Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Rollerblading Curriculum

Sometimes, a criticism of homeschooling is the idea that parents aren't qualified to teach certain topics.  Rollerblading would fall into this category for me if expertise was a needed qualification, as I've never been on rollerblades and never have had much luck in related activities (ice skating, roller skating). 

Fortunately, what is required is a strong arm and closed toed shoes.  After that, determination and perserverence are their best hope.  And in one day, we saw much improvement as well as a significant portion of giggles, patience, cooperation, and fun.

But the curriculum went beyond the activity; in this case, we weren't just blowing off steam for our "recess" activity. Rather, we were trying to reinvent the joy we discovered earlier this academic year when we started playing basketball together daily.  For various reasons, that ceased to be fun, but I felt like I'd discovered a fabulous and unexpected gem in the fact that we were playing together.  We have always done so much together - reading, learning, adventuring, living - that I hadn't realized until we started playing basketball that we hadn't actually been playing very much together.  Having fun playing basketball at our various levels brought us all great joy together, which is the relevant gem of a point.

Because we'd fallen out of this habit, I'd been wanting to recreate it, but meeting some resistance.  So I put them in charge of mapping a week's worth of activities they would like to do together.  They did the planning, wrote them out, charted them, mapped them, and announced them.  Reading, writing, and math, plus cooperation, decision making, and consensus building all wrapped up in what resulted in this day on one trip to the park in roller blades.  And no one fell off a cliff, making the day a successful one.  Whew!

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