A summary of our journey so far, and where we're going from here-
We started off parenting Josh (8y) in a typical authoritarian style. We
had rules, we as parents were to be obeyed, we spanked, took away toys
and privileges, we had power struggles, etc. Josh went to daycare while I
worked outside the home, and moved on to public school for kindergarten
and first grade.
Around the winter holidays...
of Josh's kindergarten year, Bug was born. I tried to go back to work,
but my heart wouldn't let me leave my baby every day. I quit and became a
stay at home mom. I don't know how we did it. Papa was working retail
at the time making $8 an hour, but we made it work.
end of Josh's first grade year I was seeing quite clearly that public
school was not the best place for him. We researched, read everything we
could get our hands on, and decided to start unschooling after he
finished the year. We have spent the last year deschooling, moving to a
new house, figuring out how to resolve conflicts peacefully, repairing
broken relationships, and watching our boys flourish with an unschooling
It has been a major learning experience. We did
not settle easily into a new routine. There has been much trial and
error. The pendulum of our family dynamic swung from strict
authoritarian to the radical side of unschooling, and we found that it
did not work for us. We are still finding the middle ground that fits
us. Papa and I have spent the last year in a hands-off fashion,
observing the kids, learning who they are on a deeper level, watching
their reactions to different circumstances, reflecting on our reactions
to different circumstances, listening to what works for others and
trying to figure out what will work best for us.
Right now, I
feel that we have spent plenty of time deschooling, and I'm ready to
step up my role as facilitator for the boys' learning. I fully trust in
the unschooling philosophy. I have witnessed all sorts of amazing
information present itself organically in our everyday life. I fully
believe that if we were to continue doing exactly as we're doing, the
boys would learn everything they need to know to be happy and
successful. However, I also feel they have the privilege of me being
home and able to present additional opportunities to them, and I should
take advantage of that. I'm in love with the invitations from
playathomemomllc.com and want to incorporate something similar into our
Some may say the structure I am adding back into our
routine and the presentation of materials in the invitations isn't
'really unschooling'. I don't mind. I'm not interested in living by a
label or according to anyone else's standards. I am interested only in
doing what I feel is best for the boys, and following my mommy
intuition. Right now that intuition is telling me to do something more
than I have lately. If the kids like it, awesome! If they don't, we'll
drop it and try something else. Life is a never ending journey.
Parenting is especially so. I'm excited to experience the next phase.