Some days I feel like I have this "unschooling mom who is offering opportunities to work with curriculum" thing sorted out, and then there are days like today.
On the weekend, I'd mapped out with sticky notes in my Filofax what we could do with our curriculum this week. On each of our three home days, I put a sticky note for each kid with some ideas of what we could do. For Ollie, there are pink stickies with FIAR Mike Mulligan activities. For Lily, there are blue stickies with KONOS beaver-themed activities and different selections of the dozen beaver books I've taken out of the library. For Nick, there are green stickies with BJU science textbook sections to read and a lab activity.
It's all so pretty and neat. So we know what the kids did, right?
Ollie was chomping at the bit to get back to Mike Mulligan again. She even requested going outside for it, so we went to the picnic table with our book and whiteboard.
Nick eagerly jumped on the invitation to read the next section in his science text. He came and got me from the garden when he was finished reading, and we discussed the section review questions.
And Lily. Oh, Lily. I was all set for my super-keener "I love workbooks and sometimes think I might want to go to school" kid to enjoy doing KONOS work. But she had other plans.
To start, she uncharacteristically skipped almost all of morning screen time to try out a new instructional drawing book she received as a birthday present.
|Draw all the things!|
Then she sort of flitted around the edges while Ollie and I did the FIAR personification activity, until she joined us long enough to come up with the character of a chair who licks bums. (Thanks for keeping it classy, child.)
Then, she made grossed out faces when I suggested we do the beaver-themed reading and activities. When I offered to ditch the beaver stuff outright she perked right up (and I managed not to moan "But my planning! And the pages in the books that I flagged and wanted to read to you!!"). I offered to pick up on a different unit from the curriculum binder completely, and she agreed that this would be nice. I read each one out loud. She rejected each one instantly. She suggested that a novel study with one of her new books might be fun. Then she asked me to do general workbooks at the table with her, but proceeded to disappear into her bedroom with books before we even started.
Before the day was done, she'd read two new books cover to cover, shot down my offer to use a Pippi Longstockings novel study I found online, and made an instructional drawing book of her own. Because, you know. Lily.
After all that, she joined us outside where we dug up potatoes for a while. (And did a little bit of "accidental" personification with the potatoes. There was Bob, his wife, his baby, and his two year old. She saved them all from the ground.)
For me, today was an opportunity to actually follow through on my talk of following my kids' interests, despite my desire to pursue some new tools. I don't know how much of Lily's expressing interests and then going in the opposite direction were experiments in power play, but I had to work to keep our educational philosophy at the front of my brain so I wouldn't make demands that only served my ego. As much as all three of my kids are strong-willed in their own ways, Lily is the kid I avoid getting into battles of will with.. When she's such a courageous and hungry learner, I know her education is not a place for power struggles.
And so. In a couple of days I guess I'll see where she is. And I'll continue to be grateful that sticky notes are so easily removed from my pages.