Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Un-schooling and Not.

I dislike posting without a game plan. (Or even having written it ahead of time and just typing it here after I've edited and spell checked.) But here I am, stealing moments before my son gets up to write.

Otherwise, I fear, it will never happen. And then a month goes by without a post, and any readers I do have will stop coming back and .... well, you get the picture.

So, here I am.

I was lamenting to my husband -- though I fear (there's that would again) that he just rolls his eyes when I talk about stuff like this -- this morning about not having enough time with Aubrey.

She's getting up later and later in the morning so that I don't see here at all -- she's showering and dressing while I'm making her a to-go breakfast, packing her lunch and getting her coat and shoes by the door. Then she's gone all day while I'm home with Robert, living! , and when she gets home, she either: plays with Robert because they haven't seen each other all day, or she's so fried from the day that she just relaxes with a book or checks her emails. Which I totally respect and want to give her room to do.

This frequently means that when I put her to bed at night (when I do ... I'm gone to writer's meetings at least two times a week, more if I'm doing something else like date night), she wants to talk and connect, BUT ... I'm fried. I don't do evenings well. It's my time to relax and read, take a bath or watch a movie with popcorn. And so I rush it and try to get out of talking at the end of our bedtime ritual (which is fairly long as it is.)

All this means is that I miss her. I really want her home with me. I know that she will drift away the further into adolesence she gets, but I can't help but feel she won't if she's at home with me. We'll stay connected, at least.

When Aniela was, geez, twelve? to sixteen, she hated us all and went out of her way to show it. So much so that even though she hasn't lived with us for over a year and I miss her, and I admire where she's gone with her life, Paul still thinks I'm afraid of her. And we still don't have a good relationship with her; we still don't know each other; we still don't really talk to one another.

I don't want that to happen to me and Aubrey. Or Paul and Aubrey. That would be too much to bear for him. And me.

I already see the signs of adolescence approaching and so I feel spurred into action. I want her home with me during the day. I know that she wouldn't struggle so much with the unimportant (to the real world) stuff like: being singled out with assigned seating, feeling unworthy for getting circles for her incomplete work, or feeling different from the other kids.

I want her home with me.

But Paul doesn't. He doesn't even think Robert should be home, truthfully. At least that is how I read him. I feel in my bones that un-schooling, sometimes called student-lead or natural learning, is the right course of living for us. And Paul is afraid of this.

I keep trying to get him to read and research some of the things I'm finding about unschooling and he procrastinates and doesn't do it and still feels uncomfortable with what Robert and I do all day.

To me this is just irritating. To the point that some days I just feel done with talking about it. If he's uncomfortable with it, he can research it. I'm comfortable with it, I think it's the right course of action, I want it to be this way, and I'm the one with the time to do it.

I really would like the trust from him to do this. His blessing. (He says he supports me in my decision, but doesn't like it. That's not a blessing. Is it?)

I talked to an unschooling acquaintance of mine last month about this, and I loved her response. She said that sometimes her and her husband come up against this, too, but she reminds him that she doesn't advise him about selling or buying their stocks. It would be foolish. She doesn't know enough to. She can express concern over certain attributes ... the cost, or a particular company she doesn't like and doesn't want to support ... but she doesn't say, "Buy now."

Same with the "schooling;" he doesn't tell her not to do it (though he can express concern about certain things and they can talk about it -- just like the stock decisions) because she's the one that does all the research. She's the one that lives it every day. She's the one that dives into the living and learning of her children every day.

So, I guess it is time to have another talk with Paul about all this.
I don't want him to feel nagged, or that his opinion doesn't matter (which is what he told me), I just want my opinion to count, too.

And now my son is awake.

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