Wednesday, July 22, 2015

back to unschooling

It's getting worse with Elazar.  When I try to do 5 minutes of shulchan aruch with him, he rolls around on the floor and wiggles and doesn't pay attention.  Today I stopped in the middle of a sentence because he was lying on his back, staring at the ceiling and squinting at his hand.  At that point I began thinking this really is counterproductive.  What am I doing.  I began to formulate a plan to send all the shulchan aruch yomi emails to a specific folder, and then, if Elazar ever asks to learn, I'll go to that folder and do one by request.

As I was thinking about that, Elazar turned to me and asked, "We're done?"

"No," I said.

"How come I didn't hear you talking?" he asked.

"Because I stopped talking."

At this point he started squinting at his hands and the light again.  I presume he was thinking about some cause and effect in the physical world.

A minute later he asked if we were done.  I said no.  He started talking about something else.  Then he asked if we were done.  I said no.  He asked why we weren't doing it.  I said because he wasn't listening.

I was feeling like this was pretty pointless and that it was time to let go.

But then he focused and we finished and even asked a few questions and it was good.

So I'm not sure if I'll ask him to learn tomorrow.  Maybe I'll wait and see.  Maybe it's time to go back to learning hilchos Shabbos.  That kind of fizzled out when we started shulchan aruch.

I'm not sure why I'm pushing it.  I know a lot of people have concerns regarding unschooling about whether or not the child will learn to be disciplined, will learn to buckle down and have what it takes to persevere.  This does not concern me with Elazar.  I think he will be able to do what he needs to do when he grows up, and it doesn't feel to me that causing him pain now by forcing him to listen to me talk about a topic he's not interested in for more minutes than is physically comfortable to him will in any way help him be more disciplined in the future.

I'm not sure that the knowledge he will acquire in these painstaking minutes is worth it.  If in the future he wants this information, and he is motivated, it will take him less time and he will be able to focus better.

When he is interested and he asks questions or realizes that there are two logical possibilities to the halacha, it is a joy to behold and I love that I get to experience that with him.  

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