Wednesday, July 28, 2010

that "fall feeling".....

Why do I have that "Fall feeling" already? It's very strange. And, even though we're unschoolers, we seem to naturally still follow the cycles of the seasons and use the summer to really decompress and get even looser then we are normally. It's a strange thing since it's not as if in the Fall we get out our curriculums and start to learn....we're learning all the time....but in the Fall I still get this feeling. It's like an anticipation, a craving, a feeling that I need to make a plan or get back into that Fall/Winter rythym.

We aren't "sit-down-and-learn" homeschoolers, obviously. As free learners we are open to the changing moods, passions, and experiences that life brings us. But, there are those times when the kids WANT something a little more, I don't know, "school-y." We go through cycles with that, as well. Some months you'll find us in our PJs at 3pm, baking cupcakes or playing a video game. Some months you'll find us up and dressed, sitting at the kitchen table doing Math or some project. It's all child-led, all the time.

Currently, my children are telling me that we're entering a more "school-y" phase. (And, believe me, our "school-y" is still far from school-y *lol*). Adam is expressing a desire to "do History & Science experiments" and Erin is continuing to want more structured "lessons" in Consumer Math and Geography. Of course, these "lessons" will be on their time, when they feel moved, and not really on any schedule (unless they want them to be). James is showing signs of developmental readiness in some areas, so I want to follow him there, as well.

Back to my "Fall feeling" any of you know what that feels like? It's really hard to's this nostalgic feeling of preparation and like we're getting ready for something new. As a child, I know I had this feeling when school-time was coming. I loved getting new notebooks, pencils, pens, a lunchbox, shoes, and school-clothes. I think that even though we don't necessarily do those things the same way I did as a kid, I still get that feeling. But, why am I having it NOW? It's only just turning towards August! I do love the feeling, though. It makes me want to do papier mache and lapbooks, it makes me want to do Yoga with my kids and go to the library. For us, those things don't only happen between the months of September and June....but it is curious that I still get that feeling and that we are still more dormant and unfocused in the summer months.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I just realized the other day that my oldest daughter and I successfully navigated the waters of life learning at home and that she is now beginning a new phase of her life, possibly away from home! Amber turned 18 last week. What a weird and beautiful thing.

As I sat with her at her LAST ever homeschooling evaluation, and listened to her speak about her experience and what she wants and where she thinks she might be going, I had just a tiny passing moment of panic. For a split second I thought, "Oh my God...did I prepare her? Did I teach her all she needs? Will she be successful?" The thoughts didn't have time to really develop or take hold because my next thoughts were, "She is so brilliant and talented and amazing. Look at her confidence and ease in expressing herself. I can't wait to see what she does next!"

Having walked this path from start to "finish" (I use that word loosely...we're never finished) with one of my children, I feel like I can stand back and see a full picture and draw from that experience. It's really interesting to be parenting children at both ends of the spectrum (and some in between) (3yo James) who is just beginning his amazing adventure of life and learning and one (18yo Amber) who has kind of come to the end of one phase of life. What's even more interesting is that they are both kind of in the same place. They are both wide-eyed, excited, afraid, reluctant, impulsive, and innocent. They are both looking to me for guidance and wisdom.

I can feel Amber pulling away, longing to fly and create her life on her own...while still holding on to my hand and the safety of our home and her life within it. And, as usual, I will simply be here, loving her, listening to her, giving guidance when it's wanted, waiting for her to take whatever step she will take, follow whatever passion she will follow, and giving her that absolute promise that I have no expectation of what she should do next.

I'm so excited to continue this adventure with her and to watch what she creates.

Amber, 4:

Amber, 18: