With home education and especially Radical Unschooling, learning NEVER stops. Not even on the weekends. Yesterday was one of the most wonderful and educational times I can remember.
So being a beautiful, warm and sunny day in Swansea, Cookie Monster and I took PanKwake into town to her favorite…Potato Man (not to be confused with Mister Potato Head). Truly, if you are local and have not tried him…you really must. Vegetarian approved…though not diet food.
We walked down and I went into PoundLand to get batteries…that’s a laugh. Half an hour and forty quid later, I joined them as they were finishing up her third…3rd…twister potato. They had been guessing…rather accurately…what I was buying. We even went back to PoundLand to buy her the water guns I had passed up earlier.
We were loaded down by then…her buggy had bags hanging off of it and Cookie Monster was dragging the heavy ones. We decided since it had been really busy to take quieter back street home to help with sensory overload. Good decision.
We stepped here. PanKwake is a sensory seeker so she actually loves walking on hard rock surfaces such as those. The moment she saw them she asked if we could stop so she could walk barefoot on them. We were there for a good half an hour or more. And what transpired then was remarkable…
The three of us talked about…
- Homo Awetistica – my weird ass theory that autism is the next jump in human evolution
- Science fiction movies and books…and the theories behind them
- And since it was Earth Day of course we talked about the environment, Mother Nature or Pacha Mama as we call her.
The conversation was as good or better…certainly more genuine…than most you will encounter at dinner parties. Here is the thing…we respected PanKwake’s views…listened to her…she taught us as much as we did her. It was not some stupid teacher spouting facts, who could not be challenged.
We were all EQUALS.
- The fifty plus year old mother and writer with a Master’s degree…
- The eleven year old little girl with high-functioning autism…
- And the techie genius!
The sharing of ideas was breathtaking. It was one of those moments when I wished we were being filmed.
And when we got home…PanKwake locked us out of the house. One of her pranks but rather than let it ruin our day, we just flowed with it. (She was perfectly safe.) She bored of it in about ten minutes anyway. Then she and Cookie had to test out the new water guns. He was SOAKED…and they were both laughing.
At one point on the way home, I remember thinking and commenting on how well PanKwake had managed the sensory overload. Just a year ago…she could not have tolerated such crowds…noise…smells…bright lights…without melting down. But she is getting there…to the point that she can self-regulate. And that is one of the biggest things I have to teach her.
Today, Cookie Monster and I are off to the Celebrate Autism Festival at Swansea University. But we actually did that yesterday!
Viva AWE-tism! And Viva Home Ed…Viva Radical Unschooling!!!!