Someone asked recently if I could give an example of how I teach.
I don't teach. At least, not any more than my children do-- which is to say that we just communicate naturally and authentically with each other.
Since my words and thoughts come from my own evolving perspective, and since I've kept this blog for a few years, and the basic current tone for over two of those years, I forget that some folks don't know us well. :) Mostly I feel like everyone knows everything there is to know about us.
But that's not true, obviously, so here it is.
As I was saying, I don't teach. And I don't teach deliberately. If I find myself ever doing so, then I usually stop immediately, mostly with great chagrin.
What I (and we) do, is ask questions.
I ask "Want to go?"
I ask "shall we look it up?"
I say, "Woh. Check this out."
I make offers... "Hey, I was reading about this... I thought maybe we could see what it's about. Want to?" and "Hey, we need to write the review for this book, wanna finish it up with me?" "Hey, I'm in the mood to play a game with you on the computer, is there something you'd like to play with me?"
I do nudge, sometimes. For quite a while -a year or better, maybe- I had a really hard time with the nudging thing... wondering if it was coercive... now I've learned how to be mindful of what my motives are, and how to make sure I am coming from a place of authenticity and joy, and not doing something out of fear or "should".
What that nudging looks like is talking to my son about something new I think he'll truly enjoy, or pausing situations (learning to play checkers to mind), to point something out, to show another option. "What options can you see here?" or "Look around this one," or "Watch out for this one!"
Those not intimately familiar with learning the way we do will ask "What's wrong with nudging? Or with teaching for that matter?" And my answer to that is, "There is nothing wrong with it. It's just not the way we choose to do it." Teaching, to me, means "I (or a curriculum) know better than you what you need to know, and how you should interpret things, so let me tell you How It Is, and you memorize it." I don't believe I get to (or should) choose that for another.
There is no right and wrong in this. Like everything else, it comes down to personal philosophies. Of being and representing who you are.
And I believe in Unschooling. Its principles jive with me. It sings through my veins, and it shines through my spirit. That isn't to say that I am devoted to Unschooling, but rather the reverse... that Unschooling is a pretty good, modern description of who I am.
I want my children to create their best Selves.
I want them to have unhindered time to feel out who that is, and to show me, so that I may find that tiny glimmer, and help them to shine it their brightest, for all to see.
I don't believe in being judgmental-- I work diligently to not judge anyone. This has to include my children and their own Truths and preferences.
I believe in personal and spiritual sovereignty.
So. What's the Mama for, then?
I get to watch and listen closely, and to come up with ideas and places and things that I think will interest them.
I get to share what interests me.
I get to be close, and help them to understand.
I get to say, "Hey. Let's tear it up, today," when things are seeming a little stagnant.
I get to watch, and to try to help them get over a fear of something - be that from feelings of ineptitude, or their own smallness.
As you can see from our daily notes, we play.
We have books. We have science kits. We go to the library. We watch movies and videos. We look things up. We explore and create and investigate and imagine and discover.
So I don't teach. I try to Empower.
[shrug] I just do my best to help them shine their divine, sparkly Light.