Today six unschoolers completed six different challenges, with one unifying goal: to learn to persevere.
Each of these challenges was narrow in scope enough to stress repetition, yet much variety existed. Some challenge involved a repetition of simple task. Oscar focused on learning how to juggle, a skill he found quite difficult to master. Max (one of two) focused on knitting a lit scarf (a double meaning, considering the scarf would have the word “lit” right on it).
Half of the participants put their energy into music-based challenges. Catherine opted to learn and master a song on guitar in order to become more comfortable with a performance art she loves. Max (the other of two) and Midge worked together on learning the song “Hey Jude”, with Midge singing and Max playing guitar in order to master pesky bar chords. Oscar spent the time practicing juggling using potatoes. Finally, Sage not only set out to memorize multiple monologues from film and lit-erature, but to deliver each of those monologues, not only from memory, but in a tone different from intended. If the source material had comedic intent, it would be delivered as seriously as possible, and vise versa.
Each participant found similarly unique things they got out of the experience. Max found tranquility in knitting and was exposed to a skill he hadn’t tried before. Oscar wasn’t sure as to what he gained, but felt adequately challenged. Catherine, Max, and Midge all sharpened their skills as musicians, but all felt like barriers still stood in the way. Sage learned how to let go of pieces he was very invested in when he didn’t have enough time.
Being pushed by forced repetition gave a unique takeaway to all of us.