Monday, August 5, 2013

and so it goes . . .

What feels like fun-but-crazybusy to my family might seem perfectly normal to another family, or leisurely even.  It might be impossibly busy to someone else.  One thing that I've thought about a lot since becoming unschoolers is looking directly toward what works well for us in our family, not what I think should work well for a family.  

How do my children learn most effectively?  Most joyfully?  What engages them?  What makes them shut down?  It will be different for each family.  For each person in the family.  I think that's a large part of the beauty of unschooling, the ability to really create a living-learning environment where each person can thrive.  I think that's what can be so difficult to grasp about unschooling as well.  It's the opposite of one-size-fits-all.  It takes a lot of trial and error and effort to keep moving closer to a balance that takes into account a variety of needs from a variety of family members.

Last post, I wrote that we were in need of some serious downtime, well, I guess we weren't ready for that yet, but we have been mixing it up.  Papa took all three girls out and about on Friday while I stayed home and blissfully weeded the garden.  I really adore some quiet time to myself in the garden. He took the camera, too!
 fountain play
 


 learning to foxtrot via sidewalk directions
 
co-op shopping

On Saturday, I took the kids out and about while Papa got a chance to focus on his own projects.  We took the ferry across the Wisconsin River, went to a beach birthday party, went to a friends' house, played at the park, and went to a garden party.  So much for downtime, we're having too much fun!


pinata scramble


 

On Sunday, we split the girls up. Camille and I stayed home.  Papa went to play music with a friend and took the younger two to play with his friend's kids.  It was the perfect arrangement.  Apparently, if you leave me and Camille alone, our day looks like playing with mohawks, baking gluten-free bread, having a checkers and chess marathon, and general giddiness.  I firmly believe there is no shame in being both a parent and a friend to my children.
 
warming milk on the stove for the bread

 fresh baked bread and garlic butter

  garden add-ins

checkers and natural M&M-style candies

Papa, Sylvia, and Ayla had another friend-filled, playful day. 


 



I document our days because I love to take pictures and celebrate the ways that we learn and engage in our lives, whether we're baking bread, playing with friends, or learning how to foxtrot.  I share it publicly because I like to connect with others who do the same.  I love that it will look so differently in each person's experience, in each family, and the ways in which we can all live big, full, beautiful, messy lives.

4 comments:

  1. I love, love, love the ponytail-hairstyle!!! And that bread looks yum-alicious!

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  2. "I love that it will look so differently in each person's experience, in each family, and the ways in which we can all live big, full, beautiful, messy lives."

    Yes, me too. How boring life would be if we all lived life the same. :)

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  3. I love this post! I completely agree about being a parent and a friend. Sometimes at night, just as I am falling asleep, I get filled with this excited giddy feeling at the idea I'm going to see my kids in the morning. It literally feels like a gift, so I love when I see your posts and know you feel the same way.

    What beautiful days you are all having! I love the different ways you all hang out…with everyone finding time and space…all doing what fits you Just Right. So beautiful!

    Thank you SO much for documenting your days and sharing your life here, Nikole. I get so much from everything you share, every time. :)

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  4. You know it is so funny. The other day I was talking with one of my dearest friends about my children. About how I am their parent, but they are my best friends, too.

    I'm definitely not ashamed to say that. My children are some of the loveliest beings I have ever met and I'm so blessed to be their Momma and to be counted among their best friends too!

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