January 17, 2008

Jerry's Writing!

Jerry wrote a persuasive essay! I'm thrilled! I'm not evolved enough as an unschooler to stay calm about about something that resembles school learning which I had absolutely no part in initiating. I'm still too close to the me that sees it as the only way to learn--I mean, acquire knowledge. This is my first glimpse of how he will learn (I know, I'm using it again) schoolish things without any pressure from me. Yippee! He even used a writing book I had purchased back when I went crazy buying school supplies.

It was so exciting. It all started because his friend couldn't follow through on a planned play date because of homework. Jerry was so upset he decided to write a letter to his friend's school about why kids shouldn't have homework. He did research about homework online (granted, he use Wikipedia, but I didn't mutter a word) and wrote a terrific letter. I just kept washing dishes, not saying anything unless he asked. I was so afraid I would ruin the experience for him by turning it into a lesson. I kept expecting him to lose steam and just put it aside but he kept at it, even referring to the book. (I mentioned that we had a book with a section on how to write persuasive essays only after he asked how he should write it.)

The only suggestion I made was that he send the letter to the editor of the newspaper, where it would reach more readers, instead of sending it to his friend's school, where it could get his friend in trouble.

Someday I suppose I'll take this kind of effort on Jerry's part in stride, but for now it's proof that when he has a compelling reason to learn something, he'll learn it.

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