The Choice to Unschool....NO more Fear
While this site may be new, I have been blogging for almost a year. I started out blogging with blogger in November 2012. (More about that later as I celebrate my Blogiversary!) Here is my first post.
This is my 8th year of homeschooling. I have schooled at home, unschooled, wrote my own curriculum, followed a schedule, been unstructured, did Montessori activities, followed Charlotte Mason, everything under the sun I have done. If I read a book about a homeschool family with a rigid schedule then you could bet your money this was the week we were going to have a rigid schedule in place. If this is the week I saw a blog about Math and math scores than I became afraid the kids didn't know enough Math and it became a whole week of Math activities and worksheets. I admit I wavered like a tree planted without firm roots and if I want to be honest with myself the children have suffered. Every year starts off full swing, schedule, the traditional search for curriculum, buying school supplies, Mom making teaching plans, then November comes. I am burnt out, the kids are bored and burnt out, we can't wait for "school" to be over so we can start living. I count the hours til I can be Mom again and not their "teacher". And then we take a few weeks off, life is great, the children learn so much, and we unschool. To be honest I have always wanted to Unschool. Aren't we all just naturally curious and learn at our own pace the things we need to know to get by in life or the things we are interested in. Didn't we all learn more once we got out of school and were able to pursue our passions and life in the "real world". So why did I not unschool the kids? Simple put I've been afraid. Afraid of comments from neighbors, strangers, unsupportive family members, afraid how the kids would measure up to their peers, how they would score on their mandatory end of year tests, afraid they weren't learning enough or doing enough "educational" activities. (You have to remember I was public schooled!) But yesterday I decided, NO MORE FEAR! I will do what's best for my children and my family and the heck with what everybody else thought. I will climb out of the box, I will trust my kids, that they will learn and will succeed in life without "school". I will be the best Mom I can be and yes I will occassionally teach my children but I am NOT a teacher, and my children will teach me. Will their be gaps in my children's education? Most assuredly yes, but we all have gaps in our education and if the children have learned how to seek out the information they need then they will learn things as they need to in life, isn't that what we all do? Yesterday I made this announcement to the kids, we will no longer have "school", school is a building, we will just live life. I expect each of you to help out with every aspect of this home and to learn as much as you can in life and have fun and be happy. They were so happy! My oldest said I want to help with groceries and helping plan so I can learn how to budget money. OK! My youngest, I can learn about my dance because I want to be a professional dancer, and I will help you with the laundry. OK! My middle son, just gave me the look like "No school, yea right, what's the catch? So today is my first day of not living in fear of doing what I should have been doing all along. Living life to the fullest and having my children along side of me for the journey, isn't this why I wanted to homeschool in the first place?