Basically, what I believe in boils down to this:
It’s not child-led learning, it’s not “do whatever you want” learning, it’s not hands-off learning, nor is it unschooling. It’s simply the goal of having a judgment-free learning lifestyle.
That’s what it boils down to. Letting go of my own judgments of what is “Right” and what is “Wrong”. My own judgments of who my children are supposed to be.
Cuz you know what, none of us are perfect. None of us are even close. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but it’s true. I’m not perfect. And because I believe that X will help my kids, I might just be blinded by my own certainty and biases. And it’s for certain that I can’t see the future, nor can I see things from my children’s perspective. My view point is extremely limited. And to expect my kids to be perfect – not even that, but MY version of perfect – in order for me to be satisfied, is forcing a difficult and unfair burden on the shoulders of my little guys who probably understand the world and how to be happy far better than I do.
We can’t completely take away all of our judgments. And there are some things that we value as important because they do bring happiness and joy into our lives (say, judging it “bad” to act violently towards one another.) But try this: the next time you are upset, or in an argument, or butting heads with someone, ask yourself if you would still be in that negative situation if you dropped all subjective judgments. And see if there is a solution that can be found that didn’t involve our own opinion of what is “right”.
This is how we create the homeschooling life we want, by choosing to recognize when we are creating the pain in our own families and in ourselves by not being able to let go of our criticisms and judgments of other people and ourselves.
The world – it gets along just fine without our judgments. Our kids too. They don’t want our criticisms, they want our support, insights and wisdom. Not our baggage.
See if it works for you. See if reducing how much place expectations and value judgments on things can make a difference. See if we can recognize how when we think our way is the right way, we are mowing over everyone else involved, and making our own troubles by trying to control the universe. Trouble in our lives is the universe resisting our efforts to try and control it, instead of working with it.
I’ll do it if you’ll do it with me. Cuz no matter how much I know this, it’s a skill that takes a life-time of practice.