Friday, March 30, 2012

Unschooling week three

As I suspected, we have fallen into a fun, ambling along routine in our unschooling venture. We awaken and do chores and get breakfast. Then we play and read, or hit the road to a class, or a visit with Grandma. When we return home, there is piano practice and journaling of what we did that day. The children are happy and unstressed....but the Mama is not! This is becoming just an early summer vacation, which is exactly what I was afraid of. I did insist on a math day on Tuesday this week, and the children took to it fine, doing their problems, struggling but in the end learning a concept, etc. But it is so relaxed that my brain is starting to slip. LOL

I need the structure of our school days. It keeps me focused on what day it is, what I have to accomplish, etc. Lately, I struggle with that. On Wednesday evening for example, my husband came to me and said "so, does anybody have to be anywhere?" and I leaped up in a panic and scrambled to get the baby out the door to riding. I doubled back to get her helmet and was about 10 minutes up the road when I realized that today was Wednesday and she rides on Thursday! Sigh...but this is what I do in the summer months too. I just slip into this time warp.

And....I don't see the kids finding interests and wanting to learn more. They play legos and dolls and occasionally race through the house playing chase. We all play board games, they play on the computer and watch family movies. We garden and play catch and family baseball. But I don't see the learning happening...though it probably is and I am just not catching the nuances of it.

So I can say with confidence that unschooling is not for ME! Whether or not it is for my kids....I am still not sure. But since I am the Mama and teacher, I think we will be returning to the workbooks and mornings of learning that we had set in motion from the beginning of the year. This has been fun...I can even say that this is what we NEEDED right now...a break to get outdoors and get the winter cobwebs blown away. A time to plan and begin the garden and a time for me to just relax a bit. With Spring break being next week, I think we will wrap up this experiment early. I tried, I really did, but my anxiety levels are up and I don't think I can do the last two weeks of this. Summer will be here soon enough and they can laze about and spend much time doing what they wish...but the school year belongs to me and my schedule.

To my unschooling friends out there! Wow! I give you credit. To trust the process and truly embrace it, that is momentous to me. I couldn't even last 3 weeks before feeling the panic of "what if..?." "how will they...?", "what about their future?". I wish I could, I really do...but it takes all kinds to make the world go round, and apparently I am not the unschooling kind. I come close...I give my kids the lead in a lot of how they learn and give them guided choices in what they learn. And I try to make it fun! But in the end, I need the structure to make it all click for me.

I do not consider this experiment a failure, even though we are ending early. I think I learned a lot about myself and our family and my kids. I think it was a joyous adventure, however short it was. And now I am ready to move onward.

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