Most women merely want to vent and have a sounding board for their rants and issues. Victoria wrote about her doubts and challenges about homeschooling, posted them on the Worldschoolers Facebook page and got a number of encouraging advice. Her story resonated with many others who were either going through or went through the similar situation of not knowing whether what you’re doing is right or best for your children. Mothers wrack their brains, sometimes unnecessarily so, needing to chill out more like the dads who seem too together, too relaxed, too not overwrought. No pressure because one half of the partnership in stress is already one too many. Of course, that may be an oversimplification or an unfair generalization but you know what I mean.
I’ve been feeling so many doubts myself about this whole homeschooling/ unschooling/ worldschooling thing that I appreciate truly the kind, listening ear. I set up a Skype date with our teacher-advisor at the Global Homeschool, our provider in the Philippines and poured out the worries bugging my brain and in the end, it was a relief to be talked out of panic mode, to remember to laugh and enjoy, to let go of what doesn’t work in favor of something lighter.
Today I took Joshua and Jimmy to the big indoor playground in the supermarket. I’d like to imagine it’s my weird version of the Sudbury School here in China. The kids are free to run around and choose what they want to do amidst an age-varied group. It’s frustrating doing all this research work on alternative education and I don’t have access to any — except what we can create on our own. If we lived in the United States, imagine the wealth of choices! Sigh. Wishful thinking. Envy.
A Sudbury school is a type of school, usually for the K-12 age range, where students have complete responsibility for their own education, and the school is run by direct democracy in which students and staff are equals. Students individually decide what to do with their time, and tend to learn as a by-product of ordinary experience rather than through coursework. There is no predetermined educational syllabus, prescriptive curriculum or standardized instruction. This is a form of democratic education. Daniel Greenberg, one of the founders of the original Sudbury Model school, writes that the two things that distinguish a Sudbury Model school are that everyone – adults and children – are treated equally and that there is no authority other than that granted by the consent of the governed.
While each Sudbury Model school operates independently and determines their own policies and procedures, they share a common culture. The intended culture within a Sudbury school has been described with such words as freedom, trust, respect, responsibility and democracy.
— from Wikipedia
Tonight, Joshua spilled out a revelation quite surprising to me that it’s not his dream to travel around the world. My husband went inside the room and said it was Daddy and Mommy’s dream. I told him, maybe after our trip to America he’ll think differently. And even if he felt the same, that I’d still be here to listen to his dreams and we’ll work out a way and support each other through those dreams as a family even if others in the family had different dreams. I, too am rethinking this dream drive around the world. Like my son, Joshua, I also want to be more settled in one place, but I also want to travel. Perhaps this American road trip will be the longest stretch (four months) we will do and then after that we’ll settle in one place and travel only for a month or so max at a time. So it’s still going around the world but in segments. There’s also way of worldschooling that can be done locally by doing mini discovery trips, welcoming travelers, opening eyes to culture and pushing the creativity envelope.
There was a worldschooling Mom who railed about her child who just wanted to play on the computer the whole day and wasn’t interested in traveling and there she was planning trips left and right with aplomb. The advice she got from others gently reassured her to get on the road with her child and gradually, there would be changes.
Dreams are tricky when you’re in a family and they don’t match up or they are in conflict. But there’s also a way of threshing out differences so conflicts turn into something that complement each other. How? Sheer perseverance and by being sensitive to all members of the family – the parents and the children, the adult and the young, according equal respect to each and every one.