Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Back to Unschool!

 People who read my blog know that my take on child rearing is not the American standard. I co-slept, breastfed, wore my child, work part-time so that I can be with him, plan on unschooling and traveling for his education, and homestead to feed him well instead of feeding him "kid food" (whatever that is!). He is not being restricted in his gender expressions and he is being raised knowing that I will love him always. My love is not conditional on him making choices that I would personally chose for him.

Spiritually, he is being raised as a Witch with a UU community and ethics (which come from individual discernment) instead of morals (which are an outside code adopted by someone instead of thinking for themselves).

He is also smart- while we have "teaching moments", we do not have school per se- I take advantage of what happens in our lives. Our gardening together is a science moment or a time to count. We sing the alphabet song in the car, which he loves. Right now we are working on slowing down L...M...N...O...P... so they are no longer a one-letter combo! He knows his letters and numbers by sight already, and memorizes people's names after meeting them once (I wish I had that skill!). He remembers everything.

Today, we decided together what we were gonna do- and when those plans didn't work out (the science museum was closed! Boo!), we laughed and went to eat breakfast instead. (He ordered himself- after I told him his healthy options.) I was delighted he did not have a fit over something neither of us could control. (Personally, I put that down to his always getting his emotional needs met, so when his desires are not met, it's OK. I buy into that attachment parenting idea. It has worked well for us. While Rowan has his "toddler moments", he is generally an easy-going, well-adjusted, kind child.)

Later, I taught him and his friends (the three girls next door) how to play hopscotch (they are all a tad too young to play by the exact rules yet) and then formed a marching band with Rowan's play instruments and marched around the yard. Keeping equidistant from one another, learning how to march and hop "the right way", throwing the rock on the right number by sight and in sequence- that would bewhat the educator calls developing hand-eye coordination, fine and gross motor control, counting, sight learning of numbers, following detailed instructions, and fostering creativity. Top that, preschool! Ha!

Later still, we cleaned up his insanely messy room together. His job was to get the stuff off the floor and put it on the bed, and my job was to sort it and put it away into his bins and such. I put down a rug that shows a little town- complete with roads and buildings. He can play on it with his little cars and people. I dragged up the new toy box his Pap Pap made him- a huge behemoth that made me huff and puff and sweat afterwards! (Porbably should have waited for daddy to come home, but I didn't.) He now has a wonderfully clean room (until tomorrow, LOL) that is organized and swept. It looks awesome. I should take a picture, because it won't last long!

On Children by Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.


  1. So lovely! I used to dress my oldest son in a dress too (well, in the photo Rowan looks like he's wearing a dress, sorry if I'm wrong) and keep his hair long. All of that changed with my second husband, a very pro-military, right-wing, typical macho male who wouldn't hear of any such thing. He shaved off our son's hair (still does even though we're divorced) and of course, during the time we were together, the only one who wore a dress was me! After our divorce I wanted to go back to the way we used to be, but my kids were already going to school, where they were learning that boys don't wear pink or play with dolls, and my oldest son (who isn't macho man's son and therefore doesn't have to get his head shaved off by my ex) refused to wear his hair long anymore, because when he used to do it, the kids at school used to laugh at him and call him a girl. I want (and try) to teach him that boys and girls are equal, it isn't always easy living in a society that doesn't teach him the same things I teach him at home (I'm an expat living in a very traditional, Latin society).

    (PS. It's me again but once again Blogger refuses to identify me with my WordPress account.)


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