Journeying Around That Mulberry Bush

So Papa was on vacation last week which in our home means production(why I was short on posting). In our home it is Papa who keeps the ship rolling as I tend to  procrastinate a tiny bit, okay a lot.

When I wake up I like to have a cup of tea and ease into my day. Papa likes to get up and get things done to have the afternoon. Part of keeping a peaceful home is making sure *every* member of the family is happy not just the children.

We needed to work out a few kinks and the compromise that *we* arrived at was for Mama not to get grouchy I needed tea and so on those days when Papa is home and we have stuff to get done we watch an episode of something, I drink tea, the girls wake up, we grab a bite to eat and head out (which means on my part in order to have my tea time I must have everything in order the night before so I can be ready speedy quick the next day). It’s win, win for everyone.

I do also want to add what helps *a lot* with the girls is letting them know the day before everything that needs to be done the next day. They know before they go to sleep there are things that need to be done. Papa has also learned to “let go” that if something just isn’t going to happen like he had planned it’s okay and we work together to find a solution. Maybe, for him, that means doing something around the house that needs done and doing our running the next day. Maybe it means me doing the running and the girls staying home with Papa. My point is that nothing ever needs to be just black or white, there are *many* choices between A and B.

That is , in my opinion, with the exception of responsibilities. 🙂

There is a deep discussion going on in a unschooling group (That normally I would mention or link to but which one it is honestly is not the point because really the topic applies to unschooling in general.) about unschooling being compared with freedom. This has caused confusion with new unschoolers it seems as some parents take this to mean they are free to do whatever the hell they feel like and modeling this message to their children. The thing is none of us are really free. It doesn’t matter which state or country we live in we *all* have laws that we *must* follow.

Indiana is a wonderful state to homeschool with very few laws that I must abide by but I *do* need  proof of 180 days worth of attendance. Not being able to provide that is risking my chances of homeschooling. There has been a case here in our state of 2 women not being able to show this and lost their right to homeschool. Their children are now in school. It can and has happened.

Somewhere the message of unschooling has been lost as an alternative way to *educate* children.  I mean the word itself was invented by a school reformer. As unschooling parents we still are *responsible* for our children’s education.

Yes children learn naturally but it is still our responsibility to facilitate and set our homes up for that learning to flourish. I *know* children can learn from watching television shows like South Park and The Simpsons and I *know* that children can learn from video games but children still need a more experienced partner to help answer questions that may arise from these things. They still need a partner to bring in *many* different kinds of resources that maybe our children did not know existed to help feed their interests. (Not workbooks unless your child likes to do them for fun and sees them no different from like coloring books or word searches, which I like to do.)  They still need a partner to help them understand that here in the United States you need to pay taxes. They still need a partner to tell them if you break the laws you will pay the consequence.

When we decided to homeschool, the girl’s education became our responsibility (and there are different choices how to homeschool). It is our (papa and my) responsibility that the girls be able to survive in *this* world, not some *free* fantasy world that does not exist and Papa and I take that responsibility * very* serious.

Unschooling is a wonderful alternative to school. I personally *know* it works. I am sad to see it get a bad reputation. I am sad that when I do tell people we unschool, because I myself am so passionate about it, that people roll their eyes at me and say OH. I am sad that our family is already labeled “wild” because of a few bad examples (because we are far from wild let me tell you 🙂 ).

Parenthood is hard, it is a responsibility all of its own. Homeschooling is hard. Papa and I work hard to make sure we are doing *both* well (not just good but well and always striving to do better). I hold myself to very tough standards(because I want to), that is what this here blog is all about.

This blog is our journey and I hope to provide a positive example of unschooling.

Wishing peace for your own journey.

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One Response to “Journeying Around That Mulberry Bush”

  1. Nikole Says:

    Your family dynamics sound so similar to ours, down to a slow-waking Mama, and a motivated Papa :). Thanks for another clear-headed post on radical unschooling. I’ve also had the, “Oh, you’re one of those” type reactions when I’ve mentioned unschooling. I agree that when people start thinking more about their children’s ‘freedom’ than their ‘education’ problems can arise.

    -another radical unschooler who doesn’t want to be un-parenting 😉

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