Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Letting Go!!

As parents I think we have many ideas about how we want to raise our children. Many ideas about the way our children will do things, now and hopefully when they leave home, taking the legacy of a warm and loving home with them as they go into the world to do what they are called to do.

We develop ideas that can grow and change over the years that I think we adapt in some form or another to the various needs and personalities of each of children.

I do not think our children are all of kind or one mould fits all. However that being said, I also think we are not being true to our children if we treat them all the same way in regards to the opportunities that arise in regards to the many personalities they have.

Sure I do mean that we remain true to the values and goals that are important to our family for each child, but within that structure that is unchanging is  the very real fact that we may have to change the way in which we do thing with a particular child or children due to the way they respond to various aspects of life.

In our education of our children i think this needs to be very much in the for front our our minds.
Our children are individuals, they do learn differently from each other, they DO have differing gifts and talents and we CAN and SHOULD adjust our own goals to the better goals that are being presented to us by our children.

After all isn't this one of the best advantages of home education our children. We know our children better than any teacher ever  could and we have the opportunity along with the care and love of that child to do what is in their best interests even if it does not conform with what we had planned for their educational needs this year.

I love to plan exciting and interesting things for our children's education. I try to document our plans and achievements both here and on my Learning Blog. I know I don't cover nearly all of what our children learn but I do try to focus on their interests and needs.

Now just because I have gone to great effort to plan the learning for our childrenI have quite often found that what I thought would be a  great study truly wasn't what we 'clicked' with at all. Our  children tell me often that I over plan and over estimate what we can do on any given project or feast day.

So when I opened my heart to hear the difficulty that our dear Vellvin was having in her learning I had to adjust my expectations with what was best for her. The programme we had discussed at the beginning of the year and re adjusted after Trahaearn was born was not a good mix for Vellvin. In fact as she has gotten older I think any form of timed or page requirements is not good for her general health and well being.

I found that our little girl was totally stressed out with the expectations of the 'school' day alongside the business that happens in a large family and the routines and expectations of that over the course of a day. And so fresh from the reading of
Homeschooling with Gentleness: A Catholic Discovers Unschooling, 
I found the courage to LET GO  and allow her to direct her own learning with some input form me and some overall supervision and interaction with her on a daily basis.

Really this is not so much different  from our normal routines except the pressure was off to 'perform' a certain amount to work each day.

I can tell you that after Vellvin created her list:Vellvin's learning Aspirations at the moment 
that we have a very excited and happy learner again. Vellvin is learning with joy and excitement, pursuing those interests that she has now. This may change over time BUT for now this is what she is interested in and I see the spark and love of life returning to her. How I missed it in our sweet and joyous girl. The burden of 'learning  for the sake of learning' was crushing her sweet and generous nature. What a lose that was to her and to us.

So for our girl at this time I am thankful that we can do this for her and encourage her to fulfil her purpose in life with joy and peace in her heart and thus ours too.

Blessings to you and your homes,


Anonymous said...

This is such a beautiful post Gae ! I was just meditating on the uniqueness of each child last night as I'm missing our ds23 so very much .Now it is I struggling with homeschooling . I just don't want to do it right now . Yet do our 2 remaining at home need it ?
Our ds15 Indigo is a non reader . It baffles me at times yet this is the child I really had to do the letting go with all the boys have not had a huge love of reading but the older 2 at least would read 2-3 novels per yr. however Indigo nope . he did not even truly read til age 11yrs . and now that he can read he does have a great reading comprehension but he solely chooses to read non fiction factual works and that is it be it a mushroom guide or a book on blacksmithing . I have to admit at times the fear comes into me what will become of this child ? will he succeed ? will he be the societal failure ? then I realize our children like us are common folk . no great university bound individuals , creative & unique individuals but common none the less. and thats it , in the world of common folk this child like his siblings before him will and can achieve as he already has been proving through his sports and working this summer etc.
Your post today really hit home with me Gae Thanks so much
Love Rox

Anonymous said...

Oh I pray more mothers read your words and understand to just let go of our 'very high' expectations, and allow our children to learn at their own pace.

This is one of the many reasons I school them at home! :)

Thank you so much for sharing Gae. By the way, I borrowed your picture, it is just perfect! ;D


Anonymous said...

Have you read The Little Way of Homeschooling too? It is incredible and such a great help. We are facing some of these same issues too and came to realize that if we are all stressed out we aren't learning anything. So there is no point in stressing everyone out with expectations and my tendancy to over plan (too! lol). Let us know how it goes!!

Eva said...

Your thoughts reminded me of Kahlil Gibran's poem On Children. Do you know the poem?

Trish said...

You are very wise Gae.
To see and respond to the individual learning needs of our children is surely one of the greatest blessings of home-schooling.
You obviously made a wonderful adjustment for your dear daughter!
The rewards will be so worth it for the both of you, too.
Great post, my friend.
love and blessings..Trish


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