someone was recently asking greg how homeschooling was going and he answered in the usual vague fashion of, “ok, I guess.” this person then went on to express concern and disbelief, stating, “well, I hope you’re doing SOMEthing.” right-o.
when he reported this interaction to me later, I was slightly bemused. “just tell him we’re ‘whole life unschooling’. that should satiate him.” just a fancy way of saying that we’re doing nothing (I already wrote a post about that here) but it actually sounds legitimate and kind of smart, I think. basically just livin’ life and going with the flow.
it seems like people are more concerned these days with what a kid is learning vs. how and I think that’s sort of backwards. I consider the most important component of my “homeschooling” to be the mood, tone or atmosphere that I set in my home. this incorporates not only our home feeling “homey” but more importantly, is really about our relationship with each other. if I can make my relationship with my kids as good as it can be, that is if I can connect with them, empathize with them, and show them unconditional love and support, then the rest is an after thought. I really think that these things are the most important in determining whether or not a person has the tools to lead a happy, fulfilling and “productive ” life ( i like to use parenthesis a lot. I feel they are an underutilized literary instrument).
besides this, at this point, I consider my main objective in a day to give them as much freedom of speech and choice as is bearable (to myself and society. one can only take so much screaming:). this way, I feel, in the future, they will have the confidence to assert what they want and they will know themselves enough to realize what it is they are interested in and how they want to go about learning about it (a.k.a. I want them to have a strong sense of self). now, that doesn’t mean being selfish nor does this line of parenting necessitate negating all polite behavior in favor of self-expression. on the contrary, I hope that they will be extremely conscientious and courteous people eventually, but ones who were also granted that small period in a person’s life when they are first finding their voice to be able to use it to wield some power and make things happen.
as of yet, they don’t have many “interests” to speak of, but I trust in peoples natural insatiable curiosity about life and the time will come for all of that. as for now, I think more just playing and being kids serves them better than anything that hints of structure.
I am excited to see where their interests will lead once they do begin to have them in earnest.