I remember feeling sad when my children were getting old enough to enter the public school system. I had a pain in my stomach as I filled out the papers. That is when I decided to look into homeschooling. I had fears such as, I am not smart enough to teach them, what if they hate it, socialization, time, and much more. I realized I also had fears about public school.
I decided to homeschool Evelina for kindergarten. I tried to structure it and felt stressed. Then came the questions from family and friends. Most people think you want to shelter your children from something, but that was not the case for me. I honestly wanted to spend more time with my children. I wanted to learn with them, play, laugh, love, and explore. Then I let guilt take over as if I was doing something wrong. I decided for 1st grade to let her enter the school system. It would be Ezio's year to enter kindergarten. When I dropped them off, I felt my heart was being removed from my chest. My gut instinct was to go grab them and bring them home. I took some deep breaths and allowed them to try.
I realized Evelina had exceptional reading skills and a memory that I could only dream of having. I thought maybe she was autistic and seemed to be highly intelligent. My son was a different story. He would come home grumpy and irritated. I noticed they were not eating very well at school so I figured that must be some of it. Then holiday break came and we did not have to worry about uniforms, lunches, homework when they were tired and irritated or fundraisers. My stomach issues seemed normal when all of that stress was not going on. I decided I had enough and I notified the state of my intent to homeschool. Now if our socks did not match, that was cool with us.
We could sleep with our biological clock and sleep when needed. It made me think back when I was in school. When I had to wake early, I could not think and was not ready to learn. I did not retain most of the information coming in because I was not ready for it. I learned better when I was rested and prepared. I also retained information that was of interest to me.
So, I did a little test on myself to see what I knew. I realized I hardly remembered most of what I was taught in school. I found myself having to relearn it. That made me realize that my children would retain information they learned if it interested them. Otherwise, we could learn it as we needed it. We learn by cooking and measuring, shopping and using money, building things, and it goes on and on. Everything is a possibility for learning.
I think deep down I am just a free spirit. I just know that everyone has a learning style that fits them. I was not an early morning person. I like being able to eat or go to the bathroom when I feel like it. I like coloring my trees purple and not brown. To this day, I still have trouble freeing my mind when I paint like my children do. I try to make it too realistic. They color and paint freely because no one ever told them there were rules to art.
One day I realized I was trying to structure my home like school was. I thought to myself, the whole point of homeschooling was to break away from that conformity. We decided to learn where we feel comfortable. The couch, kitchen table, outside, anywhere. I learned what each of my children's learning styles were. I am more hands on and visual. You will learn that they are all different, so why do we teach them all the same way? And for socialization, my children can talk to anyone at an age and relate to them.
We can wake up and go skate, hike, swim, play, explore, or just stay in and read and write or be lazy. I love the freedom homeschooling brings and the time spent with these precious souls. I like knowing I make every breath count.
I think I realized we are unschoolers, but I do not like labels. This also confuses people and think it means that we do not learn. We learn every moment of the day. Everything is a lesson. I just trust my children to show me how they love to learn. When I let go and trusted, that is when they soared.
Unschooling Mom that loves learning and living life with her children. Making every breath count.