Last week the kids have been immersed in Lego. Lego heroes, Lego battles, Lego houses. They built Lego together. They built Lego separately, and then joined their worlds into one.
What did I do? Well, I just let them play. It was another lesson the kids were giving me about “letting go.”
I was letting that self doubt start to creep in. Questions, worries, uncertainties.
Are the kids learning enough? Are they learning? Are they having fun? Are the choices we are making adding and enriching their life or diminishing it? Am I making the right choices?
Of course when self doubt creeps in for me, it creeps into the kids and they show it in their own ways. Ways that are not always easy to manage if I’m not in the right mindset. They bicker, they have dramatic upsets, they complain. Their sleep is interrupted, the choices they make may not always be stellar. It’s the cycle that flows from me to them. If I am feeling uncertain and unhappy, of course they will too.
I have become better at recognizing the slippery slope and am able to either catch myself sooner, or pull out of it sooner. So I tried to let go and let them lead the way. They played completely focused and engaged for about 2 or 3 mornings in a row. Then with that space they asked questions, and explored.
I watched them. I read. I practiced yoga. At one point I was watching a video about Math that was focused on the growth mindset that we discuss a lot in our home education days. The kids would pause, watch, ask questions and then go back to what they were doing. The pauses became longer and the questions increased until they moved from their Lego into other areas of creation and math problems.
Their world kept growing and expanding out from Lego to working on tangrams and building shapes.
They watched videos about the Fibonacci sequence and discussed where we can see the sequence in nature. They looked through a book on the works of MC Escher and tried to find the sequence in his art.
They visualized and encoded numbers, created patterns, and worked on various math problems.
What do you see when shown a configuration of dots for a under a minute. How many dots are there? How do you see them?
They were engaged, and excited and each one had their own area of interest that they focused on a little bit more.
So back to my self doubt and uncertainty. Are they learning enough? Are they learning? Are they having fun? Are we making the right choices?
If they are still showing a curiosity and interest in learning and in the process- then yes they are. So the education continues. My education. Because sometimes I am their guide but really most times I am the student in this.
*The majority of the Math videos we watched and math problems we explored that week came from the website https://www.youcubed.org/ along with talks featured on the Ted Talks website. “Hackschooling Makes Me Happy” is a favourite of the kids.
The Ice Cream poster problem that my son worked on can be found here.
**The dot configuration problem can be found in the Week of Inspirational Math (iMath) on the youcubed.org site.