Saturday, May 3, 2008

Amicalola Falls family field trip Friday and some thoughts on unschooling

That was alot of alliteration! Click here for a link to this most amazing Georgia park.

Highlights for this past week: 1966 was a good year! Got to actually spend Rachel's b-day with her here cooking, talking and playing -- so good! So happy that drama is behind us and feel so blessed from all the hard work both kids and adults put into both ALICE and TOM S. Loved Adoration this week in a way that is hard to put into words. JB and I have been having a surprisingly good time preparing for her and M's upcoming ITBS. We have been gardening some, drawing some, walking and talking alot, with less reading, writing and music than is usual around here. Come to think of it, we have read more magazines and newspapers and been discussing current events more than usual. And, spring drama has led to lots of good work and talk. Oh yeah, and we wrote several "thank-you" notes.

M is fully engaged with family and friends. Challenge was fun and inspiring, and we have added a daily Mass here and there. J lost both his front two teeth during the past 2 weeks, so he is past adorable. He asks me every night to make up a story, and I am inventing Aesop's Fablesque stories. Latin is on hold, but I am hoping we will have one more short run with it before taking summer off....Which makes me want to reflect a bit on what happens the minute I say we are "off" -- everyone goes into huge learning spurts. As unschoolers, and any attentive parents, will attest -- kids love to move and they love to learn. Whether they are intraverted or extraverted, kids are always investigating, exploring, expressing/communicating, dancing, listening...They like a little directed work, but just bust at the seams to get on with their lives.

I think every parent and educator should read some of John Holt's work, as he really took the time to observe what is good and true and real about childhood. It makes me think about what Jesus taught in the Gospel about being like unto children. Their learning is so passionate. They have their dishonest moments, but they recover from such dishonesty much faster than adults (in general, I mean, of course...).

Life is not boring when you are young (young at heart, too <: )and given the time and space to use your imagination. I mention this because I am really loosening up and becoming such the unschooler. And, I love it. (And, I do get anxious, but prayer calms my fears.). I think I have a feel for when they are wasting time; and, as I have often heard, unschooling is not unparenting. Our day is punctuated by prayer and devotions. His grace is sufficient for staying faithful both to our families and our vocations. JB and I wrote a "LOVE" acrostic: "learning our vocation everyday". All the happy, enthusiastic individuals and families that I know are true to themselves and the good God that created all.

I am truly amazed at how creative children are and how much they need "down time," which is not to say that they are inactive, but that they are not over-scheduled/being shuffled off to something organized at every turn. My kids are loving the weather and exploring our neighborhood creek as I write this. M got a Wii for her b-day (this Wed.), and, while I'd rather be outside than playing a video game, I do see the appeal. I am happy to report that, though the Wii was part of her gift, she wanted to share it with everyone.

That's all. "Pray, hope and don't worry." Padre Pio

1 comment:

Leonie said...

I've always found Holt to be inspiring.And love the Padre Pio quote, too!