"The List" mentioned below was UnschoolingDiscussion, and you can click here to jump to that section .
People find their own truth and freedom in their own ways and in their own time. If I hadn't been here for two years, I may not have been ready to face the cancer in my body. It is something I could not control or prepare myself for. Before unschooling you could say I was a fearful person on the verge of a breakdown. I kept coming here for my family, Knowing something had to change—me. It was hard. Some days I would come with everything good oozing out of me, I would read something that would trigger the need for more change. Of course I'm not a finished product, and hope to never be finished. Mostly, I just feel like the sun, shining happy rays of life on everything~ or like the moon, casting beams of dream and fancy~ or let's just say "it's a good thing". I feel that same joy coming from my children, all of them.
The 1st biggie for me was the food issue. I read, let them eat what they want & thought people had lost their minds. So, I tried it! Dakota wanted a cookie before breakfast and I said okay, but I'm cooking breakfast. She ate it (lil debbie), and turned to me and asked if she could have another one? Sure, I say (knowing good and well she wasn't gonna eat no breakfast afterwards). So she eats it, then breakfast was ready and she ate what she always eats (two pieces of sausage & a piece of toast). "Well that is a fluke," I say to myself, because everybody knows sweets BEFORE A MEAL ruin your appetite. So I am more determined with my experiment (to prove you all wrong) LOL. Do you want me to embarrass myself here:) Ya'll were right. Ya'll's experiences and your willingness to share them made Dakota and Shelby's life brighter.
Now the Sad truth about myself, that ya'll have made me realize is that while I don't believe in spanking, I am way way too verbal :( I was not honoring them because I am too damn bossy & controlling. So even though I say that I needed so desperately to find ya'll, it is really my whole family whose life ya'll have changed.
I talk abut ya'll so much to everybody, using your names and stories like you are my best friends. I feel like you all gave me your e-mail codes and let me dig through your personal life. I have so much in common with many of you that I feel like i've joined a secret club where (to me) people of like minds have chosen a higher path of parenting & living. I truly feel honored to call myself/kids, Unschoolers. Lookin forward to the ride:)
So, again thanks for your time spent on these boards. My new favorite word that I tell everybody is "MINDFUL" I will be more MINDFUL of the people in my life.
I am learning to read advice as straightforward and honest rather than critical. Hope to keep learning.
When you read a book by an "expert", you only get his/her view on the subject. But here on these boards you get all sorts of perspectives, some you may agree with and some you may not. The best thing here is, it's all real. It's people that are living it and discussing what they've lived.
The morning of my son's event, I got up early and made breakfast and got the kids ready. My dh woke up a little before we were to leave and he said he was going to get ready and go too. He chose to come with and he wanted to come with and his heart was really with us all because of that. If I would of made him come with he would have felt forced and I would have felt discontent because I had to make him go and know he didn't really want to be there. The way we I interact with my family now is so much better and there is so much more harmony in our home and our lives.
Yesterday a scary thing happened that pre unschooling I would have probably handled differently too. My 4yo son woke up crying that his head hurt and I saw that he had a purple bruise on his chin and just so happened he had a good fall the day before. He had hurt and scraped his arm, but never said anything about his head. I was worried and picked him up to take him to the couch to comfort him and he started to throw up all over. Really worried I called my dh and Dr. was told to take him into the ER because he could have a concussion. SO I got all the kids dressed and on the 20 minute drive to the hospital and after several prayers in my head to please let him be okay, he suddenly seemed much better. His ashen face was pink again, his head didn't hurt and he wasn't throwing up. He was laughing and wondering why we were rushing off to the Dr. My dh met us and wondered the same thing, but we decided to keep an eye on him for the rest of the day, have him take it easy and if he he showed any bad signs we would bring him in. We never took him in to the ER we decided to trust ourselves and my ds has been totally fine. Before I think I would have brought him in anyway, just to be sure and would've traumatized him by going in the ER. We went home I researched about concussions and reconfirmed we did what was right.
For me unschooling has taught me to not only trust my kids, but myself. I feel proud of the way we live our lives and I hope if anything we can set an example to others to make positive changes in the way they live their lives and how they interact with their families. Just the other day I was at the park and this woman was yelling and nagging at her kids, I was talking with mine and then they were off doing something and she started to talk to me and said my kids were well behaved and I had a lot of patience with them. I told her thank you, but what I wanted to tell her was that I give my kids the freedom to do what they want to do, I give them the respect they deserve , I talk to them, I don't order them and I don't yell at them or demean them.....I always hope that people like that woman will see by how I interact with my kids how wrong she is interacting with hers and change.
Unschooling has been a blessing to my life and I just felt like sharing it here today with those who truly understand.
The joy of that connection is spilling over onto other children in our lives. The other day, a little neighbor boy (4yo) was at our house — interestingly enough, all the neighbor kids suddenly LOVE our house — and his mom called him home for dinner. He had been happily pretending to be a puppy and didn't want to leave. He started to whine and 'dodge.' So, I went up to him and said, "Oh, look, a poor lost puppy. Let's go see if the people at that house over there will adopt him." He grinned and I led him home, where his mom adopted him, and he's never been happier to go home to dinner.
I don't know if that description conveys how profound a moment it was for me. Here was a child who was fully prepared to be scolded, coerced, perhaps even punished, but with two seconds of looking at his situation with compassion and appreciation for his desires, I was able to give him a joyful transition back into his mom's world.
I don't know if I'm making any sense. The feelings are too big to explain, a flood of love and joy and trust and rightness.
I can't tell you how grateful we are for finding this message board!
unschooling...i can't even begin to explain how it has changed my life. i have been reading these boards for so long now. i always thought i "got" it, but i think just in the last few months have i REALLY been "getting" it. everyday i wake up and i am so thankful for this way of life that i have found....mostly with the help of everybody here on this site (so a big loud THANK YOU to everyone here!). i just feel this wonderful inner vibration that resonates within my soul whenever i read about unschooling, and am filled with such a joyful feeling of knowing that we are on the greatest path. i love to read about the folks who have made drastic changes with the way they deal with their children. it is really inspiring to hear of stories where people change so much for the better.
Then, finished upstairs and went downstairs and finished up. It was about 9:45 pm and I was ready for sleep. He brought me a video he had wanted to see at dinnertime but which had gotten put off. I needed to get to bed but I had told him we'd watch the video. What to do? So, I told him that I remembered that I promised and we had to make a choice because it was so late. He got ready to protest (since in the past the video would have been dismissed because it was "so late"). I stopped the protest and gave him the choices: We could watch the video and snuggle then go to bed (no stories) or we could skip the video and do stories and snuggle or we could just go snuggle. He chose video and snuggle. So we watched the video snuggled on the couch and then went up to bed. Another triumph for stopping and reconsidering what and why - he can sleep in today (while I'm at work) so there was no need for him to be in bed right then and he was all relaxed and ready for bed by the time the video was over (it was VeggieTales Esther - a fairly relaxed video anyhow) rather than upset and wound up.
So thanks all - what could've been a tense and turbulent evening ended up pretty calm and quiet by simply backing off and looking at my needs, his needs, DH's needs and finding a balance among them instead of "I'm the mom that's why".
|Many topics from the original folder called "Ask Sandra" can still be read here: Conversations with Sandra Dodd, in sections from the WayBack Machine, at the Internet Archive. I've brought some direct links to that page, on my site.|
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