Sunday, November 22, 2015

Throwing your hands up in the air and surrendering

Sometimes you just have to give up and surrender. I am doing that. I am surrendering to the fact that I was unable to get through to someone very close and dear to me. I was unable to make them see why the choice they were making was not in their best interests. I failed, and so I surrender to the fact that this wasn't my fault. It is not on me. It is on them. I cannot always control what people do, even if the choice is obvious.

However, there is a part of me that is angry and offended, and will continue to be so. They made the wrong choice. Someone got hurt, someone was not given what they deserved. I am angry on their behalf. I am offended.

On another note, today many good things happened in my home:

  • The kids had an epic cushion pile on the couch and were jumping and diving into it with full glee. Even J was going all out, that child has no fear at all!
  • K and I went out on our street to sell her last box of girl guide cookies. She loved it and did a great job, I am so proud of her. 
  • J thanked me for reading him a book. I know this doesn't seem like much but it was adorable and he really is the most polite child at 2 - it's incredible. 
  • R's reading has really taken off, he was reading a new Star Wars book tonight and it has grown leaps and bounds even in the last week. 
  • Glassman actually made dinner tonight and it was successful albeit a little off recipe ;)

On a frustrating note one of our two laptops is hooped. Glassman's super cheap one doesn't play videos, can't ever be unplugged or moved from its location and is only for writing (like I'm doing now, and glassman's novel he is working on). We had one that worked for playing netflix and what not, and it's now dead - so that's great. I wish we could invest in a new computer, but that's not possible, so we will be looking at another cheap one. Yay! 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Accepting can be scary

So I have been thinking about this whole unschooling journey and, honestly, I am scared. What if my kids grow up and they aren't these successful, creative, confident adults I have pictured in my head? What if the delayed reading, or writing really does affect them? What if the lack of having to prove oneself to a teacher prevents them from having motivation to do better? What if? What if? What if? What if?

Rather than dwelling on those disturbing feelings, I started to be mindful with them. I let them be. I let them sit there and slowly, I began to unfold some thought patterns. I realized that all of my worries came back to people thinking or even *blaming* my children's shortcomings on me, as a parent, because it was me who made this choice. (However, if my kids came to me with logical intelligent reasons and wanted to attend more formal schooling, that is always a possibility, so this isn't always just going to be my choice). There are many downfalls and opportunities for failure while attending school. What if they join the increasing amount of youth who are developing mental illnesses because of the pressure and lack of play while attending school? What if the forced early ready and writing causes them to lose their natural love of such creative and healthy outlets? What if having to prove themselves to an outside authoritarian causes them to lose their internal drive to succeed?

The difference, though, is that attending school is the norm. There are two possibilities if any of these things were to happen from my kids attending school. Either we wouldn't notice them, or think they were a problem (like childrens' hatred of reading) because it is the status quo. We, as a society, tend to believe that children hate reading, or they hate learning in general - we don't even question those notions anymore. The other option is that the system itself would be blamed. Either there was too much or too little pressure from the teacher, an over crowded classroom, too much or not enough recess, not the right foods offered in the cafeteria - and the list goes on. It would be the systems fault.

But, it wouldn't be mine as a parent. It wouldn't be mine because I was doing what was expected of me. The responsibility isn't on me. The fault isn't on me. Like I said, the blame isn't on me.

It's fear. I am afraid of of people blaming me. I am afraid of my kids failing (although, if they are happy......really....what is the true definition of failure...) and everyone's, mostly my family's, eyes going to me.

As I see it, with unschooling and the lifestyle we have chosen, what my kids do and do not learn is on them. They have the choice here. We provide them with the enriching environment to learn and to thrive and they use their natural, biological, intrinsic motivation to seek the information they need. They do this by mimicking us, asking us questions, reading, or any other number of options. If they fail to meet goals (might I just interject and say that I hope the only goals that matter to them are the ones they set for themselves) then it is on them. The responsibility is on them. It is not on me. I, as a loving individual and parent, will support, help, remind, encourage, and let my child be free - and in doing so I believe I will be giving them the tools to succeed.

Now if only it wasn't for that pesky fear.....