My post on compulsion sparked thought ( for me) and discussion on an internet forum and an email list.
Now, we are and pretty much always have been unschooly.
Part of Speech:
a home-school education with the child taking the primary responsibility instead of a parent or teacher; also called child-directed learning, self-learning
Under unschooling education, parents may act as "facilitators" and may provide a wide-range of resources to their children.
One thing I notice, though, is that this issue of compulsion and unschooling comes up more with some children than with others.
I have seven sons.
Some of these become, almost overnight, planners/do-ers, people who will take on things, both new and difficult and push themselves out of their comfort zones. Even spiritually. Now, to these ones I can really relate, because I am a big pusher of myself. (For good or for worse)
Other sons, however seem to dislike to try new things, need almost to be forcibly made to try something new and difficult - even if it is something they want to try. For them, it appears to be hard to find the inner push to do work before play, to be prepared to try something hard - and, sometimes, when I push, these sons end up liking the new activity. Or at least liking the fact that they tried something and that something took them out of their rut. Sometimes.
A friend reminded me of this blog post of mine, from a few years ago, about being a mean mum.
Relationship and trust are important when parenting. And, yet, with some of my seven sons, this relationship is not enough. They find it hard to push themselves, they are less internally motivated than other sons – even with things they like and want to do! So, St Paul’s words on exhorting one another often come to my mind here – not necessarily compulsion but exhorting. And edifying. One another.
1 Thessalonians 5
11 For which cause comfort one another; and edify one another, as you also do.
13 But exhort one another every day, whilst it is called today, that none of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
( Douay-Rheims Bible)