All Girls School

November 15, 2007, 7:54 pm
Filed under: Bubba, troubleshooting, Uncategorized

You know how your mother tells you, “I hope you have a child just. like. you.” Only they mean it in more of a karmic/voodoo curse kind of way? Yes, well I heard that more than once growing up. Guess what, the curse works. Meet Bubba. Bubba is me. I was Bubba. I understand her though processes and I can feel everything that she’s feeling, because she and I are the smae person, 21 years apart. It’s almost eerie. So, Tuesday, when she had put about .001% of effort into a project that I had been really excited about and spent a long time researching and coming up with, while making sure it was fun and creative, I had had it. I sat her down and laid it out to her. I told her that she had a decision to make. She could either go back to her old school, where she could have recesses with her friends, but also spend a lot of time bored by the work and waiting for the other kids to focus, and not be able to have a hand in what she was learning. Or, she could start to take the homeschool work seriously. She fought me and said that she did, so I started citing out specific examples of times when she put good effort into a project and times when she did not. I think that she understood when I compared a good effort to a poor effort. Then we discussed how she would have to actually work to learn new things. She was upset at first and thought I was telling her that her work was no good. I tried to help her see that it was her lack of effort (and outright laziness at times) that I was not pleased with. I think she gets it. Yesterday was so so much better. She was very engaged and we worked through a lot of new things. I let her lead the whole day, really. She does best that way, when everything is her own idea. But she also started redoing a couple of the projects that I had shown her to be of little effort (like one of her letters to someone that consisted of one (1) single line of text).

Here’s where my mother’s curse comes in – that kid was so me. L.A.Z.Y. Since I could get all As with little to no effort, that’s how much I gave. Nobody after fifth grade cared to push me beyond since I was a “good” kid and got “good” grades and didn’t cause trouble. I did the assignments to the most minimum specification. It wasn’t until college (and later in college at that) that I ever started going beyond the expectations of an assignment. (And oh, what an amazing difference it made in not only my grades, but also in how much I learned. I know – revelation moment about ten years too late.) So, I get her, I really do. I also see how much effort she can put into things when it is her own idea. So, that’s how we have now gotten to where I always wanted to be, 98% child led learning. I’m still collecting the resources and throwing out ideas and giving her projects around the topics of her choice, and leading her learning, but other than that it’s all about where her whims take her. I was hoping we’d get to this point, really unschooling, but she had to work away from the school model she had  been accustomed to for a while. So, it was a little rough and tearful while we were hashing it out, but the outcome will be better for us both in the long run.


1 Comment so far
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dang, rock on, mama.

you have got it right and inspire me to somehow claim this opportunity even though my kids are within those 4 walls of P.S. all day.


Comment by the neufeld epp family

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