In recent weeks, I have been fascinated watching my 7 year old unschooled child. He seems to spend hours in focussed, self-initiated, independent activity - moving seamlessly from one challenge to the next, setting his own goals and just getting on, quietly, with intent. In particular, he has been doing a lot of drawing. He is interested in perspective, and has been practising this technique repeatedly.
The other morning, he announced he wanted to do a self-portrait and asked for a mirror, which I provided.
Whilst we were away recently, he kept trying to make his own bow and arrows and was looking for suitable sticks, string and rubber bands etc. In the end, we bought him an archery set from a castle we visited, so he has been dressing up as a piratey Robin Hood and practising his archery skills. The interest in pirates has also resulted in many drawings of pirates and ships, model boats made from junk, stitching his own pirate 'puppet' with his Grandma, making a map of his imaginary world and recording his own stories using his brother's old MP3 device.
I have seen a number of articles recently about parents filling their children's lives with many after-school activities and clubs. There seems to be a focus on the often unacknowledged importance of time and space for children to imagine and create. I know that during school holidays, many parents worry that their children will be bored, and therefore work heard to entertain them. However, my boys seldom complain of boredom, and my unschooled boy is showing me that he is a capable master of his own learning.
"Why Alone Time is So Important to Boys and Girls" by Dr Peggy Drexler