Thursday, January 15, 2009

home learnings


we are now really immersed in the home learning and are trying a new routine where each day we do one hour of intense one to one work followed by one hour of self-directed learning. The rest of the time tends to be flexible and of course home learning happens all the time wherever we happen to be.

On this blog I hope to engage with some of the common questions that arise whenever we tell people that we do home learning. These will not be knew to anyone who does this. Every taxi driver in Glasgow has an opinion, as does every family member, shop assistant, and health care professional.

It's almost as if choosing to opt out is a slur on their choice not to. We got harangued by a taxi driver yesterday for being different and opting out - can't say I always deal well with this yet so we just adopted a perky 'we're happy with our decision' response. Was tempted to garotte him from behind as he spouted, ranted and shouted (which was really not OK for Laurie) but decided it was best to make sure we actually arrived at out destination...

what really annoys me though i that I'm so well conditioned that I still gave him a good tip - doh!!! get a grip girl - maybe next time.

One of the key questions that people ask is 'what do you do about socialisation'. Of course this question stems from the basic misconception that sitting in a classroom with 30 other people of the same age, surviving the chaos of the dining room, the harsh playground and the enforced collaborative learning activities all result in positive social experiences. Well I do admit it can teach you deal with negative social experiences and may sometimes be positive.

Laurie may have an ASD but like many kids with Aspergers he craves connection with other children. Our solution is to connect to other families that home educate. I am a member of several forums that share information
Schoolhouse
HE Special
Education Otherwise

The Scottish group - Schoolhouse has a very active mailing list and the level of sharing and information exchange and support is amazing (as is the HE special group - vital for anyone with a child with different wiring). From the Scottish those who live in Glasgow have started regular group meetings and activities. We have a two hour sport session at Kelvin Sports Hall on Mondays and a two hour activity session in Hyndland on Thursdays. We have also been on several museum visits and workhops and we're off to a castle next wednesday.

Laurie is loving it (although we often pay for it later as it does overtimulate him dramatically). Sometimes we have to cancel all activities the day after as he recovers, but the best thing is that he has a new best friend. They talk endlessly about star wars and play football together.

So there we are - question number one dealt with - are you happy now people? Or are you still really a bit bothered at our radical decision...

how dare we dare to be different...

4 comments:

joker the lurcher said...

hey! i am the first to comment on this post! great to find your blog again and to see that you are as creative and inspiring as ever. i am feeling way better than this time yesterday just from reading your stuff and talking to you - thank you!

Vetnurse said...

Just found the blog via Lurcher and have to agree with the socialisation.
I did not socialise well at school l was very shy, as far as l know l do not have any disability just was a shy kid.

I wish l had the option of being home schooled. I met kids at other places, where l went on my terms, not enforced by the state where every other kid there was also being forced to be there.

I do not see how an enforced school situation encourages mixing or dealing with uncomfortable social settings. As an adult l am told that if l do not like something everyone knows... l guess l did learn something?

In general though in all walks of life and ages we mix better and learn better when we are in a situation of our choosing when we are happy to be where we are.

And l can not believe you gave the taxi driver a tip!! :-))

Lou said...

Hi vetnurse

I have never been a fan of enforced socialising - turned down a job once because they said the staff always went out on a friday night together!

I know I am going to have to be tougher with taxi drivers; )

Lou

Sarah Currier said...

I think what people mean by "socialisation" is exactly what you are trying to avoid: you are not teaching him to be a good, compliant cog in the machine. Or should I say, you are not crushing him into being a good, compliant cog in the machine. On some level people make that choice for their children because it seems safer. An analogy would be teaching girls to be compliant and feminine, the better to prevent them being on the receiving end of sexist abuse (i.e. avoiding the "she asked for it" syndrome). What folk don't admit to themselves is that you can't stop the system from crushing you; conformity does not keep you safe. So you might as well live.

And yes, you were right to try to get to your location safely and I understand why you tipped the driver but maybe not next time eh? Recently C and I needed a taxi home late at night and the next one in the queue had lapdancing club adverts all over it. Felt physically sick all the way home but managed not to tip him. Wish I'd refused to get in and explained why! So we beat ourselves up for these little decisions- we should be beating THEM up!