Happy New Year!
Last week, we talked about looking back at 2020 and a little about looking forward to 2021.
But I want to talk a little more about where to go from here.
On one hand, it’s important to not spend a ton of time making plans - because we saw what happened last year!
On the other hand, it’s ok to use tools to ponder ideas and think about things you’d like to do - maybe even seasonally.
And sometimes when we’re setting aside curriculum, we’re floundering a little.
We're looking for a strategy or a framework to move us forward.
Spontaneity and flexibility doesn’t always come naturally to everyone - and that’s ok.
Certainly we’ve all had years of conditioning to stay the course, “don’t get distracted by something interesting that pops up.”
We have to undo a little of that so we ARE able to focus on interesting opportunities that are occurring everyday all around us.
We simply have to notice.
That’s what this week is about: Noticing.
Let’s focus on the practical ideas unschooling families can tap into as life rolls along. Where do everyone’s interests lie? Instead of being distracted by what academic skill they have yet to acquire, what are they curious about? The more you lean toward curiosities and interests, the more learning will happen. It’s a natural byproduct of living a full rich life!
You can use the Unschooling Guide: Brainstorm Time or other tools/resources I’ve created for you will help you create a loose strategy. Giving your brain something like this to do, may help you get some of your more fearful thoughts in check.
And when we do this kind of brainstorming with the kids, we can get a lot of insight into where they are. Because kids grow and change all the time. What was interesting to them this time last year - or even just a few months ago, may not be their focus now.
Maybe even just think about the next 90 days.
What are some cool things that happen where you live in January, February, and March?
What would you like to try to do this year?
It’s so easy to let the day-to-day life distract us from these activities that take a little more effort. But they can produce a lot of joy, connection, and memories! Don’t overdo it, but don’t shy away from it saying you’re too busy. Maybe something you’re doing could be traded out for a weekly hike, or a movie marathon. Or maybe trying to make something from your favorite cooking channel! Notice what your kids’ interests are, and move in that direction.
If you do use the Brainstorming Guide, I'd suggest working on this yourself and then sharing it with your kids to do together. It will help get the ball rolling.
Road Maps Help
Part of successful unschooling is figuring out how to share the world with your kids in a way that's interesting to them. Brainstorming with them will help you learn more about their preferences AND give you a little road map of what you could do next.
Use these brainstorming sessions as ways to NOTICE the changes that are happening with your kids. They’re getting older and some of the things you may have enjoyed with them, aren’t that enjoyable to THEM anymore. That’s ok, that’s part of maturing!
That’s why having these conversations - even if you just do them at the start of each new year - helps you see how they’re growing and changing. And when you notice these little changes, you can meet them where they are.
Just as a little side note reminder... sometimes we miss those old days when they played with certain toys or had certain patterns. And sometimes we miss it because we figured out how to parent them at THAT age. But parenting is an ever-evolving process. We keep moving along this path with them, recognizing who they really are, letting go of stories in our heads about them, Connecting and partnering with the child standing right in front of us. When we notice these things, that’s when they can feel heard and seen. That’s where they can feel their interests are valued by you - the most important adult in their lives!
That’s where unschooling really works!
I hope 2021 is full of all kinds of adventures for you and your family!
Have a great week NOTICING what’s changed, what’s stayed the same, and what you all may like to do a little differently.
Let's work together!
If you'd like a little more coaching, or wish you had more of an unschooling community, my Creating Confidence Membership group is open again!
Group coaching calls, tons of resources (including access to all the Unschooling Guides), a private supportive online community - so many reasons to join us!