Recently it feels like we’ve made a leap from just muddling along through to embracing this home educating lifestyle. I finally feel like we’re getting somewhere now, and it’s taken a year!
In a few weeks we’ll have hit the one year anniversary of our school run which I remember so well – D was crying because she didn’t want to go to nursery and M didn’t want to go to school either. I took one look at M’s drawn ashen face and turned the car around and went back home.
After a year of home educating, M has blossomed – her confidence astounds me! The other day she walked up to a man in shop to ask about what he was selling and where she could find it on the shelves. This would never have happened a year ago! D has always been confident talking to anyone but in the last year she just has not wanted to leave the house… until now…
…J and I had a chat recently about unschooling. In the last year I’ve done a lot of research on home education and more recently on unschooling; I’ve met home educators; and I’ve seen day to day what an effect school had on our daughters.
Now I see daily, in microscopic steps, how much the sausages learn and develop through being unschooled. And as I see this, my mind begins to de-school and I begin to question our habits in education, eating and general family life. So my mind has been racing ahead and J, with being at work a lot, has missed out on these tiny shifts until all of a sudden we’re at a different place to where he is.
I think it’s fair to say – and I don’t think he’d mind me saying – that J is old-school. From the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ school. What has astounded me about J though – and what sets him apart from your bog-standard old-school man – is how readily he accepts change. He was reluctant to start home education but was willing to give it a try, and now he embraces it.
So we sat down and had a chat about unschooling, in particular how we need to treat the sausages like little people rather than just children who should do as we say because we are grown-ups! And all of a sudden, this ‘do as I say’ man has changed into a ‘what would you like to do’ man!!
And it’s amazing also, that if you give the sausages options they will likely do what you want to do anyway, because they’re doing it of their own volition, rather than being forced to. Such is the mind of a sausage. So now, J is ASKING them if they would like to go to Judo/the park etc., and D – rather than automatically wanting to stay at home in her pyjamas – wants to go! It may be a coincidence but I don’t think so.
So, what I was getting around to saying – sorry, waffling on quite a bit there – was that the girls started a pottery class yesterday. This was a class of their choice, rather than one which we thought would ‘better’ them – and guess what? They LOVED it! They were so happy there that I was able to leave them for the last half an hour – it’s the first time they’ve been left since finishing school!