I sent this out today:
I am writing to those of you who asked to be reminded about my monthly parenting call (or who signed up for “everything”) to let you know that my conference call will NOT be happening this month. The conference line we were using has been having a lot of problems, and the scheduled time has been difficult for my schedule as well as for many of yours.
For the next few months I am going to, instead, send out a monthly “parenting with trust” newsletter, and – Ta Da! – here is the first one. Welcome!
If you have a parenting question that you would’ve liked to ask on the conference call, please feel free to send it to me (email@example.com) and I will write my answer in a future newsletter. A friend who just started homeschooling her daughter (13?ish) wrote to me a few weeks ago and we started a little Q&A dialog which I thought would be a perfect way to kick off this new newsletter, so if you’re interested – keep reading! We’ll try this for a few months and see how it works out for all of us. Feedback welcome!
I’ll also put in a little plug here for my parenting podcast, another place you can go to get more ideas and support for your journey in learning to trust children as you learn to trust yourself. If you’ve never listened to my podcast, you might want to start with Attachment Parenting Is Hard, or I Heart Teens, or Tips and Tricks for Parents of Young Children. If you don’t have kids, you might prefer Things to Think About Before You Have Kids (but be warned: if you are already a parent, you might hate this one, so enter at your own risk).
Wishing you and your children a peaceful, nurturing and cheery March,
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A parent wrote:
<<I want to make it onto a call, mostly to say [my daughter] has very little academic curiosity and really loves homeschooling because she doesn’t have to learn anything she doesn’t want to learn… She is a smart kid, a bit dyslexic, has not found an area of academic interest at all, although she loves when the french teacher comes, loves when the english teacher comes, the rest…she ignores.>>
I think it’s REALLY REALLY okay if she ignores all academic things for years or forever. I swear, she will learn what she wants to learn when she wants to learn it. She will! And honestly, we adults hardly EVER use the “academic” things we learned in school, and most of us don’t even REMEMBER that shit. Amiright?
All three of my kids “ignored academic things” for over 5 years. When they each eventually decided they wanted to go to school, they caught up with their peers in about 2 weeks, and surpassed their peers in about 2 months. I SWEAR it will be okay. It’s SO SO SO much more important to have fun, bond, laugh, create awesome memories of being together. I promise you that will have SOO much more impact on her ability to have a happy life and live happily ever after than ANYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD.
I know it’s scary, but just do it, trust it. If in 5 years you’re really worried about it, I’ll fly out there and help her get back on track. I’ll even pay for my own ticket. That’s how confident I am that she will be okay, no, BETTER, way way better than okay.
She wrote back:
<<Okay I am almost weeping…thank you thank you thank you.
She is like, “why do I have to learn about science?” and I am like, “I don’t know, every few years it all gets disproven anyway.”>>
And the other thing is “science” is EVERYTHING! It’s the world. It’s logic. It’s creation. It’s sunrises and flowers and rocket ships and heart rates and earthquakes and the Grand Canyon and being tired and being wakeful and diamonds and feeling pain and the moon and how fast you can run and menstruation and fire and the ozone layer and drugs and tadpoles and hair dye. By calling it “science,” and by some random stranger deciding what science “counts,” besides disrespecting children, we are totally disrespecting SCIENCE, and our amazing wondrous world and universe. And most people end up thinking they “hate science” or “are bad at science” – which in the first place makes NO sense, and secondly it results in a planet full of people who are disconnected from the truth of the planet, of all of reality. Since we have enough people like that already (7 billion by the end of 2011!), the human race is EXTREMELY lucky if we can help 4 or 5 people grow up not having any preconceived notions about “science” but who just like observing and wondering about the way things are. I honestly feel like it’s an urgent and vital gift to the future of our species, for your daughter to “ignore science” (as curriculum people would see it) for as long as possible.
<<And she is like, “why do I have to learn about history?” and I am like, “I don’t know, it’s all written by men who like wars.”>>
It’s like telling kids (or anyone!) all about your childhood wounds, or what you ate for breakfast, or all about your grandmother’s life philosophy when they didn’t ask. It turns something that could be precious or interesting or helpful or really meaningful into something so boring, disrespectful and almost abusive. History is about sharing the past, from someone’s point of view – that’s cool and important and sometimes really useful, but only when someone wants to know about it.
<<She loves french, english lit, cooking at another girl’s house, working out at the gym with the adults, and her acting class…that is what she loves.>>
Yay! That’s a LOT of really cool, really love-worthy things!
<<And telling people that she homeschools–we thought it would be her biggest issue, but now she loves to proclaim it.>>
<<And she loves not being in school with all the drama and hormones.>>
Nikiah hates the view she has had into the human condition, by going to school. Surrounded by sweet innocent people (students and teaches) who are so wounded, confused, mean, disrespectful of themselves and others…. She really wishes she never had to find out about that. She is counting the days until this year is over and she will be unschooling again.
<<Oh did I mention math? She does math on a weekly basis too but it doesn’t seem to sink in….>>
How about don’t ever talk about “math” again, until she wants to go to college? She could learn math for the SATs if she wants to take them (the main reason she might want to do that is that it might help her get more financial aid) – I think it would take about 1-8 months to learn all the math she needs for the SATs. Or you could let her study with an SAT tutor for 3 years if she wanted to. But, most people (who were already tortured by math for 4 years of high school) who enter college need remedial math anyway, so all colleges offer “math 101” which covers all of high school math in one or semesters. TA DA.
<<She is the happiest kid I know.>>
Quadruple yay…. I mean, honestly, people would pay a million dollars to have this. There is no way to get it, except by being allowed to have a TON of time to do WHATEVER you want to do, and being supported in connecting to and being led by her true self. She’s so so lucky that you’re giving her that. THANK YOU. THANK YOU, THANK YOU.
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…. And the same goes for all of you, who are doing everything that you can to support and nurture the growth of your children’s true selves. I know it’s one of the most difficult and confronting jobs that there is, but it’s by far the most important one. Thanks for doing it.
Amy Childs | Happiness Consultant