Thursday, January 14, 2016

What's New?

Just when I think we've hit a plateau, Liam surprises me with something new.

As he's growing and trying out new ideas, I have to learn to step back and really see what ignites his imagination - then offer more.  I'm finally accepting that unschooling is our primary mode of learning; letting Liam approach areas of interest fully and deeply and letting go of that for which he is not yet ready or in which he is not yet interested.  It requires a level of trust in my son's strengths - and a level of patience in me to wait and watch.
I signed Liam up for a video course on in special effects.  He loves Zack King vines and has been trying to recreate portions of them.  Every day, the DIY instructor posts a new challenge.  One challenge was to create a video incorporating forced perspective.  I asked him for ideas, but he wasn't sure what I meant, so I showed him the instructor's example and set up a large cooking pot in the foreground and shot him emerging and being "pushed back in" with the lid.  Then I let him take over.  He shot a few rounds, then we edited the best take and he started playing with effects, graphics and sounds.  In the end, he created this fun, funky little clip that I think would make a cool "logo" for his own productions.

While we were working, he dove into elements of the program I didn't even know existed and created something far more original than what I had started.  I love how his mind flies through problems, once he gets the idea.  And he's starting to appreciate others' enjoyment of his work.

This week, after Choir at Urban Homeschoolers, Liam had time to play the piano.  He was noodling around and I asked him if he could play the Star Wars theme.  As soon as he did, all of the other kids stopped to listen and appreciate it.  I could see how pleased he was at the little bit of recognition.  It's taken time for him to seek out other people and really actively try to interact. Later, another kid jumped in on the piano too.  In the past, Liam would have tried to dominate and push him off or leave himself. Instead, I watched him listening to the other player and trying to jam.

By letting him follow his passion for music, I see that he's finding a commonality and desire to share.  If I insisted we only play piano at certain times, so that we could fit in some curricular activity, curated by an outside source, that impetus may have been lost.

Now it's up to me, to let go and let him do it.  I admit, I don't always manage to relax, but when I do, there is much more joy in the learning.  For both of us.

I'll leave you with what's new today - Liam's edit of a "whip-pan" shot.  We usually take turns shooting and performing the shot.  This time, he liked seeing himself on screen, so he kept it.  Enjoy!

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