I will not claim to have each and every day home with my four kids to be filled with overwhelming joy. I promise. Yes, we have our ups and downs and we get on each others nerves and we have the occasional argument. However, on most days our daily rhythm is filled with smiles, laughter and surprises.
I do find great joy in seeing my children growing up and making wise choices, in being curious, and helpful. It makes my heart swell to see them becoming independent, able to cook their own dinner, and manage their own money. I get excited to hear them talk about new places they want to visit, and new experiments they want to try. Most of all I get pure joy out of seeing them begin to make choices where they will have a fulfilled life doing what they love.
Yes, we still have frustrations and set backs. We have lazy days where it looks like we are accomplishing nothing. We all get bad attitudes that need adjusting. These can also bring us joy because we are all learning from the process. We are able to talk openly with our children and observe them in their natural environment. We knew what they are struggling with and know their friends. We are able to build a trusting relationship which is essential to unschooling.
Our home is filled with books, and we go to the bookstore and library for more, often. We have an extensive DVD collection, we spend time on the internet doing lots of learning. We also do lots of museums, travel, and hands on activities. This keeps learning right at our fingertips. The older kids have also enjoyed online learning this year with some college courses on photography and computer programming. They’ve taken horse back riding classes from Groupon, and Perry joined a basketball team this year. These things have brought them joy in one form or another.
“Comparison is the death of joy.”
― Mark Twain
― Mark Twain
One mistake beginning homeschoolers make is to make comparisons with mainstreamed schooled children. Experienced unschoolers will be quick to point out, as did Mark Twain that “Comparison is the death of joy.” So if your child doesn’t know his times tables or if he can’t read by the time he’s five, you will survive. You can even do so with joy. Be mindful of joy in your life and all of the amazing things your child is learning on a daily basis in an atmosphere of joy and love.