Open Up!

This post is for inclusion in the Enjoy Life Unschooling Blog Carnival.

This months theme is “To Open”.

  • The name April is of Latin origin, and its meaning is “to open”.
  • What does that mean to you?
  • What doors do Radical Unschooling open?
  • How have you “opened” since discovering unschooling?

Have fun, get messy, make mistakes!

Unschooling changed how we interact with each other.

When I first saw the theme for this months carnival. I also thought of the word free.
I can honestly say that we have transformed as a family this past year.
One thing that I love, the girls feel free and confident enough to correct us when we’re wrong.
They also feel free to share how they feel with us, if we’ve said or done something to upset them, they have no problem telling us.

The other day Charles was talking about something and he said the word stupid. Nakiah was quick to correct him “Daddy we don’t say that word, it’s not nice.”
This afternoon My dad took something out of my hand, and he wasn’t snatching it, but again Nakiah corrected him. “Peepaw you need to ask first. You can’t take it away”
Another example, I was in the kitchen cooking, and Ava was looking for her shoes. I couldn’t leave the food yet, so I told her I would help her in a few minutes. I told her the shoes were upstairs. I must have sounded annoyed, or raised my voice, she said “Mommy, I don’t like when you yell at me like that.” I told her I was sorry, and she said “that’s ok!” hugged me and went to get her shoes.
Our kids keep us honest. I love that. Even though it may be hard to hear that I’ve hurt their feelings, I’m glad they know they can come to me. They know that how they feel, and what they think really does matter.

 Freedom

I have a new way of thinking about so many things beyond “education”
The world looks different. I’m seeing the world through my childrens eyes. As adults I think it’s easy for us to get caught up in how we think our kids should see the world. They are teaching me so much everyday.
I love sharing our days with Charles. he gets the biggest kick out of their new discoveries, and hearing their stories about the day.
When you think about it, they have only been here such a short time. Three and five years is not long at all.
The time goes by so quickly though.
We are free all day everyday. No set schedule to follow.
We can wake when our bodies feel we’ve had enough rest. Usually the girls feel rested way before I do!
I love that we can come and go as we please.
While other kids are in school learning about nature from a book, we are out in nature learning and exploring first hand.

One day it’s the park, or the mall, the library, a playdate, a museum, hanging out at home. It doesn’t have to be the same routine day after day, and they know that. “Mommy can we go to the park?” Sure!
We can stay for as long as we want. Daddy shows them how to skip rocks, they pick flowers for me, they talk about the shapes and animals they see in the clouds.
Every single thing, no matter how simple is amazing when you can see it through your childs eyes.

 
I’m more Open!

It’s nice to let things flow. I’m used to being a perfectionist. I’m becoming more spontaneous. I feel more calm sometimes, not having to, or feeling the need to keep everything so structured 24/7
I do still have my moments where I like things to be in their place, but I’m not pushing that off on them. They like to help me clean up, and they will put things back without me asking them to.
I’ve learned to let things be, let the kids be kids. If they want to play in the dirt or mud, no problem, we can wash it off later.
I actually like being with my kids, not that I didn’t before, but I think I took them for granted.
Instead of always thinking “when is this stage and age going to pass?” Now I think “this is only a stage, and they are only going to be this age for a short time” One day I’m going to look up and my babies will be grown. I want to enjoy them today, right now, just as they are for who they are. Not tomorrow or next year.

I don’t buy them a toy, or take them to a museum in hopes that they will learn about xyz. I take them because I know they will enjoy it, or because they asked me to. I also know they are going to learn from the experience, because that’s how kids are. We can’t stop them from learning.
I also feel like I’ve become a much more involved parent.
People think unschooling is for lazy people, and it’s quite the opposite. I’m pouring more of myself into the girls, and their interest. I’m always on the hunt for something new, or ways to connect the dots to an interest they already have.

There is no need to be like everyone else, or live by what society says is the right way.
It feels so good to let that way of thinking go. 
As I said many times before, unschooling has become a lifestyle for us. It has poured into everything we do, say, and how we treat others. I’m glad that we are on this journey, and I see it getting better as time goes on.

 

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7 thoughts on “Open Up!

  1. You're family is such an inspiration, Darcel. My daughter corrects us all the time too – she definitely makes us watch our Ps and Qs.Sending love and hugs your way.

  2. I know I keep saying how that even though I am here with You, Charles, and the Girls, how these posts are showing me things I don't always "see". These are prime examples…and yes they let us know when we need correcting. oooxxx

  3. I know I keep saying how that even though I am here with You, Charles, and the Girls, how these posts are showing me things I don't always "see". These are prime examples…and yes they let us know when we need correcting. oooxxx

  4. You're family is such an inspiration, Darcel. My daughter corrects us all the time too – she definitely makes us watch our Ps and Qs.Sending love and hugs your way.

  5. Great post. I share your feelings about unschooling and the freedom it brings to all of us in our family.Good luck with upcoming birth – the big sisters must be SO anxious!

  6. I love the way you write so passionately about unschooling. Many times when I read about unschooling, the focus is primarily on how the children learn. I like how you've pointed out that unschooling has benefits for the adults as well as the children.

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