Wednesday, April 02, 2008

More on Unschooling ~ Unschooling Mindfully

To live mindfully.

Sounds very Buddha-like, doesn't it?

Yet to live mindfully, to live well, is an idea steeped in Christian tradition.

"Today is the day the Lord hath made;let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24 2.

For me to unschool mindfully, I need to be there for my children. Mentally and physically.

When I unschool mindfully, we seem to have better relationships. When I get too busy and leave the kids solely to their own devices ~ get this done, do some Maths, watch a DVD, play computer ~ yeah, we might be unschooling but we are not connected.

The Joyfully Rejoycing website has this to say.

I think work and the things we "have" to do tend to expand to fill the time available. And unless that time is scheduled specifically for something, it's going to get eaten up by "have tos".

So make your son a "have to".

One of the problems with parenting (and unschooling) is that no one thing of it seems important enough that it must be done. Obviously the whole thing adds up into a great big something, but there aren't any immediate deadlines on any one thing. They don't need a book read to them today. He doesn't need to go to the park by the end of the week. The "deadline" for parenting feels like it's years in the future so nothing really needs done right now. But there's (seemingly!) hundreds of other things that do have very real deadlines.

So create a schedule and deadlines for being with him. Make sure he does get x books read to him (or whatever he likes to do). Make sure he does gets x hours hanging out together to explore freely with you, time that belongs to him even if it doesn't feel like you're accomplishing anything. In terms of relationship, it will be accomplishing something for him.

Reminds me to put my kids ( and my dh) on my To Do list!


Sabine said...

Leonie - thank you so much for these thoughts; I am really struggling with being mindful, atm, though I feel as though I've been struggling with that on and off for quite some time.

Leonie said...

I think this is something we mothers regularly have to deal with - but I know just the realization of this helps.

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for your thought-provoking post, Leonie. This issue has been niggling at the back of my brain for the past few weeks and it's nice to have it brought to my attention again. Must make that list! :-)

Leonie said...

It sounds funny to put people on a To Do list, yet it helps with setting priorities, doesn't it?

sea glass hearts..... Laurie said...

Thanks Leonie for your advice and help for us new unschoolers!
We left our charter school on 3/10 and are de-schooling.
Now I know to make a To Do list for mindful unschooling.

Jennifer said...

We pencil in all sorts of less important things in our calendars, why not the most important things? Loved ones.

Thanks for sharing, Leonie!

Greg said...

Lauire, my To Do list ends up shaping our unschool - if I remember to put the kids and things we want to do on the list! lol!

Jennifer - you are right - of course it makes sense to put the important things ( i.e. people) on the list. :-)

Leonie said...

Oops, that was me, not son Greg!

Sandra Dodd said...

Nice post. I linked it here:
Mindfulness in Unschooling

I made the same point, that it's not an Eastern concept. "Mindful" is a word English has had since the early Middle Ages, at least.

Leonie said...

Great page on mindful Parenting - thanks for the link!