Almost exactly a year ago I decided that I really missed writing long form entries about my life (aka blogging) and started up this little bliggity to follow our adventures in unschooling. Then we went away to Nepal for two weeks. And Margot stopped napping. And then we decided that we were going to move. So I wrote three blog entries and then stopped because LIFE.
And now, we have moved, Margot has recently stopped nursing, and we are about to go to Italy for two weeks. What a difference a year makes, or something like that. I have decided, once again, that it’s time to get back to blogging. Lucky you!
I guess I should talk about our major development in Unschooling, which is the fact that we unknowingly moved down the street from another family of Unschoolers. It is really incredible to me that this family not only adheres to a nearly identical educational philosophy, but also is just generally amazing. And they are living in Italy for 3 months and invited us on an Unschooling Field Trip to ITALY. So, things are looking up on the Unschooling front.
When we first moved I felt compelled to investigate preschools in the area because we had not yet pledged our loyalty to our partners in Unschooling and I felt a little lost at sea. I also want to confirm for myself that keeping Margot home from school is The Best Thing for her. The one and only school we visited was the local Waldorf school. We decided to check it out because we have some friends whose children go there and the children are very impressive! As I detailed in my earlier post about different styles of preschools, there are some things about Waldorf schools I really admire. When Margot and I went to visit the school I was so blown away by how beautiful it was. The grounds are magical looking and when we walked into the classroom it smelled like freshly made soup (indeed the children had made butternut squash soup that day…). The toys in the classroom were gorgeous as well. Lots of found wood and soft colors and the overall effect was very peaceful. The teacher made a pot of tea, poured a cup for each of us (Margot included) and then we talked while Margot played. Or, I guess I should say that, I awkwardly asked questions to which the teacher gave me short or one-word answers while we watched Margot play. Remember the bit about awkwardness because I will come back to it.
When we left the classroom, Margot and I went to play in the playground, she collected some acorns and then one of the classes let out. In that class was one of our friends’ children and he came up to us to say hello. I was once again completely blown away by how polite and confident he was. As we drove away from the school I cried because I felt myself wanting Margot to go to that beautiful place every day and I felt my ideas about our life slipping away from me.
But, let’s get back to that awkwardness, shall we? I was so swept up in the beauty of the space that I momentarily ignored the fact that the teacher barely gave me any information about the school without me dragging it out of her. She didn’t exactly avoid answering my questions, but she gave the bare minimum answer to all of those questions and certainly did not offer any information that I didn’t ask for. This is one person, to be sure, so I can not base my whole decision off of an encounter with one person. But, it gave me a sense that information was withheld and that is not at all in line with my hopes for Margot. It also brought me back to my previous beliefs about the failings of a Waldorf education, that Margot would be given false information in the spirit of telling her “age appropriate” answers to her questions. (See the previous post about how they tell children the continents are islands floating on water…)
I still believe that this school has the power to produce really incredible children and if Margot ever asks to attend school, we might consider this as a place to send her. But, in the end, my reservations about school still hold true even when the school in question is beautiful and smells like butternut squash soup. One of the major deterrents from ANY school is that my life would Margot would become this routine of dragging her out of bed to get to school on time, and then she would spend the best part of her day with other people before coming home to do homework, have dinner and rush off to bed to rest up for another day of the same tomorrow. Then weekends would be consumed by familial obligations, soccer games or dance recitals, or birthday parties for classmates and hopefully we would still find time to get lost in the woods and lay in the grass together and spend hours reading books and go on adventures. But, that’s not what I want for Margot. I want those other bits not to be the things we “hope we find time for” but the things that make up our lives. There will be plenty of opportunities in Margot’s life for her to sit in a room and be stressed out, I’d rather fill her childhood with puddle jumping and cloud watching and robot building and art making.
So, in conclusion. I’m back to blogging. Hopefully I will update more frequently than 3 times once a year. Unschooling is still our jam. And, thanks Universe, for placing us in this little corner of the globe!