This blog is all about the What.
I think most people who read here know the Why. (For the Joy of it, of course! is the short answer. :) )
Seems like a good time to address the How.
(Ah, the slide into winter's warm cuppa and contemplation begins. How lovely.)
There aren't very many things that I appreciate more than reading words of someone I admire that say "Now these are our philosophies. This is our ideal. That doesn't mean that I don't mess up." Jon Kabat-Zinn has said it. Naomi Aldort has said it. Scott Noelle speaks plainly and lovingly about moving from one line of thinking into another--only a person who understands well the first can move so beautifully into the second.
Most times I'm so relieved and thankful for such words that I want to burst into tears.
Being the first to say "this is where my heart lies; what and where I (still, always) aspire to be" goes a much further way in impressing me than pointing the finger at others, and saying "look at that!" in condemnation.
Because, chances are, in a dark moment, I have been That. Or at least accused myself disparagingly of being so. Even if I haven't, it still hurts me to hear others thought of or judged as something hateful or hated. (I suspect this is all a part of my intimately learning the great Truth "We Are One", but that's another story.)
And I have enough guilty feelings that I don't need other random strangers pointing out someone else's mistakes so unkindly when I only see it as a reflection of my own mistakes, thankyouverymuch.
As an evolving being I appreciate the sentiment "aspire".
That being said, :), there are a few things I've learned about myself and this life I'm living with my family.
Things such as:
I love beautiful things.
Time to think is as essential as breath for me.
This journal is an important part of my life. Until it isn't.
I love playing and growing with my children.
So this is the perspective I come from, not a perspective that I believe anyone else should have.
But I'm a selfish creature, and I need order and pretty. That's not to say that life doesn't happen in there. Many a time I've only opened the door a crack when Gladys Kravitz came calling. (oh yes, we have one.)
It's often dusted with my "Happy Home" cleaner. And vacuumed on my hands and knees because only the attachment part works of the vacuum (need to take it into the shop, but don't wanna go without the vacuum for a week....).
The glass cupboard for the entertainment center was broken long ago by a three or four year old little boy. My mother had a fit about that, but it seems more appropriate that our learning would be there easily accessible rather than tucked tidily behind a glass door, anyway.
My fiercely guarded pitcher and bowl, on the other hand....
As I've said before, morning-times are my times. Time to clean. Time to write. Time to contemplate. Time to un-interruptedly Be.
Though this happens naturally, as my children wake up at least a couple hours after I do, time to myself is absolutely imperative.
I've never been one to feel guilty over taking care of my own needs - I figure it's something we all need to do-- if you ain't got it, you ain't got it to give.
I absolutely believe in service, but I don't believe that service has to be -or even should be (for me)- something done out of a sense of martyrdom or resentment. I much prefer service to be done in joy and love - "How can I love you better?"
What this means in our daily life is that I take time outs when I need them.
Particularly if we've had hours of intense play and fun, I find that a time-out or time for each of us to do our own thing is really helpful... I often sit at the kitchen table and begin the day's post, read, collect myself in general, Trev usually heads to the computer, Maddie gets out markers and paper or something similar....
I absolutely love exploring and playing with my children, and I relish the Go!, but it's even better when it's tempered with bits of quiet and Self throughout the day. And the Joy and fun can last much longer, that way, for us.
I think this is what people mean when they're talking about the dynamics of the family. And why even if we're talking about unschooling or radical unschooling families, no two look the same.
The individuals are different. Work schedules are different, needs are different - learning styles, preferences, personalities, tools, location... everything has to be taken into consideration.
So, here we arrive.
Today it's in a relatively clean house.
Things are so close to being spic-n-span that I have a need to absolutely Sparklify - for no other reason than a breathing, smiling satisfaction.
Tomorrow I (and we) may very well need something entirely different.
Could be that we'll Play! for three days straight, and not pick up a thing.
Could be that soon we'll have flour dust on the kitchen floor from pretzels made two days before.
Could be that one of us will spend two days on the couch reading.
The only thing that is certain is that we'll be doing our living according to what in that moment
we need and Love.
All of us
will be loving and celebrating the all of us.
Thanks go to Chris for inspiring me to get these thoughts in order (er... such as it is, anyway).