This morning we began by thinking about and dialoguing about some of the highlights and challenges of both home schooling and of the year of travel in general. The boys were asked to reflect on things that had been fun, challenging and downright difficult for them, as well as areas of growth they were most proud of.
My intention was to take about 15 minutes to think and talk, then have Simon and Alex choose a focus to write about for about 40 minutes. (The plan is to choose another aspect of the discussions tomorrow, and prepare a video about that.) Our reflections, however, took far longer and were much richer than I anticipated...
The boys asked for 3 minutes or so per question, to just think to themselves. Then, they wanted to talk about each slide for a good 20-30 minutes. All in all, we spent nearly two hours in discussion, and I was amazed at the authenticity of their insights!
Alex became almost teary-eyed as he reflected that he felt he had gotten to know me, his mother, much better over the course of this year. (I almost cried, too, when he said that!) Simon was grateful for the fact that he had finally been stretched in his thinking, and had begun to learn some new things. (He writes about that in his blog post, here.) Both boys spontaneously offered that two things they had learned about themselves were that they were sometimes a bit lazy, when it came to thinking and writing, and that they were not as smart as they had previously thought they were (hehe, me, too, boys, me too!)
Simon and I worked together to capture his ideas in writing... he had a lot to say, but felt overwhelmed at the thought of typing everything up, so I offered to scribe for him, and then he read everything at the end and rearranged some sentences and added signal words to organize his paragraphs. I also helped him develop an introduction and summary sentence that captured the ideas he had decided to share in the body of his blog post. He insisted on noting the fact that Mommy had helped, even though I suggested that in so doing, he was not giving himself the credit he deserved as a writer!
Alex wrote uninterrupted for nearly an hour... he has asked me to read his work with him and offer feedback before he posts, which I am looking forward to doing. Stay tuned for his insights on his blog, as well as both boys' video reflections of the year away from home, to be posted in the days ahead!