Wednesday, July 30, 2008

checking in with Reality

Sometimes I wonder (vaguely) if I am missing something.
Something important.

I watch my children, and their busy-ness, and their discoveries and explorations and imaginings and Ways, and I hardly ever worry.
I don't usually judge it - except in an amused, enchanted sort of way.
I don't usually quiz them - except when one fear or another creeps in - and then I evaluate, or question (them or me), and muddle through it the best way I can. Always eager to get to the other side.

Unschooling comes so easy to us.
And I spose this is where I get hung up.
People that know nothing of unschooling might say, "Of course it's easy! You're not doing anything!!"
But that isn't true. At least, it doesn't seem that way to me. And I guess that's where I sometimes question if I'm missing something.
We read. We explore the local historic farm. We visit the Planetarium, and watch its films. We visit museums probably at least a dozen times a year. We bake and cook. We look at the globe and and ask questions of "Where's ____?" and "How far is ____?" and "Show me ____..." at least once a week (including Maddie). We play Carmen Sandiego on the computer. We play Clifford on pbs. We play Math 1-2. And JumpStart World. We build, we swim, we play with friends, and we go to the library. We learn about the constellations, and wonder which planet that is in the night sky. We experiment with magnets. We learn about the life cycle of the frog. We clean, we interact, we solve problems, and we communicate. We help each other, and sometimes we hinder.
We discuss evolution often. We count, we name colors, and we imitate animals.
We make Pinwheels for Peace every year, and we watch Animal Planet. We watch Wishbone, Arthur, Nova and the History Channel. We paint, we sculpt with clay, we play with tangrams, and we do science experiments. We flex our imaginative muscles daily with pretend play.

It's all so natural, and free flowing.
Experiencing life this way, I feel so satisfied and confident. (Most of the time.)
But then once in a while someone says something, and I have to ask myself.... am I missing something? Is living this way not enough? How can someone doubt it?
It is so apparent and obvious to me that it's working so beautifully....

And so I try to see things from a different perspective, and surround us with circumstances when it would not Be Enough.
Such as if we doubted our ability to learn anything. (I don't mean anything-at-all, I mean we know that we can learn anything. That nothing is outside the realm of possibility.)
Or if we felt we had to play by someone else's rules.
Or if we believed that instead of people needing more room to grow and love and expand out of them selves they needed more limitations.

None of those apply to us.

I cannot think of one thing right now in our experiences and growth and living that is lacking.
And the beauty of living this way, is that as soon as you discover that there is something new that excites you -- you're free to pursue it, and claim the magic for yourself.

It's enough for me.

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