When the kids do what they want

16043887389_2a634e7c2d_mI was so proud of all my children today. I was working on booking and advertising science excursions for next term and spent longer than I had intended on the computer – it basically turned into the whole afternoon – but they amused themselves with sequins, wrapping paper, cardboard, duct tape, PVC tubes and suchlike.

My littlest one discovered a bag with sequins in, some old ‘snap’ cards and some old wrapping paper. She made some decorations for my cupboard above my desk and Reptile Boy joined in.Miss A's decorations for my cupboard
Mr C's cat, cropped

Drama King, who has been making weapons and armour from the ‘Warfare by Duct Tape’ beginner booklet, built some bases from cardboard boxes.



He had plans for a complicated battle game involving speeding up daytime and nighttime, a shop for buying the weapons and armour, and squashed individual pie cases as coins. Reptile Boy was very keen too. Once I got off the computer, we all went to the field opposite our house for the children to play the game. ‘We’ in this case even included Pokemon Boy, who is more of a reclusive man nowadays and has to be coaxed out of his cave (bedroom) to socialise or get some exercise. He does it, but reluctantly.


The design and construction of many of the key game elements had not factored in strong winds. We lost some of the coins and the bases kept collapsing. My eldest was not complementary about the bases, although he did try to help fix them.


Even with time repositioning the duct tape and fixing the bases back together, the designer was feeling a little bit despondent. We had to reduce the cost of the weapons due to losing some of the coins.


But the children eventually worked out some new rules and ran off around the sports pavilion and towards the trees battling each other.



My eldest suffers from asthma and had to stop after a short while. We gathered everything up and crossed the road back to the house. I had put sweet potatoes in the oven before we went out. They ended up a little burned, dinner was late and the children soon found something new to argue about. Everyone was tired by the time they got to bed.

I am still proud of the day. I didn’t plan to neglect them. but sometimes children need more free, self-directed time to show you what they are capable of. Today they covered Design and Technology, Maths, English, History, Creative Arts, Personal Development, Health and Physical Exercise, all without me having to schedule in anything.

Oh, and okay, it is still summer holidays over here. But nowadays, homeschooling is more of a lifestyle than something we can restrict to term-times. You can’t stop children from doing things they love, particularly if you give them the time to experiment. They learn from their experiments, especially if things don’t go to plan.

They covered science today as well. (Bingham’s plastic.)



About scimumsam

An ex scientist living in Australia, currently tutoring maths and science and homeschooling my own children. I blog about science and maths education on NurtureLearning.com, and homeschooling (infrequently) on lookingslantwise.
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