Sunday, June 14, 2009

We got Wii Fit this week. I already love the yoga exercises and especially the exercises that help me find my center of balance. I have been walking around out of balance for who knows how long without even realizing it. A subtle shift in my posture and a redistribution of my weight so I'm not putting to much pressure on one side has made a huge difference in how I feel. I was already pretty close to centered but not quite so people watching me stand or walk would probably not notice a difference but it is there and I notice. This is also true of our shift in how we unschool.

After realizing that we were out of balance and that I wasn't really holding up my end of the deal as facilitator I started making subtle shifts and redistributing things in our approach to life and learning. We simply had too much down time. This is very important, don't get me wrong, but we were getting too much of a good thing. I had been struggling because I didn't want to make them start doing meaningless tasks that would make me feel better but not really benefit them in the long run. So, I just continued reading (mostly Sandra Dodd), observing, meditating, searching, praying, waiting. I tried visualizing the kind of day I wanted but I couldn't. I realized it was because it wasn't just my day to visualize, it also belonged to the kids and I can't plan their perfect day. Instead I started visualizing what I wanted FOR my kids instead of what I wanted FROM them. Ultimately I want them to be happy, everything else is a bonus. So, the next logical question was what makes them happy?
I started plugging through the day looking for these glimpses of happiness and looking through photo albums to see when they were both happiest. Patterns began to emerge for each of them and I knew that if I truly wanted my role to be guide and facilitator then I was going to have to find ways to bring more of the things that bring them joy into their daily lives.

Much like my posture and gait the shift is subtle. If you spent a week with us last month and a week with us now you might notice a few things but it wouldn't seem like much, but for me it feels monumental. For Jace we've ordered books about game design and downloaded software to go with it. We're looking for someone to give him golf lessons. We also still make sure he has plenty of downtime because he gets overwhelmed without it. Kya continues her dance classes and we're taking her to the ballet in a few weeks. We've also cleaned up the easel that has been packed away and got some paints for her to explore with. They also both got new math workbooks this week.

In my rebellion against school I've resisted workbooks and I still don't think they NEED these books or even that they will necessarily learn all of the skills presented. However, with distance between myself and school I can now see them for what they are; a RESOURCE so when they approach something in life they have something to refer back to. They have used these particular books before and loved them; when I was at the bookstore I remembered that Jace finished the previous one on his own in about two days because it was such fun. I brought it home and this time he hasn't shown much interest in it but that's okay, it will be there if he wants it and if not we'll pass it along. Kya started hers she likes my help with it and it is really a lot of fun to do together because I get to see how she reasons through things.

So, there you have it, a subtle change in our center of balance. It feels really great.

p.s. I may or may not get to "Snapshot Sunday" today. I am trying to catch up with my self guided online photography class and I'd just rather take pictures of other things today- sorry, not doing something just because it's "assigned" (even if I gave myself the assingment) is part of my unschooling personality I suppose! :-)


Mary Alice said...

I love the Wii Fit but I hate it when I fall off the darned balance board.

Your insights make me smile and laugh and think.

I wish balance were easier for me to find. Today we made time to be creative with measuring liquids. I have to figure out how to make more than a subtle shift. We need more time to think and create.

We're having a quiet summer. Fewer distractions, long lazy days to daydream and to learn.

Isabella uses workbooks to polish skills. She likes feeling she can review something she's learned and she can check her own work.

Hope said...

Funny that you're having a quiet summer and we seem to be picking up the pace! We have been quite laid back (read lazy) the last few months though so its time.

As for Wii Fit, I'm fine with falling off the board, its when that little voice says "ooh" when I step on that makes me want to hurl it out the window!