The unschooling diaries: week one

The past week or so has been somewhat dominated by potty training. I say ‘training’… My approach to this has been as much led by Arthur as anything else – hence why perhaps it has taken so long! I think it was about a year ago that we last broached the idea – let him sit on the potty from time to time, hung around naked if he felt like it (which wasn’t very often). We had sort of decided that last summer was going to be when we cracked it, but he had other ideas. And if there’s one bit of advice that seems to crop up again and again when it comes to potty training it’s don’t rush it. So we waited.

And suddenly he seems to be up for it. Which is great. But a little all consuming too… We haven’t quite worked out the logistics of wearing trousers, or leaving the house. And I need to make sure I’m paying attention as things are all pretty time dependent at the moment. But, you know, we’re getting there.

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As well as learning to use the potty, Arthur is really enjoying creating worlds with his cars at the moment. And trucks, and nee naws, and planes. He’ll start them on his road mat but their adventures often take them all over the house. We’ve been experimenting with road signs, too. He always wants to know what different signs mean when we’re out and about, and having these little toy signs is adding another dimension to his play.

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It’s not just signs he’s interested in – he wants to know what letters and numbers mean too. He likes the challenge of his alphabet puzzle, and loves the song that we’ve decided goes with it. It’s going to be a while before he really understands what it’s all about, but we’re having lots of fun with it in the mean time.

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He’s been interested in another puzzle too, one we’ve had for ages but hasn’t kept his focus until now. I like it because it isn’t exactly clear how you’re ‘meant’ to organise it – so there’s plenty of opportunity for interesting chat whilst we’re thinking about how its pieces might group together.

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Exploring options for grouping things has been fun with the sorting pie too. Up until now we’ve mainly done it by colour, but now that Arthur’s mastered that he’s been trying it by different types of fruit instead. It was clear at first that he really didn’t like putting the green bananas with the yellow ones but he’s been getting the hang of it…

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We’ve had the playdoh out this week too – just for playing, really, rather than making anything in particular. Though Arthur did fashion a rather fetching moustache!

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And for more mushy creative fun there was SUSHI! One of this household’s hands down favourite foods, and one we will definitely be making more of in the future.

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We haven’t managed to get out and about that much (potty training and WEATHER), but when we have it has mainly involved Arthur’s new scooter. He’s definitely getting the hang of it, but I’ve been very grateful for his helmet!

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We’ve been out to Arthur’s various groups too, drama and singing at Project Performers, and his gymnastics class where he has really impressed me by holding his own in a new group without me by his side. Last weekend he went to his first Rugby Cub’s session too – I’m not entirely convinced about rugby as he gets older, but whilst it’s just ball play I reckon we might as well make the most of it!

And today we went for a family swim – our first in ages. Arthur loved it so much I think we’re going to need to make that a regular thing too. I’m still toying with the idea of lessons, but he’s getting on so well in his float suit we might just keep having fun with it for now.

Finally there are of course the drums. There’s a strong sense of rhythm there, that’s for sure. And I’ve invested in some practice pads, so hopefully it’s not proving too unbearable for the neighbours…

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