Thursday, December 9, 2010

All About (my) Ki

My youngest son is downstairs in the kitchen using his mad-unschool-chef skills to make banana bread. he is making, not a half double batch, but a 1.5 batch. We have 4 bread-ready-bananas.

I write this 2nd blog of the day b/c I have been thinking a lot about the learningful ways of young Chef Ki.

Ki just seemed to be born to unschool. I like a lot of the unschool concepts, but not enough to fully embrace radical unschooling. Sometimes, I think Ki would do well with full-on radical unschooling. But I don;t see how I can do that with 1 when the other two would not thrive on it like they do with our current, Quasi-Unschool, relaxed schedule.

When Ki was 3 he could count.

to 3.

When Ki was 4 he could count.... all the way to.... FOUR.

When he was 5 and counting to 5, I asked him when he would use the rest of the numbers in his counting. (I knew he could count if he really wanted to, so didn't want to make it sound like I thought he couldn't count)

Ki told me; "When I am six, I will count to 6. When I am ten I will count to 10. When I am twenty I will count to whatever number that it."

When Ki was about 5 and half he had training wheels on his bike. I could tell he didn't really need them as they were high enough up that they barely touched the ground.

I asked Ki when he wanted to take his training wheels off.

Ki told me; "When I am 7 because 7 is the age you take your training wheels off."

When he was 7, we took them off and he rode just fine.
I started homeschooling the boys when Ki was almost 5. Half way through the year I asked him when he'd be ready too do school stuff with us. (He sat with us and did the fun experiments but wanted nothing to do with "school")

Ki told me; "When I am 6 I will learn and do school because 6 is how old kids are when they start school."

When he turned 6 he all the sudden was ready to 'do school.'.. because he had decided it was time for it.

Ki had dyspraxia, Dyslexia, and Sensory Processing Disorder and a few other little things that made learning a struggle. I found what worked best was to give him a list of topics (like math, history, spelling, etc) and ask him what he wanted to do that day and in what order.

He actually would do what he needed. He'd make lists of what he needs to be doing to spell the words he had put on his list (like 'yellow', 'iguana', 'there', -- he chose good words). Like he'd say "Today I think I should write them shaving cream, them out the make letters out of clay to spell those words, then spell them in sign language."
so, you see- he actually chose to do good learning activities. (My others maybe have said "O, draw a picture and ride my bike"- for their school if left all on their own)

When I make a plan and decide what Ki should be learning, it ends up a HUGE MESS. I keep forgetting that he learns well on his own. Sometimes I forget because I get convinced that he needs to learnt he same subjects other kids learn... like math and spelling. Those things just don't seem to be Ki's Cup of Cocoa.

He loves to cook, learn about Church History, make up games, and acting classes.

Ki decided he didn't like his morning chore of laundry and asked if he could make a deal. If he cooked breakfast Instead. So we cut a deal. He makes breakfast M/W/F and does Laundry T/Th. He makes French Toast, Pancake Buffet, Waffles, Bacon & Toast, Pumpkin Scones....

He was asked to cook dinner for a friend of ours. She is supplying the ingredients and buying him DelTaco Tacos....LOL. He loves their tacos and doesn't get them nearly as often as he would like.

He also told someone at church he'd cook for them, too.

He volunteers to be a greeter in the morning and helps with the Children's Services once a month- all on his own.

He doesn't want to be a scientist or a teacher or to build robots. He wants to do be a chef or a pastor or be on a travelling drama team. And he seems to know what kinds of things he needs to be learning to meet his personal goals.

Ki had asked to learn Chemistry. So did G&C. So I got a High School Chemistry Course (Apologia) and made lesson plans to teach all 3 boys.
After 2 days of meltdowns I finally admitted to myself that Chemistry for Ki is very different than Chemistry for my 2 Engineer/Math boys.

So I am redoing my plans for our group Chemistry Class. It will be a 2 part class on Chemistry Days. FIRST-The fun, experiment, basic notes will be done with Ki as part of our class. Then while C&G get into the math and other complex areas, Ki will read or research his interests or do worksheets to review math basics.

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