Mayhem and Stardust

We are the proud parents of, amongst others, Jig, who has a handsome collection of diagnoses (ADHD, AD, FASD) which probably mean nothing and a generous smattering of fairy dust which probably counts for everything. School was a huge challenge and so we decided, probably rashly, to move to the country and home educate him. No medication, no 'support', chickens, space, a farm on the doorstep and a beach nearby. What could possibly go wrong?

In your own time…

Concentration is such a big issue for us. I take a very laid back attitude to curriculum and schedule.  We take opportunities as they arise and we go with the flow almost all the time.  However, there are some times when you just need to listen and then do.  This is such a fundamental skill and it is so frustrating (for both of us I think) to be working in such tiny time slots all the time.  The projects we could be doing, the skills we could be learning and the conversations we could be having hang over me, taunting me slightly as the day goes on. As I began this paragraph he needed to know what 6 and 5 were.  He knows this.  He just can’t recall it.  He is blowing a piece of dust along the table, picking his nails, kicking the chair, throwing out random numbers, making himself cross eyed, picking up books next to him and reading them.  I am just typing.  If he can’t get to 11 soon this place value addition exercise is going to take all day. Literally.

You will understand then my joy at a pottery session yesterday when he painted a pot that he threw a couple of weeks ago, quietly and carefully for maybe four minutes.

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His pen is now ‘talking’ to his other fingers. Out of frustration I have decreed that he will not be doing anything else until these 15 sums are done.  He is talking out loud.  Every single thought that comes into his head is now flying out, buzzing around the room, battering hard against the quiet click of these keys. He is standing on the table.  He is lying on the floor.

Can you imagine how this would play out in school? He won’t be punished, sanctioned or excluded for this behaviour today.  He will simply carry on, however much noise he makes, until we have finished this revision session on Hundreds, Tens and Units. And that is that.

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Post script

In case you were wondering, two hours have passed and we have finished the sums.

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