There was an interesting thread on one of my homeschool lists recently; a new-ish unschooling mom posted that she was worried that she just wasn’t doing ” enough”. The best advice- and one that made my laugh out loud – she got was “just lie down on the living room floor and wait for the feeling to go away. ” How true! Many times I have wondered what the hell am I doing! I am ashamed to admit that I once felt a twinge of embarrassment when I relative commented on how poor my daughter’s penmanship was. I have rushed out to buy workbooks when yet another relative said something like- “shouldn’t she be reading at a higher level?” The panic last for day or so and then subsides. I then hand my head in shame- for not trusting my instincts or worse trusting my children.
A woman in my homeschool groups unschools all 4 of her children. Her oldest son did not read until he was 12 years old. My family gasps in horror when they hear this. That same boy just started University last September. I don’t mention this because I think this is proof of his “success”; I mention because his goal was to go to University and he figured out a way to do it. At some point he decided he would like to go to University- he found out the easiest way was to go high school for one year – enough to earn 6 qualifying credits- and off he went.
After my moms comment about the penmanship I silently wondered if everything as okay… Low and behold and about 3 months later my daughter took a box of sparkle gel pens and spent hours and hours making fancy curly cues and perfect lettering. She later perfected her technique through scrap booking with me – journalling under photos and making elaborate heading on her pages. I didn’t have to sit her down a half hour a day for 6 months and force her to draw endless circles, line and “s” . I didn’t;t have to erode her self-esteem by telling her that her S’s were backwards or he lettering was “wrong”. She was perfectly happy and content with her writing.. then one day she wasn’t AND SHE FIGURED OUT ALL ON HER OWN HOW TO FIX IT!
This is the whole point and why I homeschool and choose to unschool. Given the opportunity kids will get it. Give them space, treat them with respect, trust them and let them go.