First off, to answer the original question, I find unschooling easy, but life with kids sometimes difficult. less difficult as they get older... unschooling is now, for us, just part of life, it all flows together, the learning, the vegging out, the rest of it, it is just life. but for sure I have my days where I wish my kids were someone else's problem for a few hours! When I say, though, that "unschooling is easy", I mean, as opposed to any other option -- for our family, it is the best, and also "easiest" path.
Originally Posted by annakiss
The older I get, the longer I do this, it seems the less I am certain about anything at all.
And that, to me, is the basis for growth and acceptance and learning from others and all the rest of it. I used to be very sure of myself, sure that what I was doing was the right thing to be doing, the best way, all that. then, for SOME reason, my AP raised babies, who were supposed to be so independent because I had "filled up their love cup" did NOT want to let me out of their sight! still, at the age of 7, I have to hang around outside my son's art class. Am I doing the right thing by not forcing the issue? I don't know, but it seems pretty dang important to my son to have me nearby, and it's not all that important to me to "get away from the kids" anymore (I get a lot of solo time during the day at home, they kind of do their own thing a lot), and I assume that he won't want me around forever, so I bring a book. The kids also did not magically decide they wanted their own beds at the age of 3, and at 7 and 9 are still sleeping with us. my son is totally nuts sometimes, is intensely sensitive and struggles with self-esteem, have I just totally effed him up somehow? my parents would probably say yes, but I still believe that the proof will show up in the pudding, just maybe not until later than I expected from reading Dr. Sears!
the older I get, the more I realize that there AREN'T any answers, it's just up to each of us as moms (dads can help too if they see fit
) to try to do the best by our families. Do what works, don't be afraid to change what doesn't work, no matter what ANYONE thinks. I guess, for me, having slightly older kids, I have the benefit of having tried several different approaches to things that weren't working, and time and again, it all comes down to building honest, respectful relationships, trusting my kids, but also not being afraid to be the mama duck when necessary. It gets so much easier as they get older, I promise! about things like video games/computer time/tv, bedtimes, etc, if you can see that something is making your child unhealthy, you have to do what it takes to change that. whether your approach is to let them feel the ill effects and work through to the other side, or to set respectful and maybe mutually agreed on limits, or just putting your foot down and selling all electronica, that just depends on your family dynamics. What worked for me was to relax about it, make more of an effort to get out into the world each day, and our tv lost all reception, which helped a lot!
but, I am getting a videogame...thing...for the first time ever, because I think my kids have achieved a better sense of balance with media, and it doesn't really scare me anymore, and my son will be thrilled. don't really know what helped them shift, though I suspect it was my attitude changing, and my son not feeling like electronic time was a precious commodity anymore... we never talked about it, he's just sensitive like that.
Originally Posted by AngelBee
I also have SEVERE ADHD which presents challenges in assisting my children with their interests when I am not "feeling" it. Or making sure that I am creating an atmosphere at home that is inspiring and open to their enrichment.
I don't think it's necessary to "create" any kind of atmosphere, aside from trying to be as respectful of your kids as you can. I had someone comment on my blog that our life looked perfect (well-timed photographs have that effect
), and I think the same effect is created when we all rhapsodize about the beauty and joy of unschooling on our good days...but in our family, every day is not inspiring or enriching -- I think that for those days to happen, you need just as many boring, veg out, just go for a walk days too. those are the days when inspiration will strike, and the basis for an interest forms -- we don't jump to the moment every time an interest comes up, but I try to mentally log them (used to write them down, but that died out quickly) and the ones that are mentioned or come up a few times, we make more of an effort with. mostly that entails getting books from the library, or documentaries, or movies, etc, or going to a museum, or whatever. For us, it doesn't include creating a unit study or delving deeper into a subject than my kid wants to delve -- I used to feel pressure to do that, but I can see that the important ones will come up again and again.
so yes, life with kids is hard sometimes. For us, unschooling is the easiest way to live our lives. I can't imagine trying to do school-at-home, and sending the kids to school, at this stage, doesn't appeal to me either. so mostly we just do what we feel like doing, and as a family, we work together to make sure everyone's needs are met. my kids fight sometimes (ok, daily) but other than that, life is pretty good like this.