Well, we have had an eventful month, those Joyful Learners and I.
It was very nice to hear that people were missing the blog, but it was also making me even more conflicted. Ella has decided to try school, and Declan also wanted to go. Due to some other issues in our lives, I thought that this might be a good time to go with their desire to try.
It is very hard to make this decision. Many people in my life who I know through homeschooling have made a point of telling me how much their own children will never want to go to school, and how grateful their children are for the homeschooling lifestyle.
This makes me feel (whether it is intended or not), that they have an implied judgement on my failure to make my children *love* being homeschooled, or that they want school because I am an unschooler, or not really an unschooler, or whatever the implied judgement is.
Granted, I am not in the best most secure head space right now, so I could be making this all up.
Ella was *very* clear. She LOVES her life. She is happy. She likes her friends, she loves her family, she is secure. She is grateful. She is learning. She wants to try school.
She has been wanting to explore school for a good 6-8 months now. I did what most "good" unschoolers would recommend. I expanded our world, I connected more. I facilitated. I validated.
I finally realized that I was making a big mistake.
I had finally hit that place (her wanting to try school) where I was not letting her make her own decisions. I was, in fact, manipulating her into "appreciating" the gift of unschooling, while at the same time denying her wish to try something new.
If it had been skydiving, I would have said, "Let's explore that!"
If it had been driving a car, I would have said, "Hmmm....how can we fill that desire?"
But it was school.
And I was saying, with all my gyrations and interesting strewing, "WHY!?!? What am I doing wrong? What can we do differently?" All the while implying that her desire was wrong.
So I said, "Okay. Let's give it a go."
Now, I am wondering where this will lead us, where this will leave this blog, what I am going to do in this new chapter of relating to the kids and school.
But, I am back here. And will be keeping you updated on the Joyful Learners in school for the time being.