As in Kendall Hailey’s book The Day I Became An Autodidact.
[A great read, by the way..I own it if you want to borrow it…. ]
So, back to the original question. What do teen autodidacts do with their days?
This question came to my mind recently, when reading mail from the Unschooling Catholics email list.
I thought I’d post about today, a day for two of my teen sons. Thomas 15. Alexander 16 1/2. Or maybe – nearly 15 1/2, nearly 17. Who can keep track ?
How does a day of Living Without School translate for these two teens?
Alexander got up, he is an early riser. He did a yoga and martial arts workout, chatted to me and helped me with a few chores. Then he made his breakfast ( toast), tidied his room, and we had French class at our home.
I had some appointments for WYD Homestay so went out early, and came back halfway through French to take Alexander with me to yet another WYD appointment – he is learning to drive and wants the practice.
While at the lady’s home, A helped set up her DVD player and ate scones.
Home again, A stayed home to fold pamphlets for delivery with the 12 year old – Anny, while the rest of us went out, to drop the 15 year old – Thomas – to one of his part time jobs, for me to get my nails done ( very important) , one son – Greg – to pick up something he ordered from the shops.
Alexander folded pamphlets for delivery with Anthony, then played guitar and read email while we were out…. We’ve had lunch and talked about when A is going to fit in his uni assignment that is due Friday – he is doing one subject part time externally through university, Open University, – Italian. And about the extra help I need, as I am (supposed to be) resting with some superficial blood clots..
This afternoon, A will go to one of his part time jobs, at a nearby Kumon centre ( not mine!) till 6-ish and then we have the St Anthony Mass in our parish tonight, dinner after, probably watch some TV or a DVD and do some reading.
The other teen’s day?
Thomas did Wii Fitness, our family’s new favourite fitness toy ( not that I am allowed back to workouts ), tidied his room ( sort of), played computer, eventually ate breakfast ( goodness knows what), attended French class at our house, did some Maths while I was out and then we dropped him off at one of his part time jobs – McDonalds. He will finish at 5 – in time for a shower, Mass, dinner, etc.
So, their days are not very school-ish and mostly managed by themselves – we just talk the night before or in the morning and every few months or so, about what is happening ( we are all involved in many things) and about any thing that needs doing, interests and passions and goals and have-tos, problems, issues concerns….
An education for autodidacts. Or Self Directed Learning, to quote this article by Cafi Cohen on older kids and homeschooling.
Right now, I am reading, reading haphazardly, through two books.
Saintly Women of Modern Times by Joan Carroll Cruz. I have read of Elisabetta Tasca Serena, a mother of twelve who still found time to work and provide for her family and to do good works in her parish and community. A great example for me! Except she denied her kids television – my family would revolt! ( So would I! lol!).
Homeschool Open House and the companion volume ~ Homeschooling: A Patchwork of Days. It has been ages since I have read a book on homeschooling – I think the last ones were in 2007, The Latin Centred Curriculum and The Homeschooling Trail and Homeschooling With Gentleness.
I find that the longer I homeschool (which feels like forever now ~ in a nice way, a this-is-how-we-live way), well, then the longer I homeschool the less I tend to read about homeschooling.
Weird for an avid reader.
But I am enjoying re-visiting the Homeschool Days books, reading about families and a typical day. And we ~ our family ~ are featured in one of the books – a description of our day in 1999. We lived in Perth, Western Australia then. With teens, middle kids and little ones. And, yes, we did little formal schoolwork even then – just some maths and writing about a referendum, then errands and play and listening to books on CD and music in the car…
Well, the three rings of apple slices on the cake represent the three-persons-in-one- God of the Holy Trinity.
Okay, a rather tenuous connection, but it worked for us.
Actually, I baked three cakes. One for eating yesterday and two for the freezer for unexpected visitors. Or just for us.
I feel such a warm glow, I feel like I am a wonderful, organised housewife, baking and storing food for my family. Especially after surgery!
Just call me Modern Homemaker, please.