Happy to Learn or Learn to be Happy?

Quite a lot has been going on since my last blog. I had a full day of work on Friday and then the weekend was spent celebrating Simon's birthday. It's been a nice couple of days. The children in particular seem particularly happy. Dare I say it, but I think Jenson is finally shaking school out of his system. Even one of our friends said he noticed how much calmer he was.


This morning was week 2 of Lego club. It was a small turn out. The rain I think put a lot of people off. I didn't mind. It's no trouble to set up and it was nice to be able to have a chat to a couple of parents without too much mayhem! Wren was a bit grumpy so we had to have a few words.

After Lego club I asked the kids what they fancied doing. I suggested we might like to boot up and go outside and play in the rain. Jenson was incredibly enthusiastic about this. Wren was not. She was happy playing in her room. With both kids happily occupying themselves there was little else for me to do except sit back, turn up the Christmas music and eat cake in front of the fire. It's ironic that I now get to do this with both kids around when I never got the chance when they were both at school and nursery. I'm definitely enjoying it and no soggy school pick up either! 

Rain play turned into caravan play which somehow turned into tidy up the house. I'm not sure how the next sequence of events unfolded but it resulted in me being sent to my bedroom. Jenson had given me the warning that is usually applied to him: "I'm going to count to 3 and if you don't join Wren in the caravan for her party I'm sending you to your bedroom!" I was sent to my room.

After waiting there for about 30 seconds I was reprieved and allowed out. I got stuck into the washing up when Jenson piped up that actually he wanted to wash up and then of course Wren joined in too. It was a pretty full sink with mainly sharp knives lurking at the bottom. However, they were not to be deterred. Jenson told me to go to bed and leave them to it. After sweeping the sink for knives I did as I was told. The next 10 minutes were fantastic. A few times Wren tried to come into my bedroom to check on me but Jenson told her off. She didn't cry but simply followed orders. I could hear him asking her to help him tidy away all his yellow Lego trays, I heard them get the hoover out and him say, "Wren turn the hoover on". I heard them hoover the house and I heard him ask her to help tidy the books. She popped in to give me my water bottle and to check I was asleep. Eventually they both came in. They told me to shut my eyes and they gently led me out. They had made a super effort tidying up and didn't ask for any reward. All Jenson said was, "It's good to help."

Soon after we got out one of the large boxes that I had collected a few weeks ago. We turned it into a restaurant come shop and they quickly got stuck into some great role play. Jenson is particularly fond of animating his bunny at the moment. He's had bunny since birth and it used to go everywhere with him. These days it's pretty lazy and spends most of its time tucked up in Jenson's bed waiting for night time cuddles. Over the last few days though bunny has been getting out of bed more and more. Today he was at work and this evening he gave Simon cuddles when he walked through the door. He's also been dishing out kisses and stroking my arm, "to make me less grumpy!" It worked.

One of Jenson's friends came round after school for a playdate. It wasn't long before their interest in Lego wained and they were tormenting Wren/the dog/me. I managed to skulk off to my computer to do a bit of editing and could hear them talking. The conversation went something like this:

Owen: "Why does your Mum learn you at home?"

Jenson: (a bit surprised) Oh! Because she thinks I'm too young to read and write."

Owen: (a bit surprised) Oh!


Jenson: I might go back to school when I'm a bit older. 

It made me chuckle. I was pleased that Jenson didn't say anything like, "because she doesn't think I'm very clever". I don't think that and I'm not sure why I thought he might say something like that. I was pleased he had his head screwed on and was on the ball about it all. For young kids they're very with it. 

This evening I tried to get them into bed sharp so I could get a good six hours of work done. They weren't keen. Jenson these days is getting rather cheeky with his chat, in a totally brilliant way. After Simon had put them to bed he went to Sainsburys for dinner. He came home to find them both back out of bed and eating jammy toast in their den. They were in a fabulous mood so neither of us minded them being up. It was still only 7.30pm. Jenson did a little puppet show for us before he eventually succumbed to bed.

I reflected on today. They've not done any structured learning and I wondered at times what they were actually learning, if anything. Sometimes the day is so free and fluid that I don't really feel like we are doing very much at all. I worry about the mass of knowledge he is missing out on by not being at school. On the other hand, he does seem remarkably happy. I look at him and can see a big change. I'm reassured when he tells me how happy he is, like he did today although his best line by far was, "You're still the best girl in the whole wide world ever." Makes me feel I'm doing something right.