Monday, April 12, 2010

This is why I choose to trust.....

We've been back to completely and radically unschooling for several months. For most of those months, Adam has done nothing but play video games (and I'm not saying that in a negative way, I see lots of value in video games). He plays computer games primarily....mostly RPGs....he loves them. Lord of the Rings, Age of Empires, etc. He pretty much woke up and started playing and kept playing throughout the day until bed time. He ate at the computer often and I think he maybe would have been happy to sleep there if it were more comfortable. Obviously, it wasn't 24/7...he took hikes with us, we play board games, have conversations, cook together, etc....but MUCH of his time was spent doing what he loves and what he loves is playing video/computer games. I loved hearing him tell me about his strategies, problem solving, and about beating levels and games. I sit down with him when he wants me to and he tells me about what he's doing. He's come a long way with his anger and frustration when dealing with these games since they can be frustrating and hard sometimes.

His latest obsession has been Age of Empires which is a really great game. And exactly what I know happens when a child is given the freedom to follow his passions and enjoy self-propelled learning is happening. He has now decided to built a model of a Roman city and outlying landscapes. He has been doing research on the computer, printing out pictures of different anciety Roman buildings, soldiers, encampments, farms, cities, etc., etc. and putting the picture in a sheet protector which he then puts in a binder. He has drawn a picture of what he wants the model to look like and the elements he wants to be present. He has been learning about the tools and weapons used, the banners the ancient Roman armies carried, and how the ancient Romans lived. He pulled a large board out of the basement, cleaned it off, scraped off the paper and stuff that was on it, and is planning on painting it tomorrow. He plans on making half of the board a model of an ancient Roman city and the other half a valley with an army encampment. Suddenly the game has taken second string to this real life project that he started HIMSELF because he WANTED to and because it's something that HE is interested in.

Gosh...I absolutely LOVE watching this stuff happen. :) And it IS what happens if we just trust and get out of the way.