My friend said something to me yesterday that struck me today as a good example of unschooling. Her daughter had received a game for Christmas and had dismissed it as too hard or boring. And my friend said that if she and her husband started playing it, then the kids would get interested.
I was thinking about learning Spanish and the Rosetta Stone program that I’m doing, and I realized that it’s the same thing. When we follow our interests and do things that we enjoy, our kids will want to join in the fun.
My son has started sitting down with me almost every time I do the Spanish program and doing it with me. His favorite part is when you have to talk to the computer and it tells you whether or not your are repeating the words correctly.
I was not homeschooled, but there were many things that I became interested in, because my parents were. My dad in particular read great books. He got me interested in and even more so, my 2 youngest brothers passion about economics and political theory.
Mostly it’s the things that my parents didn’t try to push on me that I remained interested in. Just yesterday I was thinking that I should ask my dad for investment advice since conservative investing is something that he has a lot of experience with. I’ve known about this for probably 15 years, but it’s only now that I will actually listen and act on what he has to say.
Sometimes you have to wait a long time for your kids to pick up on your interests, and obviously some things they won’t care a wit for their whole lives. So don’t pick up interests because you think they would be good for your children, because you probably won’t stick with them for one thing, and for another thing, it isn’t honest. Kids can tell (sometimes) when you are faking it or trying to push them into something.
I thought Caleb might be interested in learning Spanish with me, but I shelled out the money because I want to be able to communicate if I spend winters in Latin America.
Mothers are especially guilty, I think, of being boring. I know this past year I was bored with myself even. We spend so much of our time nurturing and taking care: of kids, of pets, of the house, of the cooking, etc, etc, etc. that we stop doing what we enjoy. Nurturing is vital (and certainly under-appreciated by kids after they get older), but it’s also important for us to keep growing and learning and doing new things while we are nurturing.
It’s so easy to just sit back at the end of the day (or the middle of the day) and watch TV or movies, and become complacent. This year I’m trying to shake myself up-get out of my comfort zone-Be Interesting.