9/24/2018 1 Comment
A sense of humour in homeschooling is ESSENTIAL. When our son first started homeschooling, after a long stint in school he was wrecked.
He refused to study
He refused to even entertain the idea of study
He was angry and he just wanted to play
The crying and the screaming when he came home from school was heartbreaking
I had never experienced anything like it
As an avid reader, and a person that found joy from delving deep in to a book and not surfacing for a few days (and then later, as a parent, not surfacing even for just a few hours) I had always read with our children. And they loved reading and writing.
Stories and story-telling was in their DNA. It was inconceivable that words, and creating words, could make our son so upset.
And not 'having a whinge' kind of upset.
Screaming, crying, having a meltdown. Running away and hiding under the house. Or under chairs.
It was incredible. He didn't just have an aversion to book work.
He was scared to do it, and had been taught somewhere (by someone) that he was
and no good at writing.
We had never used these words in our home. And now they were thrown around as if it was nothing.
It was NOT OK.
Cue horror that I had not picked this up earlier.
WHAT. THE. HECK?
I am not a primary school teacher
I am a university tutor
I work with adults
Knowing how to deal with this kind of learning block is not my fortè
But I am a Mum, and as a social worker, I know trauma when I see it.
And I knew that taboo things are always something that little kids are up for.
Hence the success of all of those Bums from Outer Space kind of books...
"How about you just write about bums?"
"Bums? ... Or... farts?" I tried again
"Go for it. Write a story about your teacher that said you were stupid. Use as many bum and fart words as you need" (raised eyebrows)
Cue faint excitement from small child...
There is only so long that you can write about bums and farts, really. Even for little boys that have a lot of pent-up hurt and anger towards their teacher, can really only write 'Bum' and 'Fart' a few hundred times before they want to use more descriptive words.
But this is a technique that we absolutely still use in our homeschool.
Write whatever makes them want to write.
If it is a taboo word and is not going to hurt anyone, then sometimes that is just what has to happen...
Seven years (and two babes later) we have graduated to very sophisticated sentences with our new (untraumatised) six year old.
Such as "the poo kissed the koala". Very sophisticated.
But it works.
I am happy to report that our little boy is now 16 years old, reading and writing, and successfully working his way through online university subjects.
And on that note, this afternoon we will upload a whole lot of bum and fart activities, to SEED Homeschool, just in case you have a little boy that runs and hides under chairs when it is book work time, and might need a little fart therapy...
A mum of 5 who never used the word fart in her life until she had a school-traumatised little boy...