The Blog Return

arrow

Has it really been since 2012 that I posted here?

Really?

I have a lot of excuses, mainly that I am busy…

And let’s face it I am busy. I have 3 little girls, home full time. Full time mentorship of these 3 inquisitive souls. I am constantly making stuff (that hopefully people want to buy – and depending on my focus do very well with).

But let’s get to the reason why I simply lost interest in keeping this blog (and even maintaining interesting posts) about my family.

I was feeling very uncomfortable with being part of on-line culture.

Fake culture.

Everything is rosey and my family is perfect culture.

I was concerned, that homeschooling particularly gave this air of perfection and better-than. The truth is we really enjoy our lives and our lifestyle choices. Some of these choices – like self-employment, working from home and homeschooling may seem provocative and fringy…

But we are normal people. With your run of the mill situations and frustrations.

I yell at my kids.

Then have to apologize.

I get mad at my husband.

Then I get over it.

I get entirely fed up and frustrated with life.

Then I fall deeply in like with it again.

We love to road trip.

We love to stay home.

We are boring.

I cannot prop our lives up to seem more interesting than it is. And the truth is, it’s rather mundane.

It’s our mundane and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

One thing I always do, is keep it moving.

(Hence, the arrow).

I may, or may not back date some posts.

I don’t have time to go through every post & category here, and remove stale info.

One thing you will always get from me, is a willingness to reach out and support. If anything, if our family provides you with the strength to live your truth, then the blog’s existence gains importance.

Or, if you simply like to be a voyeur into our lives, so be it.

Just remember, that this is the internet: a one dimensional fantasy land.

blogsig2

 

Preschool Homelearning, unclassified…



My oldest turns 4 very soon, so I know the question is eminent: Will she be going to preschool?

I chuckle thinking about the colorful ways I could answer this question. But the truth is, my children – ALL CHILDREN – have been learning since the day they were born. I read Rahima Baldwin Dancy’s “You Are Your Child’s First Teacher” when my oldest was about 2, and it truly resonated with me. I can’t recommend this book enough to parents!

I take issues with a lot of the terms that are out there in regards to homelearning. Probably because to me, they are labels rather than descriptions of truth. It’s hard for most people to grasp that children learn naturally from birth whether they are enroled in formal education or not. We choose to not have our children partake in pre-school or even pre-pre-school (honestly I cannot believe this concept even exists) so it seems that we must prepare an answer as to how our children are learning & developing. Say you are “homeschooling” and certain stereotypes come to mind. I don’t much like the negative connotation to the term “unschooling” either although there are many aspects of this philosophy that appeal to me. Take away the immediate stereotypes of homeschooling, such as we must be religious, or over bearing worry warts, hippies, or radical non-conformists (all meaning: your children will be weird, damaged and unsocialized), and you have to deal with answering to what philosophy/curriculum do you teach with. Classical? Waldorf? Montessori? Eclectic/Unschooling? Then let’s not forget the age of my children – I resent even having to answer to these questions considering they don’t even legally need to be enrolled in “school” until the age of 6! Seems absurd to even say I “homeschool” my kids. Yet to say we “plan to homeschool” is a half truth in itself. Technically what we do in our home is child-led home based learning. I can see doing the same type of activities with my children now and 5+ years from now. The subjects and perhaps the substance may change but the overall goal – that we as humans have the passion within our souls to learn and grow throughout our whole life, and that passion should be nurtured at one’s own pace – is still there.

I am a “deschooler” at heart. Upon learning of this term, I realized that I have been doing just that since I myself left formal learning (college) in 1997. So although we love to observe rhythm and breathing in/out activities in a Waldorf sense, many days we simply let our muses be our guides and do what we want on a whim. One thing I have learned, if I am bored or feel overly structured, my kids don’t have much fun or interest, either. I am also lucky that both our jobs allow us to pick up and leave and do just what our hearts desire at any minute. Working from home works for us, because it may mean putting in a full day in the evening once the girls are off to sleep, but we got to spend the day as a family at the Ecomuseum or to travel across the border to the US for shopping.

We draw much of our inspiration from Kristie Burns’ Earthschooling, but it isn’t our only source. What appeals to me about the preschool and kindergarten curriculum (what we have used thus far) is that it has many ideas for activities throughout the day that respects rhythm in a Waldorf inspired sense but does not limit you to using it step by step. For example I recently arranged the activities for both Pre-school & Kindergarten from August to December in notebooks. I refer to them for inspiration, never feeling limited to, “okay this is for August only”. Sure some of the material is seasonally themed, but even then, they can be adapted and changed for the season we are currently in. If I am inspired, I will go with it…because I know if I want to do it, my children will too.

Many days this past month when I am tired we simply sit around reading books, playing with dough, drawing with crayons and otherwise not having any semblance of “rhythm”. Yet to me we are observing rhythm as we are slowing down and listening to our bodies – what feels right.

And yet, despite many days of no structure, my children are learning. My two year old talks in complete sentences, and I chulckle at the fact they both can say the word, “homeopathic”. ;) My 2 year old knows her name starts with the letter “A”, she can distinguish colors, “What do you think of this dress, Ava?”, “I like it, it’s purple!” she responds. She also loves animals, mostly of the barnyard variety and can tell you all about them. My soon-to-be four year old is all about colors, shapes and teaching herself the letters of the alphabet. I see every day their inquisitive minds grow and it’s always a joy to hear one of them say enthusiastically “That would be FUN!” when I suggest something we could do, and then seeing just how much they took away from the activity – far more than just being entertained. I should add that this is all accomplished without the use of TV. “Treehouse” for example is actually blocked in our house, and if the TV is on they spend more time asking questions about it than watching.

I couldn’t tell you how my children’s learning measures up to others, nor do we as parents care. We see them learning and being passionate about learning, and that’s all that matters. We know many bilingual and trilingual children, accomplished soccer players & musicians, and that I am happy about as well. I am happy for any child who excels in what they enjoy regardless of how it is achieved. One thing I have realized about deschooling your adult self, is how much evaluations and grades simply don’t matter anymore (also masquerading as societal judgement & self-doubt). My child is never going to measure the same as another, because we are all different, and differences are to be celebrated.

Will our children always be homelearners? YES! Regardless if they attend school or not, I am confident as a parent that I can always offer them enrichment and keep their love of new experiences and inspiration alive. I realize now as an adult, that is just what my parents offered me, even though they had no idea that is what they were doing. Moreover, my children will always keep inspiring me and push me to keep learning and evolving. They truly are a precious gift to my own personal growth. I will always be, deschooling myself. ;)