Saturday, August 30, 2008

Self Doubt and Tyrant Shadows

I've been homeschooling/unschooling for around three weeks now and so far it feels like a dismal failure.  The things Paul was afraid of happening are happening.  Namely, that when I instruct (or even suggest, on my non-imperial days) the kids to do something, they revolt.  Sometimes they feign deafness or ignorance.  Other times they blatantly refuse.  Or burst into tears and throw a tantrum because I've asked them to do something.

At times like these I feel resolve stealing over me to make them do what I want them to.  They must sit and blog, they must sit and do math games, they must go to the park and play, they must do their chores.  And all right when I tell them, too!

And then I remember Alfie Kohn, and Rudolf Driekers and know that that is not the way I want to parent.  Let alone teach.  That's part of the reason I took them out of traditional school in the first place, so they could be more autonomous about their learning and be more in control.

I read something yesterday (from John Holt?) that said we needed to 'trust our children' to do what is right for them and for their learning.  That if we follow their lead, we will see that they will go where they need to go.  I see the glamour of this, and also the sensibility.  I want to believe, and I do, yet in a day like this -- that reeks of instability -- I wonder.

What I want is for them to spontaneously just do educational and creative projects and honor and test their natural curiosity.  But right now they don't.  They'd rather play xbox or have me read to them all day.  (Well, that last one is probably ok, but moderation does seem to be called for.  One does need to get dressed occasionally and change the laundry and clean off the dining room table and make dinner and pick up dog poo outside.)

Right now they are playing a SpongeBob "typing" game, of which I approve, and earlier Aubrey and Joey made lunch for us.  Mac-n-cheese (supplying free range chicken for me because I have a gluten sensitivity) and smoothies.  Yum.  So some things are working ... there's just a whole lot of angst in-between the smooth bits.  Sigh.  Is this normal?  Am I on the right track?

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