At this moment, my family is all around me in the kitchen. They are all playing a game on various iPhones / iPods called Temple Run, starring Montana Smith.
Even my husband is playing.
It’s Sunday morning. It’s time for Daddy Breakfast.
Jokingly, in my best mother in charge of all things voice, I told him that if he didn’t put down the game and make breakfast, I was going to have to take his toy away. Afterall, he promised to do something useful.
Wilderness Dad: “Well, you’re busy on the computer.”
Superior Me: “I’m writing.”
Dad, now trying to buy time: “Like writing is any more important than escaping a tomb with an idol in your arms and monkeys chasing you?”
Ha. Maybe it isn’t. Writing happens to be important to me. Pretending to be an Indiana Jones, save the world while finding treasure type hero is important to him. And I think he likes to run from monkeys.
My little women have amazing, varied interests. They all have value and meaning to them. This idea is becoming the foundation of our homeschool journey.
What’s more important, learning to diagram a sentence or jump a horse?
Does it depend on the person? You can’t force someone to learn how to jump a horse. You simply can’t. If they have no interest, or are not ready emotionally and physically, it’s downright dangerous.
I happen to think it’s the same with grammar. If you don’t want to learn it, you simply don’t take it in. You never own it. And you probably feel bad about it for a long time. I speak from experience.
To the outside world, homeschooling is simply homeschooling. I imagine people must think we all do pretty much the same exact things kids do in school.
That’s not us.
If you’ve read much here at Adorable Chaos, you’ll know that I’m not really one for rigid rules. Schedules are a bit of a challenge for me. Correction: I’m awesome at designing schedules, just not at sticking to them. I create beautiful schedules, fully aware that we’ll complete about half of what I map out. My daily planner is full of goals. Some days we reach them. When we don’t, it’s okay.
We talk. Constantly. About everything. And I love that.
I’m learning that it doesn’t matter much if we check off everything on THE LIST.
They are still learning.
I think all new homeschoolers must struggle to find where they fit in; to identify with a specific approach.
Classical. Charlotte Mason. Unschooler. Interest Led Learning. Unit Studies. Waldorf. The list goes on and on.
I’m trying to let go of the need to call myself a classical homeschooler, or radical unschooler or anything in between. It would limit us somehow, attempting to live up to an image in my head.
I’ll take what we need from each method. I love the approach to history and literature in The Well Trained Mind. I want that peaceful, joyous life that Radical Unschooling presents. I love the respect and gratitude of Miss. Charlotte Mason‘s method.
And whenever I need a little encouragement to keep on keepin’ on, I get fired up by reading John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons of Mass Instruction. I love a rebel.
I want to look back on this time and know that my relationships with my children were truly all they could be. I want to know that I did my best to help my children learn and follow their dreams.
I want them to feel loved, respected and accepted for exactly who they are and choose to be.
Of course, I fall short. Often. But I keep trying.
As I finish writing this (following a delicious breakfast), the games continue. Next, they plan on making rock candy and crystal snowflakes. Maybe they’ll use the microscope to examine the crystals first. They might take notes and pictures. They may want to learn more through reading or searching online.
Maybe they’ll move on to a new interest or go back to running from monkeys and collecting artifacts in Temple Run.
Eclectic. Definitely eclectic.