Thursday, November 13, 2008

No Excuses

Sorry for the doom and gloom yesterday.  Let's just blame that on The Darkness, shall we?

Outside the Lines

Thanks for your comments, though.  It's nice to know people think I'm being an okay role model for my kids.  I'm not always sure.  Days like yesterday, I have to ask myself if I'm doing what I should be doing - doing the right thing by my kids.  Am I teaching them enough, giving them enough space to discover things on their own?  I'm full of self-doubt and worry and hand-wringing.

Those are the days I want to break out of the controlled environment in which we live and do something completely outside the box. 

But I rarely do.

Instead, I insist that we finish this one thing.  I insist that that sentence get diagrammed, by golly.  I push and I prod and I cajole and I occasionally resort to threats.  And I don't like it.

I long to be one of those unschoolers who strew learning materials around and watch the wonder and amazement in their children's eyes as they discover something on their own.  I'd love to hand my children a cookbook and tell them to make whatever they like and watch as they perform feats of algebra before my very eyes.  I'd love to wake up in the morning, fling a pile of Legos and string on the ottoman and watch as my children recreate the building of the Golden Gate Bridge. I read unschooling blogs and I envy the flow of their days.

Except for one thing.  Neither I nor my children are capable of such unscheduled days.  Junebug and I are far too competitive and task-oriented, and Doodlebug is too much a dreamer.  It would never work.

Perhaps there is a compromise between school-at-home and unschooling.  Maybe, on days when their eyes glaze over and drift up into their heads, we can put the sentence diagramming aside and paint a picture instead.  Maybe when the multiplication tables have taken their toll on their brains, we can stop everything and go make Lego multiplication problems instead.

Maybe we can take time out to do a little boogie-woogie in the music room.