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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Who are your kids? Do you really know them?

I'm usually a go, go, go, type of person, non-stop. 


I like to do things myself if I want to see them get done! However, I've had some health issues and have had to be home to attempt to rest. To be forced to relax was extremely difficult for me.

It did help that anytime I tried to do anything, such as a load of laundry or put the dishes away, I felt dizzy, nauseous, and faint. It made the couch somewhat more desirable to lie on and watch yet another children's movie, though, often I was actually playing Sudoku to keep my mind occupied and not go stir crazy!

Incidentally, over the last couple weeks we have done absolutely nothing that resembles traditional "school work".



We've been doing less and less of anything you'd call typical school work anyway, but these past weeks there was no plan, no schedule, no list of things we should probably learn or might want to look into learning, no place we had to get to because I canceled everything but doctors appointments; nothing. I didn't even have the energy to think about any of it.

And although I was itching to get things done around the house, I just did not have the energy. I soon found that it was nice to have some time at home, with no agenda, and just watch my children play.

They were amazing! 


I loved listening to them come up with games to play and creations to build. The more time they spent together, the better they worked together. Their imaginations are endless! And they took good care of me as well.

Who are your kids? Do you really know them?

I reflected on how stressed I was, not long ago, making sure we were covering all subjects, constantly looking for the best way to learn and how to teach. Now I am grateful that I have become a confident homeschooler. Not only that, I am so thankful that I have relaxed so much!

I am much more willing to let go and let my kids learn organically, naturally. Not push information on them, but let them explore their interests, guiding them when they have questions, and trusting them to learn in their own unique way and time. I've become much more confident and comfortable with the unschooling, or child-led learning philosophy.

It was a struggle to get this far, and I'm still not always comfortable. 

 

I'm sure I'll have many more stressed out moments, worrying if I'm doing enough, if the kids are learning enough. But, for now, I am so unbelievably grateful that I was able to get through these worry filled (due to my health) weeks and enjoy my kids along the way. Not agonize needlessly over their education because we didn't do any paperwork!  I know a ton of learning went on.

It probably helped that we are used to learning being a natural part of our lives. Our whole lives, not just school hours. We've never had set learning hours. My kids often find interests that anyone would consider educational, such as playing math games. Monkey suddenly wanted to learn fractions! He's six; I thought I had more time to refresh my memory!

I pulled out some plastic circles he could break apart and put back together that had fractions written on them and just let him play with them, figuring them out himself. After a while I explained the numbers on them, but stopped when he no longer seemed interested. I also found a really fun game online for him to play on Brain Pop Jr. Boo seems determined to count to 20 without messing up. She counts constantly, purely for her own delight. She's nearly got it!

But beside academics, I know they were learning in so many more ways. Learning to care for each member of this family, learning empathy and to care for someone in ill health, to have confidence and independence, thinking through how they could accomplish what they want without anyone to help them, and to ask for help when they really needed it, stretching their creativity, inventing, and much more.

It was awe inspiring. 


It's been a blessing to be forced to take a back seat and really see my kids for who they are right now. To watch them enjoy each other, enjoy life, and express the beautiful people they are without me or anyone trying to direct them or influence them.


I read an eye opening quote years ago somewhere in Facebookland, that I can't find now. It wasn't anything like the following, but it inspired me to think of childhood in a different way.

Children are not incomplete, partial humans, waiting to become people. Working their whole childhood toward someday being an equal, acceptable, respectable member of the human race, though this is how they are most often viewed, until they are someday capable of great things, of finally becoming a person.

Children are people. They are living, experiencing, and doing great things now. They deserve acceptance and respect for whatever stage they are in right now, and for all they are capable of right now.

Who are your kids? Do you really know them?



Childhood is just as important a part of life as adulthood. It’s not a waiting room to someday start life from. It is life. It may even be the best part of life. Let’s not stifle it, dismiss it, or undermine it. Let children live to the fullest their childhood days. They can never get them back.

If you decide to share my words, please include the author's (my) name, L. E. Mastilock 

Do you agree? Why or why not?


4 comments :

  1. Love this post! Thanks so much! I am planning on homeschooling my kids and am definitely drawn to the child-led way of doing it. Love that quote too!

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  2. I love being able to enjoy my kids and not be so bogged down by what everybody else is doing. Knowing our children is deep and precious; most parents never know their children. Being forced to slow down is one way to accomplish more bonding with our children.

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  3. I moved from homeschooling to unschooling about 12 years ago. The longer you do it, the more you are amazed at how awesome the lifestyle is!

    ReplyDelete

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