deschooling myself

I am still struggling with “deschooling” myself, as they call it in the homeschooling world.  To want to make my kids “do school” at home the way I was schooled.  Even after a few months, I still find myself biting my tongue, trying to refrain from saying, “Shouldn’t you be working on your math, do you have your Spanish done?”

Their Montessori school took some deschooling for me at the beginning.  What?  You let them just sit there and think, and do nothing else for periods of time?!  As if thinking is a bad idea!  It went against everything I had learned in school – keep busy, busy, busy.  One subject after the other.  You didn’t finish your work?  Too bad, we’re moving on to the next subject.  One aspect of the Montessori philosophy that we love, is that a child is given all the time they need to ponder and explore and repeat something over and over.

When we brought the kids home to learn, I didn’t want to be torn between the freedom they had been given at school and the way I had been taught, but I was.  Yesterday morning was a perfect example.  We typically have a book on CD going in the car and we had listened to half of The Tale of Despereaux.  It is one of those enchanting, magical tales that you just don’t want to put down (or stop listening to).  Asher woke up asking to listen to it first thing and automatically my mind leapt to “No, there is math to do, grammar to do, science to do, work, work, work.”  Luckily, I gave myself a few moments to consider.  Then we spent the morning finger knitting a garland for the Christmas tree and building a great lego ship, while listening spellbound to what I’m sure will one day be considered a classic.  My children continuously teach me to move more slowly, purposefully, and gracefully through each day.  I am reminded that this season we are sharing together will pass all too quickly and to savor each and every moment.

Did we get everything on the “checklist” done?  Probably not.  But by following my children, instead of the other way around, we (mostly I) were reminded of some pretty powerful lessons.  Sometimes it is more important to sit and listen to a story that tucks in little life lessons here and there, then it is to memorize times tables.  The times tables will be there tomorrow, and that is soon enough.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Adriane
    Nov 20, 2008 @ 14:41:40

    Isn’t it true that we are learning right alongside our children? What a blessing and a challenge! I am so glad you are (finally) writing your thoughts and experiences to share with others–your writing is eloquent and touching!

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