I have been freaking out! Seriously undermining every thought and action that comes our way. I go to sleep at night and have nightmares about a school official from the district telling me that I’m doing this all wrong and no longer have the right to homeschool. I wake up terrified!
I’m always wondering if we are doing enough. I doubt whether this Unschool style is working at creating life long learners. I have very little faith in my juggling abilities even though I have an enormous amount of faith that God led me here.
I look at days like this, when it’s the middle if the afternoon and we are still in pjs and watching tv. Granted we are watching Nova: Hunting the Elements and my kids are fascinated by all the chemical reactions, but still I have a hard time with tv as school! Then my son will randomly spout out something he learned from said TV show (like pass the sodium chloride at dinner) and I know he’s really learning! But random Ah-hah moments for me are not proof to the district that I’m regularly and thoroughly instructing my kiddo.
So you can imagine the anxiety I felt walking into our review last week with my accordion file folder worth of materials, my son and our iPad. I looked around the room at these moms with five gallon totes on wheels with perfectly organized file folders filled with projects and work sheets and I swear I froze momentarily!
Thank goodness my little fireball was with me (and that daddy kept the girls!) because he thought the whole process was so cool and kept asking questions the whole time!!
I signed in, sat down, pulled out my materials and the woman sitting across from me asked what curriculum we use. As I was pulling out my materials I responded that we don’t use any.
You can imagine the look this retired teacher had. She instantly regained her composure, looked at my pile and said “oh well we count explode the code as a curriculum” to which I replied yes but we use it as a review, not a curriculum. I could tell I was confusing her so she did what all teachers do, she asked my son what he is learning about and what books he likes to read.
You can imagine her shock as he answered that he really likes Harry Potter and Eragon right now but that “Geronimo Stilton and Captain Underpants are hilarious!”
This little extrovert completely took over! I showed her our work samples, he wowed her with his intelligence and vocabulary, she was awed at the work he was able to do in the past few months and we got signed off with flying colors!!
This whole experience has not only encouraged me (maybe I need to give myself some grace, ok definitely, not maybe) but mostly it reminded me that God equipped me to do this! I am not forsaken, I am not alone. I was called onto this path for a reason and I really need to let go of my preconceptions and worldly tethers!
Our homeschool doesn’t look like anyone else’s. Yes we are conservatives, yes we eat and make old fashioned recipes, yes we Unschool and above all no we don’t need to look like anyone else. So it’s ok if we use Star Wars to explain plot structure, character development, good vs evil, the hero myth, quantum physics and hyper drives, tactics and strategies. It’s amazing how even a three year old can understand these concepts (she swears that Darth Vader is confused and the real bad guy is the evil Baba Yaga!)… So yea I guess this is what Unschooling Success looks like for us.