Unschooling and the juxtaposition of joy and anxiety

The title just about explains it all. Unschooling is complete joy of living. In the moment, making memories. All the words like sublime and miraculous. It’s like unbelievable that all that joy was just right there waiting to be experienced. And then, the shadow of anxiety starts to roll in. Maybe a spouse questions why they don’t know their multiplication tables in second grade. Maybe the grandparents are always quizzing your child and sneering their nose at you. And a major life hiccup like a renovation that takes a month instead of a week happens and you are suddenly forced into accepting favors from your detractors. ūüôā heehee. And then everyone’s mood starts to crumble, your kids start showing all kinds of character deficiencies, you yourself start displaying your deficiencies and BAM trust turns to doubt. It’s not hard to see why. So the sad part is it fairly easy to knock someone off of their high. But it isn’t as easy to regain trust once you’ve been beaten down and almost disassembled. So… ¬†Our homeschooling routine is in the process of “Back to Good” and we’re almost there. ¬†We’re together. And that’s the best part.

 

So, our activities for today, el 14 de marzo:

Read “Haym Salomon and the Power of Generosity” from My Fun with Learning, Real Life Heroes: America’s Story

(Yesterday we read “Joan of Arc and the Power of Fearlessness”)

Piano practice (also yesterday)

Did multiplication facts with Magic Numbers 1-6

Watched all the episodes of Liberty’s Kids on YouTube again. A show about the American Revolution. Probably about 7 episodes, so it takes about 2.5 hrs.

Calendar work, preparing for events.

P.E., playing in the snow, running, playing tag.

Art: Drawing pictures of battleships

Writing, Calendar Events, writing about battleships and paintball.

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Anxiety

When I met my husband, he was struggling with anxiety. He has struggled his whole life with anxiety. I have had my own selective mutisms as well, but his struggle was more intense.  Now, our eldest is still exhibiting disordered anxiety, and it makes me so thankful that we homeschool.

Today we have watched lots of Liberty’s Kids and Wild Kratts.

I have definitely won the battle over what we watch, it must all be clean and wholesome and beneficial, he hasn’t even asked to watch Henry Danger. ūüôā

THEY have definitely won the battle over yes/no screen time. Very much yes.  haha

So it’s a draw.

(5 hrs)

While I’ve Been Gone

It’s been extremely challenging. ¬†In the stress and confusion of being out of our house for a month while remodeling and being under the strong influence of others, I temporarily lost my way.

But after reading the words “free choice” over and over in science-based parenting articles, I’m back. And as much as I have wanted to fight it, my children want to explore organized religion and Christian schooling. So badly that the oldest literally has invasive anxious thoughts about killing me.

So can you unschool your children when they want to go to school? We’ll see! Of course, I mean, it’s just been a while to convince me.

8 is working on a piano composition to the theme song of The Loud House, a Nickelodeon show.

And the plan is for us to go to church tonight.

He cared for the pets and tried to start a fire. (In the cental boiler–it’s ok)

Caring for baby chicks, eggs, etc.

Also piano lesson today.

(5 hrs)

Battleship

We went to tour the USS Alabama battleship in Mobile, AL.  The boys LOOOOOOVED it. After we left, which was way too soon for their liking, but Granny was developing a cold and it was quite windy and I was carrying the baby the whole time, going through the little passageways and up and down flights of stairs and was growing weary, SORRY boys!!!!, they had me read the statistics and tour information three times while they listened with rapt attention!!!

Could there be such a thing as battleship schooling??  haha

While we were there, we had to follow signs so it was good number practice for the four year old.

They learned about the difference between knots and miles per hour, tons and pounds, so metric and standard measuring systems. They learned about World War Two. They learned about horse power and range. So there is math, history and physics right there.

 

 

 

 

Leaning into Trust

So I have not been doing so well with my unschooling practice.¬† Sure, we’re on the beach now and I promised not to push schoolwork (Khan Academy and worksheet doing), but my need to control has been back for sure.

Expectedly because I am with an overbearing presence from my childhood. Strangely, or maybe I should have expected it, from reading a compendium of natural healing.

The good from my reading is an understanding of temper tantrums I’ve never had before. The concept is that we heal from the inside out. It helped me understand the eruption of pure, seemingly negative emotions that children have as a type of soul-cleansing experience.¬† Really helped me to accept and be at peace with it, feeling like it is not wrong.

Anyway,

Did some inner work last night and it helped me wake up with a new outlook. What kind of work, you ask? Well, for inspo I turned first to an understanding of my children and myself, I looked up traits for our sun signs and cusps and just soaked in our strengths, what I could work on personally (balance and social skills, it said.). Then, I was ready to hear some more from Sandra Dodd.

I have been controlling food pretty strong. Yesterday, I felt very righteous about limiting TV to one show a day. There may have been an improvement in their attitudes. I don’t know. I still think that¬†there is wisdom in the premise that children will rebel if you don’t let them try things. Try to self-regulate under your watchful guidance.

Preparing the environment, giving advice,¬†loving guidance. It’s the extent of my parental role. Giving unconditional love and acceptance. Being their person they can always turn to. I can’t skip past¬†the painful experiences they may have to learn as much as I want to by dogged, severe teaching. If they don’t understand truly why to do this or that, it is empty. It isn’t learning, it is blind obedience which will end when my back is turned. I am coming to believe it is more loving to allow them to learn while I’m there¬†.

Today so far:

We cooked fried bologna and made chocolate milk. Freddie then wrote down the recipe. (ELA, Science, Home Ec)

We have watched SpongeBob and Scooby Doo and Looney Toons.

He learned how to keep the handle turned away from anyone who should come to the stove, how to regulate heat so it doesn’t burn, how to turn food over to ensure even browning, how to mix substances to make a mixture (with milk and chocolate syrup). LIFE SKILLS.

Medical History: JR 2010

Maternal age 26 at birth.

Mother and father separated for part of gestation, mother very stressed, anxious, little support.

Mother was malnourished and vegan for most of pregnancy.

Blood type O.

Jaundiced with bili blanket.

Fed unhealthy diet.

Extensive dental caries by 18 mos. old.

Underwent general anesthesia for exploratory surgery for a torsioned testicle.

Took Tylenol with codeine.

Apraxia of speech.

Extremely stubborn and had extreme aversion episodes much more intense than any of the children.

Very picky with food.

 

Medical history: AFR 2008

When conceived, mother was in a very stressful work situation, and many toxic relationships.

Mother had very little support throughout pregnancy and fought intense feelings of abandonment, depression, and frustration throughout infancy.  Nursed a lot, very fussy. Mother at odds with other caregivers regarding safety and sugar intake. Mother fed organic food almost exclusively. Natural, non toxic HBA products. Very stressed mother and father.

Blood type O

Mother nursed while malnourished and depressed.

Once mother caved to outside influences, dental caries became a problem, has had multiple cavities, fillings, and two teeth removed.

Nervous ticks, stuttering. Halitosis, persistent cough and throat clearing.

Suicidal and homicidal, invasive, disturbing thoughts.

Went to school in first grade, wet pants twice.

Burgeoning sexuality.

Complains of heart hurting and other aches, pains, sprains.