improved at trusting a lot of R’s as they usually lead to some lovely days. She is also learning to trust me more, I think, and realises that sometimes my ideas can be worth pursuing too! She does (mostly) appreciate being given a choice of what she wants to do and she does compromise too… If I’m having a wobble about not having done any maths or writing, or whatever it is, she does humour me 🙂 I am very aware that these wobbles are my issue, and so is she 🙂
I do very much trust and see how effective self-led learning is, in fact often I am astounded at things that my children know, seemingly by osmosis – to be fair probably more through conversations and reading and YouTube and trips and activities and various apps and programs we’ve dabbled with but sometimes it does look like osmosis when they’ve picked it up so quickly from such short exposure to a subject.
Having had very little structured / formal learning, L had covered all of the KS2 curriculum through daily living and in her first year at school (yr7) there haven’t been any glaring gaps at all, she is at least level with (and sometimes ahead of) her peers… having not had official SATS results from primary school, she has been placed fairly middling in sets, which has worked well this year… but her exam results are good, so she will be moving up in sets and is likely to be in 1st or 2nd set for everything. (Not that a high set is desperately important… I just want her in a class that is the right level for her, so she doesn’t get stressed or bored!)