Friday, February 20, 2015

Random conversations

Do you ever have one of those parenting moments when you think, "I got this?"

Today, it happened. It's made me feel much more confident about our choice to homeschool in a week when I've had a lot of doubts.

Random Person: Do you like school?
A1: No.
Me: Do you like learning?
A1: Yes.
Me: What do you like learning?
A1: History, science, math and I love learning Chinese, Spanish and French.
RP: You like learning but you don't like school?
A1: Yep!
RP: How does that work?
A1: Because I don't GO TO school. I have autonomy in my learning.
RP: You don't go to school? How do you know you do not like it?
A1: Because I like deciding what I want to learn. Teachers make you learn what beer-o-crats want you to learn and I LOVE field trips.
Me: Bureaucrats.
RP: Doesn't your mom decide what you learn for you?
A1: She helps me learn new things but if I don't like it we find something new I like.
RP: Surely you don't give her control?
Me: Well, actually, I do. Kids love learning and exploring. If she is learning what she wants, she retains it... Otherwise, she discards it. I'm not a fan of wasting time.
RP: She is going to grow up and have to do things she doesn't want to do.
Me: I suppose... Hopefully, it wont be her job because she has opportunities to explore what real professionals do while her peers are asking for permission to pee.

This was what I needed, we are not doing this in vain... Our child recognizes what she wants and know she has the ability to change things that are not working for her. Her peers do not always have that ability. They are taught society and their parents own them. That, is one of the many reasons we homeschool.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Trial and Failure

Our three year old is an introvert as a result of a sensory processing disorder. Going on the road for three weeks unexpectedly caused her to leave her shell, grow and gain confidence in herself on hikes, and it ultimately translated to warming up to people in general. I refuse to believe it was a coincidence. I saw the growth and it was beautiful and in many ways it was a blessing. I've spent many hours trying to convince Jay to go vagabond as a result. No luck, yet.

With the amazing improvements we've had at parks and in otherwise social situations with coaches and friends, she still likes to be alone when she is overwhelmed and that is okay. Each of us have our own coping mechanisms but as a parent, it's my job to help navigate these issues and guide them where they need help. She needs a little help at the moment.

So... How do we cope with little sisters sensory processing issues when big sister is fully extroverted and has a desire to explore museums?

I've yet to come up with a good solution.

As child led homeschoolers, we rely on our kids to guide us and try to create an environment in which they both thrive. One thrives in museums and the other thrives exploring and growing in peace, IE- hiking, and playing in fields. Big sister loves hiking but is very intolerant of weather (yes, we have some of the best gear on the market- no it does not work with her Raynaud's often when we have issues in our house on cool days!)

We are trying to work through this issue so forgive us if we up and leave because of a three year old nearing a meltdown (or who is already there- we try to avoid this if possible.) I suspect the coming months and years will be a big case of trial and error--- err failure as we are learning from other families on this path.

I'm hoping we will see new growth this summer disconnecting from schedules and routines.. if nothing else works. I'm being optimistic though, while SPD is a tad bit frustrating, I am by far more patient than I was with big sister and I feel I have become a better parent while navigating these issues.

So a few glasses of wine after a long day of testing our limits and reevaluating boundaries the past three months has offered me a newer perspective.

New is good. New forces change and evolution. My goal as a parent is to evolve with our kids. I don't have this. I'd be lying if I said I do... but eventually I will get this issue down... Probably after a lot of failures. Failure is good, right?