Unschooling: Living Without School; Living Free Range-Freedom to Learn What One Wants When One Wants

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Typical First Year Freaking Out

So I think I am just freaking out now because I know we are accountable for her learning. I am confident in the fact that with minimal assistance and zero pressuring, Samantha will learn what she needs to know. But then I think, "What is DFACS requests my records and decide we didn't do enough that one Wednesday 3 months ago." I know. Its quite an irrational fear, but it's how I feel. Its how I know most new "officially" homeschooling Moms feel, regardless of educational views. Most homeschooling families feel overwhelmed by outside opinions and laws.

We haven't had any of those forceful blowout days where there is yelling or making her do her "schoolwork." It is more like I have to coax her into trying a different activity or topic. She wants to learn about babies and fetal development, which, great! Seriously, more power to her. I will do what I can to incorporate that. And I have lots of things planned to do for that the week after next. We may even spend a whole month on it. But she has to learn first how our bodies work. She always has fun once we get into the activity, but when it comes to beginning it, she acts silly and says things like, "Oh! Let's do that one lesson with the senses!" (Which before we did that lesson, she didn't want to do it. She wanted the one from the week before.) At first we would begin with the activity she wanted and worked our way into the new stuff, but she got to a point where it was a struggle to get her to move on.

I wrestle with the thought of "making" her do lessons. But I struggle with saying, "Okay, Sam, even though I give you the freedom to pick what you want to learn, and typically during whatever time of the day you choose, oh yah, and also the way you learn, it's okay if you don't want to give it a chance just because you don't realize it will be fun."

We never do anything boring. It is always hands on learning: experiments, games, projects. She always has a blast in the end. Last week she was saying, "Gross, BLOOD!" This week she is saying, "That was one if my favorite body systems!"

It is taking a toll on me, because I take pride in my belief of the Natural Learning Philosophy. I know it works. It has worked since Sam was born. She even learned to read (simple words and sentences) at an early age without me having to much but facilitate her interests. At the same time, I don't want to be an extremist and Sam to grow up closed minded because I never had her follow through. However, I definitely don't want be swayed into traditional desk and worksheet learning because I want to avoid the judgement of others. And if I allow myself, I will trick myself into thinking that is the way. And it is not the way for my family.

So for now I am going to lay down my fears and pray Sam adjusts to the slight changes and I will stop writing down in the lesson book every time she chops and counts carrots or plays a Math App! Its a life of learning because learning is fun, not because I want the State to MAYBE see one day that we did 50 learning activities a day.

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