Unschooling Isn’t

In which the mommy discovered that unschooling isn’t letting your child do absolutely whatever they want while you run along after them, breathlessly administering their every wish. It just kind of is. Insofar as that’s ok. But what about when it’s not ok with you?

It’s ok with me as long as my kids are happy. By happy, I mean, smiling faces, contendedness, flow, respectfulness and loving. But somehow what I was doing was leading to extreme entitledness and rudeness and disrespect for all authority. ???

So here’s the plan. I’m going to do our own slowly paced version of Ambleside Online curriculum. We’re not going to watch YouTube videos until Dad comes home (because to be honest, we were spiraling out into some not nice place). This just gives us a framework to expect an environment where other work can be done.

Anyway. This is to say. For me, unschooling isn’t free reign for kiddos. Now, unschooling is respecting choices of children. So if you think they should do math and they want to read, then ok. But if I identify a direction that seems to be leading to bad fruit, I feel it’s my job as a mother to monitor it. I know the argument to that would be to let the child learn for themselves what is bad and good, but I don’t agree. I had cousins who were raised that way and have seen the struggle they have had in life with drugs and bad friends, and I think that unschooling isn’t unparenting. And part of parenting is stepping in and giving direction. And if it okay for us to step in and give direction then I shouldn’t be afraid to do that. And I was, I didn’t want to interfere with the learning process. Which I chalk up to my being totally ridiculous. Anyhow, my next anecdote:

Bedtime is a great time to introduce something they would otherwise resist. Case in point: Winnie the Pooh. I put the YouTube read-aloud by Judi Dench (Dame) of Winnie the Pooh as the kiddos went to sleep last night. And they loved it! Even the eight yo was like, this is wonderful and listening with rapt attention. So Bedtime Debuts it is.

Pushing on!

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