Reactions can be bizarre things.
Rye has turned four.
His dad enquired which school he was going to, seemed to think I'd not made my mind up about homeschooling... er????
The deadline for applying for a school place has passed, anyway.
My reaction to all this was to buy Rye a postman pat read along dvd, a white board - the idea being it will be handy for teaching him to write, and I've had to quell the desire to implement 10 minute daily reading sessions, of the reading books I bought a while back.
I've found myself questioning unschooling and starting to believe that actually I'm not that confident in it and there are some things I "ought" to teach.
So, I've found myself pondering and wondering why suddenly I have this urge to sit Rye down at our dining table and begin teaching him? It's a combination of the above, it's that "official" tag that is drawing ever nearer, ready to pounce, like a jaguar leaping from a tree. Then there's the queries from Rye's dad, what school is he going to? He's not, I'm homeschooling. Then the questions on whether I'll be following a curriculum or something. I respond that I've got it in hand.
And I do...did?
Rye is coming along nicely with our mix of unschooling, waldorf and my own ideas and thoughts on how to faciliate my son in becoming/remaining an avid learner and thus a thoroughly well educated young man.
After all he's learning science in the back garden;
His imagination is rocketing, he's experimenting with pretend stories, he's building more and more complex train tracks, he's showing that he does naturally understand basic mathematical principles, even if he doesn't know what addition or subtraction yet means.
His memory is incredible, his love of books and stories remain - sure this sometimes competes with more energetic activites; but invarable on an evening I am met with, "Mam, can we read a story?" Notice "we"? :-)
He knows his letters, sometimes he gets a bit confused; he can mostly count to 20 - actually I think he can do it very competently but he's at that age where he enjoys the simple joy of silliness.
I'm finding it very difficult to embrace this age of silliness....when did I become so serious, I wonder?
He is becoming more indpendent, he is pushing, experimenting, sensing, feeling.
All this and all the other stuff I have no idea about. I don't know how he knew a photo of an instrument was a trombone, but he does. Heck he learned to walk without me "teaching" him, he's learned to talk and grasp grammar, inflections, adding tone and colour to his words - all without me teaching him...a nd besides what on earth makes me think I'd be able to effectively teach him?
It is so much easier to just be, for him to watch, experiment; the best learning comes from self exploration and self realisation. When I look back on teachers I thought were the bees knees I realise they were facilitators not teachers - they were inspiration, passion and joy.
I do have fear of conflict with my ex, I fear clashes over whether or not Rye is reading by a certain age, whether he knows things that his dad thinks he should; but should I really allow that fear to prevent me from providing Rye with a childhood rich in learning and love? Should I allow fear to make me throw out all I have learned about unschooling and waldorf?
And yes I have my own fears, will unschooling and waldorf really set Rye up for a life in the 21st Century? Will he have the skills and get go to follow his dreams?
Could it actually hold him back?
What is the alternative? School? What's to say school would achieve the above either? It can for many people..and for many people it doesn't. Seems this life business is a great big game of lottery.
In the end I simply have to trust.
Scary that, it all comes down to trust... and good dollop of faith.