Sunday, January 16, 2011

where we are

it's been a week of questions....mine, theirs, ours.

i wonder sometimes, about these chronicles of our goings-on -- how much is too much, where are the lines that we cross or don't....and to say nothing of the agony of doubt. there are days when i look around, slightly bleary-eyed, shaking myself loose from our sandalwood-scented haze of paint and books and dog hair and wonder what the hell i'm doing.

in my heart of hearts i know...i believe...that we are walking the right path. but how that looks from day to day, or where the road is taking us...well, that's where my faith is tested.

i asked Savannah the other day, if she felt like she was missing something...if she wanted more.

"Why? Did someone complain that we weren't learning something?"  

from the mouths of babes.  you can tell that we offer full-disclosure around here. she knows well of the trials of family and the doubting and questioning and disapprovals.  we want her to know, so that we can explain how we see it differently. and she gets it. she's a perceptive kid.

but no, this time i didn't ask in response to an external judgment. this time it came from me.

at last...there is snow

i recognize my biases. i recognize i've leaned heavily toward art and literature in my strewing of their path. i've offered the science -- we have a deep fascination with the world around us...but, again -- my bias is that of Biology -- it's where my partial degree is, and then my vet tech training -- and the art/stories far outweigh in influence. so i worry that they're getting a lopsided view of the world. not that it's a bad view.

Sarah wrote a couple of lovely posts about how she has moved through curriculum-based education to unschooling to something somewhere in between. it gave me much to think about....although i've been thinking about it rather a lot lately.

i'm not a rabid unschooler. i believe strongly in the principles therein...but i also recognize that each family -- each child -- is different. so to paint us all with the same brush, is as inherently foolish as the way the conventional educational system operates.

a modest snow-person....coaxed out of not-packing snow

i suppose what i'm struggling with mostly, is trying to discover what unschooling looks like to us. and even then - how it looks for Savannah is vastly different to how it looks for Sebastian.

so where are we?

Savannah has decided she wants to learn how to tell we dusted off a workbook and are meeting at The Table every morning to explore that. she's also decided she wants to learn Spanish. i'm still working on that one....

we have Arthurian legend on the brain -- and enjoyed a boisterous session of sword-fighting on the Wii at Nanna's on Friday. we've also just started watching this documentary on Netflix - and are marveling at the vast beauty of this country we live in. for me, it's an affirmation (at just the right time) of the extraordinary that exists right under our noses. there's a new hidden object game from Big Fish that the pair of them have been glued to for almost two days.

and of course....there's the art and the pursuit thereof.  big paintings and small paintings, illustrated story 'books', air-drying clay's never-ending.

but is it enough?

i really don't know. it's a blind faith, this road.

mostly we're just bumbling along.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. That was me deleting.
    Two glaring grammatical errors that made me shudder. :)

    That is by far, by far the hardest part of the journey.
    That "tryin' to figure out what's best" part. Particularly when we're doing our damnedest to take Fear out of the picture. sigh.

    The good thing about is that we get to go for long, happy stretches in between those times. :)

    You're in good shape, though... you've got your own insight, as well as two children who are well able to say "Hey, now!"

    Sending happy vibes your way!

  3. I've spent 22 years now trying to work out whats best, trusting in my children, trusting in myself and you know, I still wonder if we're doing it right.
    Hope peace comes back to you soon.

  4. Oh this sounds soooo familiar to my thoughts. I go through terrible periods of self doubt every so often, usually after a period of illness or similar when we have drifted a bit and days have passed not really doing much. But I suppose all of life is learning, and the days when games are played and dens are made, drawing and playdough reign, well its all good stuff. Children after all grow up very fast, and once you enter the world of adults, unfortunately, there isn't really a path back to that blissfull time of childhood when we don't have to worry about earning a living or cleaning the house, (or home schooling our children, lol!)
    We all tend to lean towards what we like and what we are good at teaching. I too have a good biology background from my nursing days and I enjoy teaching it, we ended up last week spending a good couple of hours discussing the human body and disease. I am not so keen on maths and do struggle to teach it, especially in a fun way! In the end though thats going to be true of any parent, schooled or home schooled children will always lean towards the influences their parents gave them growing up, and as parents we can use this to our advantage, moulding them maybe towards what we hope will give them a good adult life. I suppose when it comes down to the bare facts, home schooling should provide your child with the ability to go off and do whatever they want as an adult. You are laying the foundations for your children to follow whatever path they choose to tread.
    We have got some books lately that give us a skeleton structure, we can then go off at any tangent we fancy and mostly we do! I find this easier than trying to just set up a lesson from nowhere.
    By the way, I love Billy Connolly and this series look fantastic, we have watched several of his others, but seem to have missed this one. Thanks for the link.
    Don't lose heart, this feeling will pass and you will carry on in your own sweet way, doing whats right for your family. And remember, we will all feel more positive in the fast approaching Spring!

  5. ~i can share in your feelings...your questions ect...

    i have never been one to label our family or put us into a catagory...i simply say we learn at home...easy said right...i feel i need not explain to every single person and then have them tell me i am or am not something...

    we lie right in the middle...we do use a waldorf curriculum...sometimes it is weeks or months that we do not wander from such and then suddenly the books are closed for an extented amount of time...i use them more or less as a guide...a place to start or spark an interest when the well feels dry or empty...

    i think it is only natural as a parent to ask our littles if they feel they are missing out on life in some way or another...i do the very same and keep the door fully open to their opinions...we only want what is best...and sometimes we allow what or how we once thought or was raised or simply society to creep in and bring up unexpected thoughts or fears...

    journey strong down your path and remain faithful that you know what is best and your littles will speak up if they feel they are lacking something...

    much love light and blessings shining brightly upon you and yours~

  6. thank you all so very much for sharing your thoughts and experiences....((hugs))

    today is a new day...right? xo

  7. I guess I can understand your doubt. We have an innate inability to believe in ourselves fully, 100% of the time. To question things is right! It allows growth and change but none of this means that anything is wrong....

    I have a plan within my own life right now and when I get my behind in to gear there are some things I have been planning to send you. Maybe one of those might spark a new path, a new connection?

    I also think that your experiences of school are perhaps colouring your perception of what science should look like. Playing with cars, on swings are all physics. Cooking is chemistry. oh and colour, colour is physics.


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