(…what? Oh. Too much information? I'm sorry.
I'm sick. I'm not rational!)
a bit low. Like, I did a whole bunch of "self-tests" for depression, and they all said, "Hmmm. Lady, it looks like you're kinda sad; maybe you should get some help with that." (That's a euphemism for lots of sites saying: "you show moderate to high signs of clinical depression." But those are medical terms, and maybe if I'd taken the tests when I wasn't sneezing, coughing and overwhelmed by a huge to-do list I'm trying to keep in my head and a truly high-maintenance, psychotic kitten, I might have come out of the whole thing with a big, gold Happy Star.)
finding myself unsure and afraid at times, about my homeschool choices. Do I stay on the path of life learning/unschooling, which sometimes feels like an enormous Unknowable, Uncontrollable journey, or do I follow the path that sometimes seems so much safer and calmer, and buy a lovely, set curriculum that tells me and my kids what we should do each day?
Some days, when I'm low and poorly, following that path is so tempting. Because then I wouldn't panic about whether my kids were learning what they "should" be learning. Then I might not feel guilty, when I suggest they do something 'schooly.' Then I might know what's coming, and feel grounded.
Other people use planned curriculums—they structure their days, and the kids are happy. I regularly read a beautiful blog where the kids use a boxed curriculum, constantly do art, relish their learning journey, and have plenty of free time. I have many bloggy friends and friends in real life, who structure their homeschool days, use a variety of curriculums, and the kids thrive.
Some days, that's all I want—to plan my and my kids' future. To climb into the sweet structure of a schedule and set goals. To settle into the comforting solidity of planned steps, like dance moves painted on the pavement. Clearly set out, there for us to follow.
Which is fair enough.
But I am
not sure that it's truly what I want every single day,
and what would be right for my kids,
in which case we should totally change how we homeschool,
or if it's only what I want when
I have a huge to-do list in my head, and
am dealing with a crazy high maintenance kitten, and
in an attempt to figure it out
I have been
reading, again, about unschooling.
going back to the basics. Reading, again, the articles, blogs, and websites. Feeling out and finding how this kind of learning fits and resonates for me, and why.
all that I read…
makes me feel calmer.
sitting with my children at breakfast, as they talk to me about different countries of the world, places their Nana is travelling to, places we hope to visit. I am sitting with them with the big world map out, looking for countries and capitals, talking about continents, talking about the first explorers. I am sitting with them as we get out our Usborne Encyclopedia of World History to read about South America, the conquistadors of Spain, the defeat of the indigenous people, and the introduction of slavery.
I am sitting and thinking:
this is us. This is how we roll. This, this moment, isn't terrifying at all.
watching my kids
listening as they ask to watch How It's Made videos and
ask me the meanings of words in their books and
discuss what they love about the books they're reading and
ask to play Tiny Wings on their dad's i-phone and
write and read poems and
read their Scientriffic magazine and
practice piano for hours or violin 'til the confidence rises and
discuss slavery with their friends and
design a felt toy bird and
make up funny skits for me to film and
say, "I want to learn how to type," and
"I want to write stories with you, Mum," and
"I'm going to read The Number Devil next!" and
read for hours and hours and hours 'til they come up for air, blinking.
taking the time to breathe
and what I see
And yes, I am
complicated and crinkled and treading a path that seems kind of chaotic right now.
Because I am taking the time to think. To pause and reflect.
Because there are low moments in my days, but also many, many moments of wonder and magic. Laughter and beauty. Good and grace.
Because I'm still me, in here, looking out.
Looking for joy. Keeping still and waiting,
for the light to show itself.