Fucking Lego (and an insight into what unschooling our homespace looks like)

We have a small to average sized house.

We have two and a half bedrooms, one “workroom”, a small lounge, open kitchen and dining room.

Our Big Idea was to share the workroom space. So that I could sit and do my writing work while the children worked on their projects. As I type this I’m sitting on the couch in the lounge, my daughter is splashing water all over the kitchen and my son is moping. He’s moping because I’m being a bitch about the lego that’s ALL OVER THE FLOOR in the workroom. I want him to clean it up. He hates cleaning it up. I still want him to clean it up. Ad infinitum.

All morning I’ve been huffing about the house furiously vacuuming in corners, picking up long forgotten mandarin peels from the recesses created by dolls’ beds, and noisily throwing dress-ups into their suitcase in the corner.

The atmosphere has been, tense.

Fucking lego.

Last week I spent three hours sorting out the lego. After that my son and I agreed that he would tidy up as he goes.  He seems to have forgotten. (Have I mentioned he’s eight?) I really feel like taking the head off the vacuum cleaner and getting rid of the whole fucking lot. But, the respectful part of me stops me doing that. And there’s a bit in the Gardner and the Carpenter about it being a parent’s job to tidy up the mess. That it’s the child’s job to make the mess (creativity, learning, connections) and the parent’s job to clean it up (in support of the creativity, learning and connection). And we know I’m not very good at that. 

So, I hold onto that quote in my head, and the vacuum cleaner head stays on. And I sit on the couch and be grumpy about the lack of cooperation I got this morning in getting our jobs done. And drink tea. And think about how challenging it is to do things differently. And try and come up with ways we can all exist together in this generously-small space in harmony and shine-y-ness.

I am thinking about all the value lego brings to our lives. The joy it brings, the discoveries, the developments. I am thinking about the huge place it holds in our lives as unschoolers, and about how to honour that. How to support that.

This is what I’m thinking:
I hate having to walk over the pieces of lego to get to my desk. (Or to get anywhere). I hate stepping on Lego, I hate walking around containers of lego on tip-toes. But I love his creativity with Lego. I love the way he can get lost in a creation for hours. I love that I’ve been able to observe his first forays into lego, and how to follow a set of instructions, through to coming up with his own creations and letting his imagination run wild. I love that his first verbalisations about maths were to do with lego (I can’t find the 8-banger, so I’ll use two 4-bangers). I love that he set up a lego club, and met his own needs for lego and community by inviting his friends around to make stuff.

So, maybe we need to set up his own Lego space – space that he doesn’t have to share with me (or his father – he gets just as fed up with it).

I wonder if the half bedroom, which is not on the way anywhere, so I don’t need to go there if I don’t want to, would fit the bill? The catch will be that he’ll be at the end of the house all by himself. He might not like that. It will also mean finding somewhere else for all our clothes. The half bedroom is currently our dressing room.  That would mean some considerable re-organisation.

Let’s see what we can come up with. I’m off to talk with him about it.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: