Monday, January 21, 2008

Break

I am brewing coffee, mid morning. We are not "doing school" today. I am tossing some ideas around about how I school the kids so I needed to step back and take a break. Probably NOT a good idea because I do better with structure BUT what we are doing just doesn't seem right. It doesn't feel right. Yes, it's the norm but it just seems so meaningless. Surely there is a better way to instill the LOVE of learning without *realizing* it's learning. Unschooling seems to be the only thing close to what I am thinking about but I just don't feel that radical unschooling is biblical. Many of us DO NOT want to get up everyday and study God's word even though we know it produces positive results. What makes (christian)unschoolers think that their children will feel differently than them? So, I am thinking everything through and processing it. I just wish I didn't have other things to *process*. I wish that I could just work on an issue in my mind, put it in a box when I can't deal with it, and shelve it until I can handle it again. Instead, my mind works like this huge tornado, picking up things as life moves on. Each little issue being twirled around with everything else. I realize that God gives the ability to put to rest these issues but it just doesn't seem to be working for me. The thing is, I feel terrible for even THINKING I have it tough. When faced with someone that has it much worse than me(sister, people in other countries), I feel ashamed. BUT, that doesn't take away that overwhelming feeling. I feel so silly sometimes when someone knows I am having a hard time but they don't really know the whole picture. It's NOT just that I have all these kids. I think if it were only that I *might* be ok. It's that I am REALLY bad at socializing, I am constantly having to deal with ED issues(the biggest stresser for me), I have no family near me, and I am NOT one of those perfect Mothers who gets everything right and washes the sheets every week. Boy, sorry for all the woe is me post lately. As you can tell, it's been tough. I think this season will get better once Andrew gets a little bigger. I pray.

4 comments:

Tracee said...

We are not doing any Christian curriculum, but if it helps, I would like to give you my .02 on the matter of different ways of schooling/unschooling. What works best for us has been kind of an ecclectic mix of styles. We do hands on math, along with worksheets from a free online curriculum. Traditional, right? We have TONS of conversations, usually sparked by one of the kids asking a question that leads us to do either book or Internet research for answers. That's the part of "school" I consider everyday learning, but also is considered a big portion of how "unschooling" works. We also follow the Ambleside Online curriculum for everything except math, so we do LOTS of reading, and audio books. The children do need to be steered in the right direction to actuall "do school," or it won't get done in this house, LOL! Now, radical unschooling, in my recent conversations and dealings with those that are doing it, requires a very high degree of equality between the parents and kids invovled. It involves, in my opinion, no option for enforcing any type of typcial family rules, such as insisting on a bath, or particular clothes to be worn, etc. Unless the whole family agrees to the rule. The main things a radical unschooler will enforce, and in a very gentle and respectful manner, would be rules that will keep others from being hurt or property from being damaged. Another biggie that will come up are boundary issues: it requires the parent to really figure out how much of her wants/desires/ideals she is willing to sacrifice in order to give the children as much freedom as possible to regulate their own lives, from bathing to eating, sleeping, time spent studying, on computers and video gaming systems, what have you. And since most traditionally homeschooled children have not had these freedoms up until the time you decide to radically unschool, it takes quite a bit of time for them to get over the novelty of all that freedom to self regulate, which can creat overtired, "non-schooled," cranky hungry children, LOL! It's also, in my experience, very hard to "discipline" my children in the midsts of so many radically unschooled children, because mine always wonder why they "have to" do what I ask or why they "can't" do what the other kids are doing. It's all such a hard choice! LOL. Good luck figuring it all out.

Crystal said...

Thanks for the input! IMO radical unschooling is not biblical. I think the Bible is clear on the fact that children NEED discipline(another subject of various techniques!LOL) Through research on the subject, it seems that unschooling means different things to different people. So, right now I am trying to figure out what it means to us, you know? Thanks so much for stopping by..

AIMEE said...

I have relaxed homeschooled/unschooled and do not equate that schooling style with lack of discipline. My children are disciplined for disobedience, unkindnesses, lack of follow through on work, etc, but in education I allowed them to follow their interests..."delight-directed learning". We follow a daily routine but not a strict schedule. I exposed them to lots of ideas/topics through books in the library to spark learning and interests. It was exciting to watch the lightbulbs go off and the notebooking they did on their topics of interest.
My older two are in school this year because I was worn out from a high-needs baby, an out-of-state move, a painful church experience, etc and having this break has been a wonderful gift from the Lord. He is so gentle with us and is a Sovereign Protector over these little lives :)

Crystal said...

Thanks for your comment! I don't equate unschooling with lack of discipline at all! It's more the radical idea that children should not be disciplined. as I stated before-I see so many benefits to child directed learning! I am glad that you are enjoying this time. What a blessing to acknowledge how the Creator has orchestrated your life! You are right-he is our children's protector. Sometimes we kid ourselves thinking that we have "control" over them. LOL