I tend to go on in life, doing what I feel led to do and don’t always pay much attention to what others think or say about how I do things but there are times I come across something that serves as a confirmation that I’m on the right track and I’m always grateful for those moments. A blog post from an adult who was unschooled had me thinking. Two particular points in her post struck a cord with me. One statement was that her mom was unnecessarily scared of messing up and afraid that her children wouldn’t get all they needed.
Coming from the traditional school system, I could definitely identify. Coming from that and unschooling has got to be just about the equivalent of the similarities of love and complete apathy. It’s tough. I breathe easy though. I see myself in a different place these days. That fear is just not here any longer. I trust them and God to know what they need, when they need it and how they need to go about getting it. I’m here to facilitate their efforts, helping them in any way they need.
The second point she made was that the one thing she felt her mom did wrong was to try to be there all the time. I could relate to that too and again I breathed a sigh of relief because I’ve pulled back from hovering a long time ago. About 4 years ago I pulled back big time and wrote a book and started a business. I must say, my girls (and my husband and I) have flourished. They have benefited immensely from my branching off, pursuing things outside of them and their father. As a result of my business endeavors, my girls know more about natural birth than most adults (let alone their peers) and have acquired skills that can make them some $$$. Although I’m sure they exist, I don’t know very many (any actually) children who can make herbal medicines, vinegars, salves, toothpowder, lotions, soaps, hair rinses, lip balms and other herbal products. I definitely don’t know any other 7 year old’s who could explain and carry out the process of encapsulating a placenta but my girls can and it’s because of me doing my own thing. Because Kate wrote about these things, it offered an opportunity of self- evaluation and what better way to really know if I’m on the right track? I went to my experts- my children!
I told my girls about the blog post and I turned it all on them asking them what they thought. I asked my girls about their fears and if they felt I was not around enough since I don’t hover anymore.
They have no fear. They don’t feel that they need to compete with anyone at all. My oldest (13 next week) said that if she needs to know something it’s as simple as finding a way to learn it and doing it. This is a child who at around 6 or 7 played outside with a (traditionally schooled) friend. The friend asked her a multiplication problem and she didn’t know the answer. The friend then said, “See, you’re not learning anything in that homeschool of yours.” My daughter asked her what the answer to the problem was and the girl told her and my daughter replied, “Now I know the answer, and I didn’t have to sit in school all day to learn it.”
When I asked them if they thought I wasn’t around enough, they said everything’s fine. They also said that if they needed me and I was in my room or somewhere else in the house, they’ll either call me to come to them or simply come to me. They know where I am and that I’m available and that’s enough.
It feels great to have these confirmations along the way and not have to wait until they’re adults to know that I’m heading in the right direction with them.