Beautiful things happen when you stop caring

The idea of unschooling has intrigued me for years, but not to the level of follow through. I work for a school with brilliant minds teaching students that will grow up to do big things, students will assist those to do big things, and those that are just passing time. I chose to homeschool well before I worked for a school. I am not ANTI-SCHOOLS, nor am I anti- teachers. I don’t believe I am better than them. I have a high school diploma. I have had to teach myself everything all over again, because I didn’t learn much in school, and what I did learn, I didn’t retain. The schools didn’t teach according to my learning style and I fell through the cracks. I spent many evenings studying late at night trying to teach myself all the stuff I was supposed to learn in class, only to constantly be told I was stupid. Truth is, I wasn’t dumb, I was distracted by the lights, pencils tapping, kids chewing, and the smells. I couldn’t comprehend lectures given at the board because I was an independent learner. When I couldn’t teach myself, I did best with one on one help after school. I became frustrated, and felt like a failure. I had to work ten times harder than other kids to get satisfactory grades because I didn’t fit in the box schools were designed for. Talk about a hit to self esteem at a young age! It wasn’t the teachers fault. I was one student and they had hundreds of kids that DID fit in the box. For this reason, I chose to homeschool. I noticed when the oldest was in preschool that she wasn’t fitting in the box. I didn’t want her to go through what I went through.

Through our homeschool adventure, I have tried to fit our curriculum into the box of what society says we should be in. It’s never worked and I always end up going rogue. People meet the kids and compliment how smart they are which is great and dandy. It annoys the piss out of me when people quiz them, because they wouldn’t do that to a public schooled kid. I used to sit down and do these giant lesson plans and they never work out. Truth is, one lesson spurs another and I can take a reading comprehension lesson and turn it into a big ordeal which feels like overkill and this is why full on lesson planning doesn’t go well for me. I like rabbit holes, but I don’t want the kids to be overwhelmed with 16 hours of school every day. I would much rather teach them how the rabbit holes happen and how we are going to have one thing lead to another. I’ll blog a day in the life here soon. I don’t know what to call our school. We don’t unschool. We don’t “funschool.” We Rabbithole. 😂.

Hmmm, rabbit-hole schooling? It has a good ring to it right? Anyways, that’s pretty much what we do. I found that while I love books and paper, and education. I hate grading. School doesn’t have to have all the tests and markers and “things” we make it out to be. We can take a wild ride and enjoy the adventure. I wish I would have learned that with the oldest. I’m still learning something new every day.

I have one kid that wants to go to college, and one that doesn’t. I don’t care either way. I don’t think one decision makes the other better than the other. If she doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life, college is pointless. A lot of parents like to boast about their kid going to college like it earns them some prideful parent of the year award or something. If your kid is kind, compassionate, has a good work ethic, and drive for SOMETHING then you did well. Be proud. A friends kid wants to be a missionary and she is so disappointed that he doesn’t want to go to college. Why? You didn’t fail! They kid want to be a missionary!!!! He don’t need the debt of college. Smart ass kid. Be proud mama. You did well. Point is your kid going to college isn’t a reward of success or failure. It’s a personal choice THEY have to make.

So we threw out the expectations and the rules and chased the rabbit holes. My goals for homeschooling are simple. I want to raise kids that are well educated that RETAIN what they have learned. I don’t want them learning to take a test and forgetting the information. I want them to explore and build confidence in themselves. I want them to learn how to learn. I want them to love seeking knowledge and have faith in knowing fact from fiction. I want to raise readers and kids that have a love for learning.

I think we are teaching kids learning is a chore. I am not a fan of common core and tests. I understand the reason for tests, and while I don’t agree with them, I understand the need for them. One positive that came with common core was the use of many forms of learning materials to try to reach many learning styles. Less kids are falling through the cracks and because of this I think kids that are struggling are being found at an early age. Now the math? Don’t get me started. That just angers me.

Enough rambling for today.

-Rambling Cj


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