Monday, November 1, 2010

Educating Our Children - Huge Decision

In September, I read Hobo Mama's September Carnival of Natural Parenting submission titled Too lazy to unschool? At the time, I could so relate to what she was saying. I actively homeschooled Ronni through first and second grade. It was a lot of work! I didn't use any set curriculum across the board, but rather researched each subject. I chose a different curricula for several subjects, but with others I chose to "wing it." So yeah, it was a lot of work! I worked from home full time. So while I was busy working, I was also present. That is a very key word in my head these days.

I currently work full time outside our home. My husband works part time for the same company. I get insurance benefits which are a must for my not-so-healthy husband as well as our plans to reproduce again, though I do also have an Indian Health Card available to me.

Sometimes it breaks my heart to leave home for work. Sometimes I see that it affords me the sanity of not becoming entirely obsessed with my family. I believe I may have been overly obsessed with my older child when she was a baby. Also, I make more money than my husband. My plan since Sasha was born is for us to get to the point that he can quit work entirely and be a full time stay at home dad. I have hoped that he would be willing to learn how to cook at that point. :-P (He already does most of the cleaning around here!)

However, our workplace is about to start offering insurance benefits to the part time people! That still leaves my salary. I've worked from home before. It is difficult to find situations that will allow for that, but it can be done. Sometimes I think I've given up too easily on the dream of working from home.

This evening, I was reading an article on the new Natural Parents Network and followed a link to a commenter's blog. From there, I followed another link and wound up reading 5 Things Your Unschooler Needs to Know on Enjoy Life Unschooling. No shit, this single post (and the comments) may change my life. Enjoy Life Unschooling Why NOT look for ways to change my (and my family's) life in big ways? I WANT to spend more time with my family, but I let work get in the way. It is harder to find ways to change that, but not impossible.

Very specifically, though, I'm quite interested in unschooling. I worry that we'd be lazy and never do anything. But at the same time, I know how I am. I know I enjoy presenting opportunities to my children. Opportunities for new interests. Maybe it really would be okay for us. I've submitted a question to the writers regarding grown-up unschoolers. I look forward to their response and will likely broach the topic to my always-very-supportive husband soon.

Unschooling just seems to be such a natural progression of all the hippy choices I've already made in our lives: breastfeeding, child-led weaning, child-led introduction to solid foods, elimination communication, even the way I approach signing with her. I already *know* we don't want to send her (or any future child) to school, but... is unschooling for us? I'm going to figure that out.

In the meantime... is there a career change in my future? can we find a way to live further away from town? might we even leave the state?! I am always in awe of people that make these kinds of major changes in their lives, especially moving across state lines. I have lived in the Tulsa area for my entire life! Is it time for a some changes?
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