Sunday, September 5, 2010
I am full of gratitude.
I just finished typing up a learning plan for my son, who when asked about what he would like to do and learn about this year had only 3 things to say:
1. everything Mario
2. nothing else because "I am NOT starting school"
3. and also, "I do NOT want to learn how to read!"
And so, that is what I had to work with. Building a plan for my determined and fun boy who has no interest in being a part of this planning process; but who will no doubt learn because (as I've learned) being ALIVE makes one part of the learning process :D
Actually, I thought it was kind of adorable. His to-heck-with-it attitude. His "I only like THIS at this moment and will not venture into imagining future interests with you" attitude. And so, like most proud mama's I told his gramma this story about him. And like a proud gramma, she laughed and retold it to her friends. It dawned on me that it didn't have to go that way. She could have heard this story and become concerned about her granbaby's "education". But she didn't, because she is awesome! And, I think, because she loves us, and she loves our son; and I think she knows he will be learning and doing amazing things this year. And I am SO grateful that she has always been loving and supportive- even when things sound kind of crazy!
I included this story in the learning plan that I submitted to our learning consultant; who, I have no doubts will find it very funny! She has been helping us on our learning journey for 3 years already, with our daughter. I consider her one of my valued friends. She has been a beautiful support to my daughter and to our family. She helps me when I have doubts; and reminds me of what is really important to me when it comes to raising my kids. I am so grateful to have the support and guidance of a 'teacher' who has affection for my family.
As I was writing his plan, I had to think about mentors for him. It reminded me how supportive our extended family really has been. My husband's auntie has been doing art days with my daughter nearly every week for more than a year; and has taken her swimming and helped her learn to swim- which is a HUGE deal because my daughter was very scared of the water; but she was patient with her, and kind, and helped her through it. And the gramma's have helped with reading, and trips to the aquarium and disneyland, and encouraging my daughter's passion for photography, dance and jewelry making.
They didn't have to do that, I am thankful they did. It dawns on me that Un-schooling is a huge concept. One that has worked beautifully for my family; but that must have sounded straight-up off the wall to some of the people in our life. Perhaps, it still does. No curriculum?! Child-led learning?! No workbooks?! (unless they want them) No forced learning?! It really does sound crazy. It brings up alot of doubts. Alot of questions. Alot of fears... for me, as their parent trying to figure out how this whole thing would work; but I'm sure for others in our life too. But everyone has been pretty patient with me, as I figure out how this whole thing works.
Gratitude. and anticipation for the learning year to come....