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

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