What to title this huh? I feel so overwhelmed with unschooling at times. This is one of them. :)
There are things I want for my kids. I want to give them enough time to try and try again at mastering something they want, to give them my attention if they want it, to give them any opportunity I can to explore an interest they have, I want to give them my patience as they try new things.
But I'm not succeeding and I want to find some peace and calm in the chaos, because that's how things feel, chaotic. definitly part of it is caused by my own desires and needs, but I have a right to those too. :)
They do sports, martial art, more sports, park days, chill out get togethers with friends, swimming . . then at home they seek art time, want to play instruments, video games, cards, chess, lego . . . it is so awesome and great and I want to be right there suporting them however they need it.
but there are three of them, and dishes after each meal, and laundry, and cat litter, and composting, and oh crap we're late for aikido and I don't have any snacks ready for all our special diets, where is your uniform?
I feel that way most days.
I want us to cook together, eat together, have enough time to get to bed in a happy way, read if they want it, we sing in bed sometimes . . . but we come in from aikido and haul off to soccer within the hour, and then they're tired and need bed but we're home late from soccer so just crawl in, no time to read or sing cause I need to go attack the dishes, or heavens think about knitting or sewing or writing (never happens).
I know mine is not a unique situation. But the only thing I ever run to when I feel overwhelmed is that I should be more organised, we need a routine, we need schdules, there is peace in inking us all into a 12 hour routine.
But we're unschoolers! Maybe I missed the workshop on how to actually get everyone's needs met, they're not asking for the moon (or are we?). We do not want to say 'now it's art time' and 'everybody get up now, it's 7am!' but otherwise, now do you get it all in there? Between the 5 of us someone has a regular class/activity 5 nights a week, and 5 afternoons a week.
I don't want to deny an interest, of theirs or mine or dh's. but after 10 years of this juggling thing, I'm not getting better at it, or it doesn't feel like it. Are you better at it? Is there a psychological secret you can share? I'm thinking it's a matter of perspective and that mine is off. All I know is youngest will wake up and ask to paint and then have a bath (who could deny her that) but I know we need to be gone in an hour (cause they slept in) for a class/park date/play thing that we all want to go to. And after that we need food, then a class, or laundry, and it'll be 3 days and she never got to paint.
How do you do it, how does your house flow? We love our activities, we'd do more if there was more money and time. Yet still, there is so much we cannot fit in that I think is so important. Do we cut back? Do we say no to an interest? Being out of school and unschooled, to me, was about time, having enough, being able to immerse yourself in something. We have nooooo time for immersion.
So maybe it is just that I need to see things differently, and be a little bit more organised? We are not schedule folks, I do not plan our meals, the kids don't sit to do X at a certain time . . . and the idea of that really puts me off because I'll get cranky makin everyone adhere to it. But maybe there's a middle groun and my struggling Libra can only see the extremes?
How do you manage unschooling lots of kids, as well as yourself and partner?