What an amazing shift I have had. I have such relief and lightness, both from comments and emails here on the blog, to actual shifts in my personal relationships with local homeschoolers. I found such clarity. I am in this homeschooling/unschooling thing because it is what the young men in this house thrive on. My relationship with them is the one that matters, and if I am true to why we are here doing this, all else will follow.
A while back, my 12 year old mentioned that he likes getting into small groups and solving problems. This is what he has asked for. My job is to make it happen. We have gathered 2 families with sweet, talkative, energetic kids, ages 6-13. My job is to come up with a problem for them to solve, provide some materials, and step back. They have an hour to come up with their solution. The kids want minimal adult participation, they just want us to come up with the challenge, drive them to the location, and then butt out. (The first challenge was to come up with something that launched marshmallows, the second challenge was to build something that would roll down a slope.)
Yesterday, as I explained the challenge, the anticipation in the room was electric. We had done this just the week before, to try it out, and they all loved it. When I said "go" the room was instantly in motion, ideas flying, tools collected, groups forming, and I looked around and realized that this was it. This is why we do it, this is the moment I need to appreciate and allow.
It is not about me, although I am important. This homeschooling thing is about letting us all be who we are, not forcing ourselves into some mold that others have defined. Homeschooling is hard when we try to be other than who we truly are.
And here is where exclusion from groups fits in. We have been so clear about who we are and what we like, that others recognize it and have responded to it. It took me a while to see this. I got caught up in my insecurities of not being good enough, being judged and not found worthy. This is not true (I asked Byron Katie and she confirmed it). We are hands-on, we are small group, we are creative and loud and in motion. We like to make our own mistakes and learn the hard way, we don't want to be told how to get to the end by following a path slowly.
We like to run up the path we blaze ourselves.
From The Tao of Motherhood
When you cease to listen with
your heart, war breaks out.
When you lose sight of the big
picture, you fight and quarrel
over trifles and no one wins.
There is no greater pain
than feeling you are not enough.
Your child is enough, right now,
just the way he is. And so are you.