Monday, December 16, 2013

Unschooling continued... The simple path~

I go through seasons in everything I learn. I wish it wasn't this way actually. I seem to dive whole-heartedly into each and every subject that I learn about. But then at times I forget what the last season had taught me. This happens all the time with religion and also with raising my babes. When schooling my children sometimes I forget my heart and get caught up in what others are saying or doing. Then always I am somehow led back to the calm still waters of what I already know. Raising children is hard. Unschooling is hard work for me and my mind. When I see another child doing things that my kids can't yet do I get scared. I start thinking stupid thoughts. But then I remember that my kids are different from those children who have been taught those things. I remember that my children have different compassion, more "street smarts", different interests, can sit in a restaurant all seven of them and not be completely chaotic, will walk up to an older person and just start a conversation while acting respectfully. There are things that they are "behind" in when compared to school children. But there are MANY things they are far beyond in. I had a man at the ATM of all places tell me that my homeschooling my children was unacceptable and I was basically abusing them. He continued to downgrade me about everything and brag about his many degrees. I was so taken aback that I didn't say anything, but just walked away. What I thought though was, "If my children end up working at Burger King but treat people with more love than you, I will be completely happy!" Unschooling is not just sitting back and relaxing while your children sit in front of the TV all day. It's finding ways to help them learn and love to learn! With seven children it sometimes seems an impossible task! But when my kids learn something in 2 days that the school children take a half a school year to go over and over and over again, I remember that learning things on their own time is actually better for them. When my 9 and 10 year old picks books about chemistry and space or my 9 year old can figure out life problems and puzzles that I am still pondering, I am in awe. Some seasons are difficult to see the pay off. One thing that I am slowly figuring out, though is that this unschooling thing is a complete life style not just an educational one. We have to find the learning and lessons in everything. I have to trust that they are going to learn what they need to. I have to realize that I am not the slave driver but the partner in their education, their lives, and their hearts. I have been realizing this a lot more with discipline lately. The shepherd carried a rod not to beat the pooh out of the sheep for going off the path, but to gently lead and guide them back to the path they needed to take. I was reading a story a while back about what seemed like a mother talking about her child. It went on and on saying something to the effect that she got home and she didn't want to hit her but she spilled the milk and back talked and it seemed like she just was trying to manipulate her and cause her problems on purpose and she shut her in her room and did all these things that a mom would probably do to her child. Then it revealed that it was actually her elderly mother that she was hitting and locking in the room, etc. I was obviously appalled. Then I could not believe that I was more appalled than if it was a child! I now think about that every time that I see or hear things being done to children or what I should do with my own. Would I lock a frail old lady who is going through dementia and scared at her surroundings in her room and leave her there till she cried herself to sleep because she needs sleep and is obviously tired? Would I yell at her, hit her, force her to do things that I came up with as rules and then punish her if she didn't realize how to do them or messed up? Why don't people realize how they talk to their children and hurt them? Believe me I am guilty of not having the right attitude with my children! I have had hormone ups and downs and just not known what to do. But my children ALWAYS get an apology, get told that what I did or said was very wrong, and I would never be stupid enough to justify it to my children or others who might question it. I always say that people should pray about everything that they do because if they are truly listening, I don't think they would hear God tell them to do certain things. We are put here to teach our children. How can I ask that my kids do everything right or punishments will commence, when I myself make mistakes DAILY in things that I KNOW are wrong. I have habits that need to be broken and so do my children. My husband doesn't come home though and spank me, throw me in my room, yell and lecture me, and then throw all of my stuff away in the house because I have failed to clean it. Sometimes I don't want to clean up! But he doesn't take my computer away in punishment. People will think I mean just let them do whatever they want and so on. But I would not let my elderly gramma put her hand on the burning stove. I would gently lead her away and explain it to her. I wouldn't smack her hand to let her know. My children aren't perfect and we both make mistakes with each other and life. However when I go out and see children who get the kind of sad treatment I am talking about I am appalled at how they talk to their parents, others, people younger than them, etc. Then their parent yells at them and embarrasses them in front of others and I understand that they are just doing what they see. My children sass me, but they never say hurtful things to me. They always forgive me, tell me sweet things, tell me how they will take care of me forever, etc. They don't disrespect me or hurt me. No child needs to feel abandoned, scared, or hurt in the name of "their health," discipline, supposed needs, or a mommas needs. If you wouldn't want someone to do it to you or your elderly mom while ur gone, don't do it to your kids. I have had a lot of learning and growing in my time as a momma and I am FAR from perfect. But my heart knows when something should not be done to a child. A sad thing is that many of the parents that would agree with that statement are doing things to hurt, scare, abandon their children all day long. If we can form a bond and a relationship with our children over all else, I think that our children would be much more willing to do what's right. In the title it says "The simple path." This is what I am talking about and learning lately. I think that most of us have lost the ability to listen to that still small voice inside of us. I think the problem is not that we need to read more books or talk to more people. I think that we need to start asking and listening to what we already know inside of us. We have to get back to the quiet, still water of who we are and not who others and the world have made us. I know what's right and loving inside of me. That's simple. It's just become hard because I forgot how to listen. I am learning again to hear though!!! Thank goodness. I always pray and beg God: I don't want help being peaceful and calm when the kids are out of the house more or for good! Anyone can do that! I want it now so I can break the chain and impart it to my children now. Thank goodness God always listens. So starting up this blog again will be about my remembering how to listen... my journey to peace... to my simple path :) I guess the title should have been "Unschooling MYSELF!" lol


(Wrote this a year ago. Can you tell someone just sent me home crying and spent the night quizzing my children. This is a little hostile but so very true. When I read this today it made me remember what I am really doing here. BTW so sorry that all my posts are gone. Got mad and erased them all... dumb a know but a clean slate with a new season I guess :))

 Unschooling. The more that I think about it throughout my life raising babies, the more that I come to the fact that I learned NOTHING in school. I LOVE to read. I read more than anyone that I know. I learned that from my dad. He read to me all the time. He gave me his love for books. Thank God for him because I can't remember one book that I was read in school or was made to read in school. I admit that I am sure I was read a few by teachers in kindergarten and first grade, but how come I can't remember any? I love math. My friend and I used to use my chalk board that my parents got and draw out long huge problems for each other and see who could stump the other one. I ONLY remember the things in school that interested me. And I only remember them because I made a point to learn them on my own time. Not with homework or forced schooling, either. My parents were pretty lax on the sweets but I had a lot of rules on how many that I could have. I shoved more sweets in my mouth than any one food in my life, behind their backs. If they would have taught me the "WHY" of not having sweets, I might have chose myself not to have them... or at least not to have so many. It is amazing what I have taught myself since I have been out of school. In fact, since I have not been being forced to learn what someone else thinks I should, I have learned so many things it's unbelievable. Thirteen years in school and what a waste. I think of what I might have been able to accomplish and how far I might have come if I would have been encouraged to take my "schooling" into my own hands. Oh the freedom to learn whatever I would have chosen sounds so exciting! I look back at all this time and what has it given me? When I got out of high school I had NO common sense, no sense of who I was, a huge weight of people forcing their idiotic authority over me, no life learning, no skill to make a living other than to start working at Dairy Queen. School gave me so much. I think about the only things that I was good at: reading and numbers. Since I didn't get that from school, I could have gotten that without school. I look at grown up unschoolers. They are so much smarter than I was! They remind me of who I am NOW in many ways. They have even more knowledge, they are not good at everything but have a greater broader education than I did. Since they have chosen to go on their own paths of learning, they actually remember what they learned... apposed to me who learned the same history and language arts over and over all throughout school and remember NONE of it. They can read and use vocabulary BETTER than me, who reads books from the 1800s. They have passions for certain areas of life and know where they are headed. They often have great strengths in certain subjects that go far beyond what the normal person getting out of high school has in that same subject. I know of a little 10 year old girl that knows more than me about science, microbes, cells, models of these things, etc. She actually likes building them. Is she that good at other "subjects" that school says she has to be a certain level at? NO. She is probably behind in some areas. But she could be a scientist in a couple of years. Way better than me. I look at my own children. I look at myself. Since their schooling began I have went through my own struggles. I have been sick here and there and pregnant many times. I have been bullied by people who have no interest in my children's lives other than to tell me that I am wrong and doing everything wrong because they wouldn't do it my way. I have been scared. When I first started all this, I didn't know about so many others that have gone before me and are doing it right, right now! I didn't know the amazing results of how these children and families are turning out. All I saw is bad examples and adults and children that I did NOT want mine to turn out like. I saw mostly parents who could not and did not raise their own children at ALL how I would and their children are grown up and I would rather just stick my kid into public school than have them turn out like those now adults. However, public school is not the issue. It is just a branch on the tree. I am learning (thank God!) that the issues on the root of the tree are so many and so different than most realize. Children are just spirits on a journey on a different step on the latter than me. I am only thirty and I am still making great big mistakes, still feeling like a failure some days, still praying that the Great Spirit help me on my own journey, still crawling up that latter. Well what if people who were 50 were allowed to beat me? They could just bend me over and tan my hide. Would that actually teach me anything? That's just the problem. It's how we look at things. Granted, I am just now getting this stuff over the last couple of years. So I have not been the best example of everything I now believe. I was raised with this authoritarian approach to everything. I am just not realizing that God is not this bad mean man up there ready to love me if I am good or let the ground open up and eat me if I am bad. Thank goodness I have had some sense to breastfeed, attachment parent, co-sleep, baby-wear, come to every cry or need when they are babes, home school, birth at home, etc. I have done this with all of my 7 children so far. Thank God that I had this in my heart and knew the other ways were wrong. I have been talked down to and scolded by ignorant people all throughout even just these small aspects of parenting. Thank goodness again that all I have had to do is look at their own lives and children to see that nothing that comes out of their mouth has any weight in it. What is weird though is before I knew of these aspects of parenting, I never once judged another person. In fact if I would have seen or heard about it I would have listened because it rings true in my soul! Actually listening to the child?! What a concept? Actually loving them when they need you to?! Good grief that's horrible! Sleeping with a child and holding that sweet babe close to you all night or letting them hold you close? that's crazy talk! It must be bad for them! Oh wait, tribal people have been doing it for thousands of years! Oh but they're heathen and not as civilized as us? Do these people even hear themselves? What is even more sad than these people hurting the parents trying to love their children in their own way, even worse than the mothers of these babes going home in tears and having to question what they know is in their hearts, is that these poor children are being raised by people too ignorant to ever question themselves or their beliefs. Thank Goodness for the few who have chose to go against the grain so to speak so that I myself can see what they have done and have that to compare to! I don't really know how, but I am learning so much. Most of what I am saying I've known for some time. But there are other things that I am learning. It's like a flood of wisdom and knowledge. It's so much harder, though. Sending them to others to raise them all day, just so I could bring them home, have them do their homework, take them to another school activity, feed them, maybe just maybe get some family time in while watching TV, and throw some morals or something in there somewhere too. Yes! What an easy life! But then why did I have children? No, this is hard. This takes time and work ...probably because I have been so pushed in other ways from this my whole adult life. This takes trust, not only in myself, God, but also my children. Unschooling is way more work than homeschooling. I can't just set a curriculum in front of them. I have to look and listen for life moments when I can HELP them or guide them. That is what I am here for. They are not my little slaves to mold into whatever I want them to be. They are my partners in this that my job is to protect, love, guide, come along side them and support them.