Have you noticed that blogs usually are meant to be about happy nice things that happen to us, but, sadly, hardly ever they touch on heavier subjects? I must admit that I am guilty, too. I tend to write about positive and cheerful things in my life and avoid difficult stuff because it is so hard to share personal dilemmas and problems. But let’s face it, life has its ups and downs and there are days when not everything is smooth, happy and bright. There are days when we wake up and know that there is this tangled mess that needs to be sorted out in our life and the effort it may take to do so is seemingly overwhelming. There are days when there is no sunshine and life seems to be washed out of color and dull. And yet we make it through and the next day is a little better.
From my blog, or any other, for that matter, it may look like life of an unschooling mama in sunny California is perfect, organized and always fun. Children are super learners that die to study new things and their mama is always fresh and full of energy to take them places, entertain and provide a plethora of learning and brain stimulating activities. The real truth is that we have wonderful days when we accomplish so many things and have fun but there are also days when nothing gets done. There may be a huge basket of laundry waiting to be washed, crayons on the floor and dinning table full of scraps of paper and yet we are somehow not sure what we want to do with that given day. There are days when I have wonderful plans and yet all they want is to make some repetitive drawings or listen to an audio book and stay home. There are times when I am bursting with energy and ideas and they prefer to be read books. Or oposite, they want to go out and I don’t. Sometimes it seems almost easier to be sending them to school because someone else is paid to do your job while I could be just sipping my tea and read and do what I WANT. But we get through these boring or difficult days somehow and I am able to see the positives.
I chose to give my daughters a lot of autonomy in what they are learning even though I definitely am the one who suggests what we can do. When we go to the library I select some books that I think are great and I also let Alexandra and Ania choose their favorite ones. Then I pack them in the huge bag to take them home. We always end up not reading all of them anyway. That creates sometimes situations when I am very excited about what we are going to learn and then the books sit on a shelf and are not touched by the girls. There are days when they don’t seem to be learning anything new and I am “scared to death” that I am not performing well enough to engage them. Then, after a while I notice these days, seemingly unproductive, are precursors of some major leap forward in their development.
Over the years I realized that unschooling mandates a huge trust in your children. I learned to trust in their abilities to learn what they need to know and to trust that they know what they need. At first I felt insecure seeing periods of time when they didn’t seem to learn new concepts, then I discovered they needed time to slow down to process new information.
It is not always a perfect day here but I love to be with them and be able to watch them grow.