(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.