Thursday, August 19, 2010

Things I'm good at

I couldn't wait till morning, at a decent hour, to write this. I just couldn't do it. This has been bugging me for two days now, since I stupidly got on the computer and ranted about M1's math issues. *sigh* I knew it would come back to bite me in the behind. It always does. I experience massive word vomit, and inevitably it gets all over someone, and then I can clean and clean and clean, and yet there's still the funk in the air.

So I'm trying to clear it.

Now here's the fun part: *I* am the one who got hit with the word vomit. Nobody has said anything to me, but one thing I'm really, really stinking good at is GUILT. Self-inflicted guilt. Mental flagellation. Martyrdom. Whatever you want to call it, now you know. I'm an expert. I will invent guilt even before anyone else has a clue that I should feel guilty.

Oz knows this particularly well. I had a bit of a buying spree over the weekend at a particular candle store that's part of a national chain. I walked out of the store with three bags and ran straight into a giant wall of GUILT. Serious, massive guilt. I almost returned half of the stuff before Oz finally was able to convince me that it really, truly was okay to have bought it.

The point of this post, however, is embedded in a particular phrase that I wrote in the rant the other morning. It said, "Most of our groupmates are more of the permanent homeschooling/unschooling variety, which works for them, and I'm sure they'll be aghast at me dragging along all this stuff for him to do, but that's just how it works for us. It's the price we pay for having homeschooling be a potential temporary choice. I have to toe the line a bit more."

Now... at the time, I was mostly fearful (yes, fearful) of my friends' reactions! I honestly thought they'd be very confused, maybe even upset if I showed up with work for M1 to do at our meeting because really, if everyone else is playing, why would he have work to do? Why would I punish him like that? I have no idea why I felt fearful. I could claim the guilt thing, but that's the reason I'm writing this post, not the reason I was fearful. I can only say that at the time, I felt like I was against a wall, and I have a tendency to get a little paranoid when that happens. Also... deep down... I knew that bringing work would prove to everyone that my methods weren't working. Oh, and my massive fear of rejection by my peers. However, after I re-read all that later, when I was calmer, I realized that the above paragraph could totally have been taken another way and seen as bashing those who are unschoolers.

I would like to officially try to clean up my word vomit here and say flat out that I ADMIRE UNSCHOOLERS. I would *love* to be like that, to accomplish M1's (and my) goals without any sort of mental anguish, to be free inside myself to do whatever it is that takes our fancy that day or week or month and yet progress. I've seen some very smart kids in our group. VERY smart. And independent and entrepreneurial and just flat-out WONDERFUL. So how could I possibly think these folks are doing something bad when I've seen such good results??

Especially when I'm sitting there having a rant about my own son who is clearly rebelling against the way I'm doing school??

Anyway. Nobody has said anything to me, but I would like to apologize anyway. I hope you can forgive me, and honestly, if you have a clue how to make my boy love math again, I'd love to hear it.

Even if it means giving up the books and walking away.

Though I'll probably have guilt about that for a while, too.

Thanks for listening.


Heather said...

Well, no one knows your child and the best way to make them learn than you do. I'm not extremely familiar with the ins and outs of home schooling or 'unschoolings' but I do know that we all learn differently and it is a lucky child indeed who has someone there with them helping them learn in a way that suits them best. You and I both went to public school where we were constantly being crammed into a cookie cutter learning method that worked for 'some' kids. But not all. I think your M1 is doing great, and your method isnt something to feel guilty about if its helping him thrive.

Habebi said...

Don't apologize hun! You are good at giving yourself a hard time. ;-) (says the friend who does the same! lol) Go easy on yourself, remember you're learning things too and sometimes stuff takes a bit of time to figure out. I say to my piano students, "Never apologize for learning" Bumps, mistakes even, are all part of the learning process. That said I know you're doing a great job because you won't settle for a half-assed job. Just remember to not be too hard on yourself!! Especially when you just need to vent a bit. ((HUGS!!))

Mom on the Verge said...

I didn't smell anything icky! ;)

Keep the faith. Do what you can. It'll work out okay.

And once he can multiply, you can use Life of Fred for math. It's FUN.

Sarah said...

Thanks, everyone! I'm doing better. I talked to a teacher friend of mine who reassured me that I am not going to ruin him. That helped a lot.

Mom on the Verge, I cannot WAIT to try LOF. I checked it out the other day for kicks and am going to show it to M1 so he can see what he's in for if he puts his rear in gear. It looks awesome...