Saturday, 13 October 2012

Deschooling Top-up

So, following on from my ponderings over structure/ suggestions/ screen-restrictions etc...

The only conclusion I am prepared to make so far is that we need a little time to top-up on our deschooling.  I am fully prepared to admit that it is I who needs more deschooling, rather than the boys - but hey, they're not going to complain if I back-off on my expectations a bit.  I still don't think we are very structured on a daily basis, but I caught myself thinking something that shocked me a bit & made me realise how much deschooling I still need (or maybe not deschooling, maybe just a slap round the head with a wet kipper...).  Prepare yourselves, perfect parents, for a shocking admission.  I was mulling over the whole quandrary of whether or not to restrict TV; whether or not to set expectations of even a small amount of time on curricular work; whether to suggest activities or let them find their own learning fun... and while it was all spinning round inside my head, I heard the thought flit across my brain: "but how do I make them learn anything?"  Aaarrrggghhh!  That is totally NOT what I want for me or my boys.  I don't want to MAKE them learn - in fact, I don't think it's even possible to MAKE someone learn something.  I suppose certain facts can be artificially imposed onto one's conscious thought by mind-numbing repetition and brain-washing - but that is not what I mean by learning.  Learning is experiential - it is expanding how we think, by way of new surroundings/ materials/ scenarios, by being exposed to different people, different ways of thinking...  and I do believe all of that -  so where did this insecure little mini-dictator spring from inside me?

Some may call this a wobble - and I do understand that the 'wobbles' are a normal part of Home Educating, that come in all sorts of guises.  Well - mostly normal: I have one friend who never seems to wobble - I think it has something to do with the fact that she was home educated herself as a child - and she just seems to radiate this confidence that her boys will be fine - because she knows she is fine, after all she survived Home Ed without being socially unskilled or incapable of finding a career :)  I would love that confidence, rather than the feeling that to Home Educate is to reinvent the wheel!  I am absolutely confident that Home Education is completely right for our family - it's just un-nerving to have little mini-dictators appearing in one's inner thought life! So, my way of dealing with my wobbly dictator (hmm, interesting image) is to ignore it.  Not deny that it is there, but pay it no attention, as to focus on it would be the quickest way to go up my own exhaust-pipe.

So my plan is as stated, to deschool myself a little more - back off on the small amount of restrictions, suggestions & expectations that we have - and just spend a week or so just enjoying my boys and reminding myself why we chose to Home Educate them.  Instead of focusing on what they are/ are not doing academically, I will celebrate their achievements and focus on true learning - giving them space to push past any boredom, discover their own enthusiasm and just value my time with them - what better gift can I give them than to enjoy being with them and enjoy what they are enjoying?  What can they possibly learn that is more important than to know that they are valuable just as they are, and that the things that they care about really do matter...

I quite like this wobble - i'm looking forward to the week ahead now :)

PS Having just read this blog post - Remember You're a Parent (Ross Mountney), the whole blog seemed to confirm what I have been thinking - thanks Ross! - and her last sentence really resonated with me: "it’s relationships that build happy and educative lives!"  How blessed I am, that I get to invest in relationships with my children.  That, above any educational philosophy, is the thing that will set my children up for a successful life :)

7 comments:

  1. At the risk of sounding up myself for plugging my own blog (apologies about that, it's unintentional I promise!), have a read of this: http://homeeddingwithbellson.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/deschooling-and-potatoes.html
    It's the bit at the end that might help, the bit about seeds :)x

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    1. great blog - thanks for sharing :) & yes you're right - it's about providing the be environment to allow that natural growth to just happen :) (PS Love the raw potato pic) x

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    2. Heh, yeah it's a fab picture isn't it?!

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  2. Something I've noticed so far, is that more often than not when I have a wobble about whether the children need to be "guided" more, it as come from someone else planting that seed of doubt into my mind. I'm coming to the conclusion that what is needed is some way of stopping those little seeds from getting in.

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    1. Yes, it would be handy to spot those seeds of doubt before they lodge! Sometimes I know where they come from (other people's comments/ successes), sometimes they seem to spring up from nowhere (probably a latent insecurity in my own thinking)
      At least I can be glad that now I am getting more relaxed about it when they do appear, and am happy just to step back & enjoy my boys while I reboot my brain ;) xx

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  3. Thanks for your compliments Rachel! May your week be blessed with lots of happy relaxed family moments, home ed ones or otherwise! The thing about wobbles is that you ALWAYS can return to your centre of balance afterwards because it's always there waiting for you! And wobbles are a sign that you are reflective and conscious about what you're doing - the best thing a home schooler could be! x

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    1. Thank YOU Ross, you encourager :) xx

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