Thursday, January 15, 2009
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
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...