Monday, September 11, 2006

Starting School

It's been a long time since I've posted. But, I've been busy on the other one.
Let's see... Backyard Capers is up and running. It took up a while, but things are going smoothly for the moment.
Starting up the business and website took up huge amount of my time for a while. My house was neglected, along with my family. It made me feel bad about the way things were going. I felt like I was doing a really poor job of hsing. Even though we unschool, it's imperative to throw things out there, which I didn't really feel like I was doing.
Hearing and seeing "school starting" everywhere prompted me to get more organized in my home as well as with our time. Everyone is gathering curriculum, coops are forming, and families are getting ready to settle in for the fall and winter season.
It prompted me to get going, too.
On the other end of the spectrum, there were a couple of memorable events that happened lately. After a low point of feeling judged a bad mother, we went to Sam's barbecue a few days later.
There were several people there, hardly any of whom I knew. I pretty much kept to myself, and tended to my children. I didn't bring up hsing, or my children, or parenting, or anything. Trev is in love with Uncle Nate's Star Wars toys, and one of Sam's children brought them out for Trev to play with. We were just playing with them, and talking about them, just hanging out, and eating.
A while later, across the table was a discussion of nursing, and hospitals and universities, and a lady who runs a couple of daycares asked me if I had a child development degree. (choke sputter) "Me?!? No." "You're so good with kids, and you communicate so well with your son, talk with him so respectfully." "Oh. Well, I believe it's the right thing to do." Evidently one of the two also brought it up with Eric, I could hear him saying "Yeah, she knows what she's doing, reads... " ... I just heard a snippet. Later, he told me that was about me. Huh. Imagine that.
Then last week we were waiting in line at Penny's, we were buying fall clothes for Maddie and Trev, and Trev asked me what the "Line Forms Here" sign said, and we proceeded to sound out the words, l, i (which sometimes has the "I" sound, n, and so on. After we were done, the clerk said "Wow, you're so patient!"
Now I have been called a lot of things, and I don't think anyone has ever said that I am patient. Can you imagine? (I've always considered myself to be one of the most impatient persons on the planet.)
This did a couple of things for me. First, I of course discounted it. I didn't say it to her, but I thought, "It's not patience, it's what I do, we homeschool." and shrugged it off. But then I started thinking about it, and I thought, "Good grief. You have to have some semblance of patience to even want to homeschool, to practice it, to get through things without yelling at your children." Patience are also required for treating your children respectfully, and in guiding them gently each day.
So now I'm at this "Do you suppose it could be true?" place.
How would my life differ if I started viewing myself as gaining patience and tolerance? Surely it works the same as anything else. If you think or feel you are in lack of something, it of course manifests over and over again. Not only universally speaking, but if you are concentrating on things negative, you leave no room in your life for noticing the blessings. ie living in fear, coming from anger instead of love, always having a sense of lacking, etc.

So the last bit I've been keeping track of our hsing life on OLM, and have been loving it. It's why I started the blog in the first place; as unschoolers we don't keep records (ie grades and tests), so it's a great way for me to see how far we've come, and also lets family know what we're up to. On the down side, I had been feeling like all of our learning was from school stuff, and not living, and that was making me sort of sad. There is something so wonderful and exciting about learning so naturally. You have to really pay attention, and notice the magic.
And that's why I was sad, I think, my concentration was on recording and notice what more traditional "learning" we were doing, and not really noticing the "ordinary life magic". But then yesterday we had this great day, and I felt the scale shift into a more natural balance. It probably wasn't as bad as I made it out to be, and was probably really only a couple of days that there was a lack of magic, but it was still a worry. I love life learning! I love the exploration and learning. It's such a wondrous way to live your life each day.

Well, this post has been a hodge podge, and probably doesn't make any sense at all. The whole family is back here in the den as I have written this, hooping and hollering, chasing, wrestling with dogs, playing Homeward Bound, etc, so if I was able to put two words together well it will be a miracle.
For now I am going, and I shall write soon.
Much love, Steph

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