Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Unschooling a complete life?

I have a problem with food at the moment. I love food. I love cooking. I love Thai and Indian. I have two young children....who get into everything (as children do) and don't eat anything (as some children don't).
I've been web surfing around trying to up date my blog list...to find people who have interesting things to say and can often help me over the problems I find.

I have been to Sandra Dodd's web site often reading about the how tos and the whys and other tips...I read about Chores and it really made me feel a lot better and do a bit of a step back and think of the Continuum Concept...how people work together because the want to. My feelings that I have about having a tidy house come from how I was brought up...my anger and grumpiness and also guilt. I don't want to pass that on to my children. I like having a clean house I just need to get over it and not make others feel bad. Kids are kids and they do clean up (I've seen them often) as long as we don't make them feel guilty or pressure them.

I've also printed this out and put in on the fridge

Principles of Unschooling

1. Let go and Trust

  • Let go of learning, as a focus, a concern, an issue—trust that it happens
  • Let go of control of your child—trust they know what they need
  • Some examples: no chores, no bedtimes, no eating controls, no limits on media
2. Joy and Connection as Primary Goals
  • Parent's job (since it isn't the controller of the child) is something like being the Provider of Joy. When in doubt, go for the option that offers the most joy
  • Family Relationships. Make deposits here, not withdrawals. Relationships based on respecting needs and interests, empathy and fun together. Being each others allies not adversaries.
3. Being a Better Person
  • Principles over Rules - you must model principles (rather than enforce rules) therefore you must LIVE them (which makes you a better person). Some examples: Freedom, Golden Rule, Kindness, Respect
  • Staying in the Moment - mindfulness, play, connection, and joy all happen in the present moment, not the future (worry) nor the past (fears). Kids are already the masters of this so learn from them. Childhood is not a preparation for life, it IS life.
  • Being someone they want to spend time with
4. Tools for Daily Life
  • Create a Rich Environment: strew stuff they might like (but don't be attached to them liking it)
  • Ride the Waves: of interests and passions (yours and theirs), as well as the flow of the day
  • Follow Your Heart: and encourage them to follow theirs.
  • Creative Brainstorming: about any situation until everyone's needs can be met as well as possible
I still have problems with letting go! Argh! I don't know why as every time I do let go things are soooooo good! I'm happy the kids are happy....Dave is happy. So why do I not do it more often?
In grained? I've been taught? The age old saying "thats just the way it is".
I need to work harder on this....as an example I find this REALLY hard Some examples: no chores, no bedtimes, no eating controls, no limits on media.
I don't mind about the no chores stuff as I can see it is working in my life right now.
I'm not that keen on controls over eating as I had this when I was small and it really did my head in...I'm gluten intolerant and have only found this out since having my son....I've also a bit of an intolerance to dairy. So as a child I naturally stayed away from these foods making me a very hard child of the 70's to feed...my Mother went round the twist....and was also trying to provide only healthy options like vogals bread (Very heavy grain bread).

But sleep has been an issue since my daughter was born. Lack of knowledge on my part but also lack of sleep and time to myself is a really BIG issue!!!
Both my children need a LOT of Mummy time. I believe me I give it. So I feel that I really need a break. We have a set bed time and a routine which we follow "No Cry Sleep Solution" which I feel has given our life back sort of.....BUT maybe if I let go completely it might be different?
Fear? Sigh. This might be another issue which might be sorted in this blog?

The issue of food I'm looking at constantly and yes I'm sad to say I even wake up in the mornings in a panic some days thinking "Oh goodness what can I get for my family to eat today".
A friend said "Its not my job to get them to eat it...just my job to get it out on the table"...which my daughter is very good at helping me do and my son is trying his best too (bless his little almost 2yr old cotton sox).
So my children do not like much curry. My husband would like to be a vegetarian and I like a little bit of meat.
So I've been here at this blog http://www.owlhaven.net which lead me to her other blog http://youvegottotastethis.myrecipes.com/taste_this/ its always good to get other peoples ideas oh how to get around issues.

Its been an interesting few days just looking around and seeing what others do. I'm really looking for other families with children our age or a little older so I can kind of see what they are doing....I guess I just have to look a little harder.

Ok goodnight


  1. I've seen many homeschoolers burn out & send their kids back to school over our 13 years of homeschooling.
    My thoughts - take what feels right ignore the rest. What has worked for us is before teens - kids had structure - I found the day went smoother with routine (gentle) Kids up early - I limited their tv as too easy to just sit & be lazy. Set meal times - they helped cook & learned to cook a meal each week. All had chores we have a lifestyle plot so all had to help even milking goats. Their friends were shocked at the amount of chores but it has paid off now teens - very self sufficient & I think it has given them pride knowing that they contribute & can do heaps of things.
    School work - for us we followed Charlotte mason - structure/routine short lessons, lessons in morning afternoon free time.
    Now the kids are teens we are more unschooling and they are leading what they wish to learn. They need more sleep so sleep in & chores have changed to reflect this.
    My advise take bits & pieces out of all styles of homeschooling that feels right for YOUR family.
    Love Leanne

  2. Thank you Leanne. I am feeling like I'm fighting the burn-out at the moment and feel I need to go back to the beginning and start again.
    Will try a big more deep breathing.
    I think bits and pieces are working out well for us...I just might need to do a little more morning time 'work'