Schooling and Education

Whew! It’s been quite some time since I’ve blogged. I’ve been super busy living life, researching, and prepping for my boys’ homeschool (unschooled) evaluation. I want to talk about this (homeschooling) today as I’ve encountered much criticism and questions regarding my decision to homeschool these little angels I’ve had the pleasure of birthing. First, I must say that it wasn’t totally my decision to homeschool. Malique (pronounced Ma-leek) chose to be homeschooled after he’d had enough of the public school system in the 5th grade. I’d offered to pull him out before then, but… FRIENDS!!!! (hahaha) After his first 3 weeks of 5th grade, he’d had enough of being talked down to, having his bodily functions regulated (gotta pee!), and the lack of so-called socialization they’re allowed to have in school. Now, much of the “concern” I’ve gotten from critics is about the lack of socialization of children who are homeschooled. This is hilarious to me since most children I’ve spoken to or come into contact with, complain about the lack of being able to talk with their friends at school and that they’re always being told to not talk (even during lunch). I was curious as to what type of socialization is happening at schools that kids couldn’t get at home. They have friends who live near and they visit daily. Then I did some research on schooling, namely compulsory schooling and how it came to be. I won’t go into it all here. If your interested, just look up Prussian model schooling. Start there. Let’s just say it opened my eyes to much more than I was looking for!

I don’t just homeschool my boys. I was looking for a more free approach to their education where their own interests were paramount. Me being the researcher I am, I did some digging and stumbled upon unschooling. I think I was sold just based on that name: UNSCHOOLING lol. Basically it’s where kids choose what they want to learn and when. Parents assist when needed. This may sound to some like “paarrrtttaaayyyyyy!!!!” but it’s so much more. At first it was a party for my eldest son because there was no school and his favorite song became  ‘Schooooool’s out for summah’ or in his case, forever. There was some serious deschooling going on for him and for me. It’s like unlearning the curriculum/schedule/dictator state of mind and learning to relax. Somehow, as adults, we  got the idea in our heads that kids need to be forced to learn. I remember being a child and being curious about everything. As a parent, I’ve watched both my kids be curious about everything as are all kids. they get into all sorts of “trouble” from being friendly with the toilet (ew) to chasing lizards, catching them, and putting them down their shirts because it…tickles. That’s how they learn. For children, play and learning are not separate and in my experience, when they enjoy what they’re doing, what they learn sticks. Much of what’s memorized in school is forgotten after testing. Yes, I said memorized because that’s what’s going on. Children are memorizing facts and regurgitating them for tests.   Most of what they’re taught in school, they’re not interested in thus they forget it. Oh but that’s what reviewing is for, right? Check this out. When a child learns to walk, it’s not forgotten. When a child learns to ride a bike, it’s not forgotten. Same with learning to operate a tv, drive,etc. All these things are done WHEN THE CHILD IS READY and they don’t forget. Why? Because they’re things the child wanted to do. It’s not something they’re uninterested in being forced upon them. So, yeah, back to unschooling. Some worry about whether the child will not be motivated. To that I say children are always motivated when its something they’re interested in, whether it’s a video game or science. I think what many parents worry about really, is whether the child will be motivated to do what they want them to do. That would be a more honest way for them to say it. We, as parents, have become so conditioned to think our kids need to go to school in order to learn, that we have adopted the school system’s way as our own. The way things are taught in schools are systematic and industrial-like, preparing them for uniform jobs. Art and music have been taken out of most schools or at least reduced to one day a week, if that, due to a ‘lack of funding’. Yet funding for football and other sports is plentiful. I won’t get into the damage football does to a child’s brain here though. That’s for another day.

Unschooling my kids has been great. We’re embarking on our 3rd year! They enjoy it and there’s more opportunity to visit museums (art, science), aquariums, theme parks, the zoo, all of which they learn from. There is no schedule to keep that interrupts a learning experience when time runs out. These hands on experiences and traveling can’t be compared to memorizing questionable facts from books and writing them down on paper. To me, experience is the best teacher. We come home and discuss our experiences and maybe write about it (counts as an essay). This is good to keep in a portfolio for evaluation and transcript purposes. I’m a budding videographer (at least I think I am lol) so I have lots of footage of our travels. This can also be used for eval and transcripts. You’d be surprised at how many colleges (if interested) allow these types of submissions for admission. There’s so much information out there. You just need to know what you’re looking for. I’m currently looking into world schooling. It’s traveling to different places all while learning about different cultures, ways of life, etc. Things that can’t be taught.

My children get real world experiences NOW and don’t have to wait until after they graduate college for that. That’s a long time to wait to be treated with respect and dignity. To be quite honest neither high school nor college really prepares you for the ‘real world’. I have first hand knowledge of that. My kids aren’t “unsocialized religious freaks” as some tend to believe about homeschooled families. In fact, there is zero religion involved, as I feel that’s something they can choose when they are old enough to understand that concept. I refuse to indoctrinate them with things before they can even truly understand or grasp  it. And there’s the fact that I’m not into religion or any organized institution that inhibits freedom. So there’s that.  My children are very well-educated in many aspects and could probably beat any public school test given to them beyond “grade-level”. However, that’s not important. It’s just to make point that homeschooled children are just as educated, if not more, as those who go to public schools. Arguments to the contrary by those who work for that system are continuously shut down with concrete evidence. This isn’t a post set to convert anyone to homeschooling/unschooling. It’s simply to share my experience and enlighten you to alternative forms of education in the event you’re in a place where you are fed up with the current education system or simply looking for a way to spend more time with your family or…WHATEVER, but more so to express myself. I didn’t put any links in this post because I think the search is the fun part and there are so many different sites to choose from that will come up when you search unschooling for me to limit you to just one or two. John Holt, Sandra Dodd, and John Taylor Gatto are just a few names I made myself familiar with in my search for alternatives to traditional schooling. Ultimately, do what you want and never let anyone decide what’s best for your child.

REAL!!!!

Good afternoon everyone. I’m inspired by so much in life. Today though, I’m going to say some things that have really been on my heart for a while. My inspiration for this came from the most (in some people’s eyes) unexpected place.

 

I’m on social media a fair amount of time. Sometimes for entertainment. Many times to see where I can possibly network and just observe the behavior of those who use social media. I’ve found that so many people use social media to promote themselves as living a life that they don’t really live, but only wish they did. Some get on simply to troll others and attempt to make them miserable due to their own miserable lives. I’m not saying either is “good” or “bad”. It is what it is.  There are things and situations people have to go through in order to see that what they were doing wasn’t the move. Its how we grow.

People are judgmental. Thats just what is. Should they be? Hell no because no one has room to judge another. Everyone has a struggle whether they’ll admit it or not. Honestly, they don’t have to. Its no ones business. But blatantly lying about your life publicly for attention or for appearance’s sake isn’t the move either. One part of one’s life may look “better” than yours yet the rest of it is shitty but thats the part people hide and don’t want you to see. That’s mainly because that’s the same thing they’re judging you about! LOL( not really laughing out loud but it is funny). See what I just did there? I’m online and I see people say “I’m SCREAMING” or Im “HOLLERING” in an effort to tell you how funny your comment is but most times they’re really sitting with resting bitch face. Its all a show seemingly. The need to be “famous” or recognized on social media via a facade.

Instagram is rampant with people who comment on other’s lives which they know nothing about. Maybe a few minutes you’ve seen them on tv or a picture and form opinions from that small part of their lives which may or may not be a real display.

For those who are putting your real selves out there (as much of it as you know anyway) don’t be discouraged by hateful comments from fake people who don’t know you. Even if they do think they know you don’t be discouraged from being authentic because your being authentic will get you much further in life (where it matters) than their fakeness will get them. Most say hurtful things because they’re in pain themselves and your life, good or bad, reminds them of that. Words can hurt. They often do but don’t let it deter you from living an authentic life. Perfection as defined by society doesn’t exist. We exist to be exactly who we are in each moment. Somehow we’ve deviated from what’s real, hence the world we now live in.

 

Xoxo

Amazed!!!!

Inspired by nature this morning during my daily walk/jog, I started to pay attention to all my surroundings. Watching the trees, the grass, etc and how they just grow in all directions, somehow was confirmation to me that there is in fact intelligence there. We humans think our intelligence is superior because of our ability to think. Today I thought “Nature is in a way advantaged not to think, having to worry about nothing.” Several different types of grass grow together in the same space and just exist there. While as humans, we can’t seem to do the same. We fight about what color skin is superior, who’s more athletic, religion, etc and kill one another based on this stuff! This leads me to feeling that nature is of superior intelligence compared to humans. Nature simply grows, going with the natural flow of Life. Since humans like to personify things and in honor of my love for hip hop music I’m going to say that Life/God/Universe is the greatest freestyle rapper of all time! No specific design, yet everything flows together PERFECTLY.

I saw long stretch of brown “dead” grass and right next to it, really beautiful green grass thriving. Is there sadness? Who knows? It seems as if life simply goes on. Seasons change. Leaves and trees “die”. Things don’t stop growing and evolving because of it. Life doesn’t get stuck in that space. It knows that with Life being an infinite circle, that these things come back next season and therefore don’t really die, but simply change form. Religions teach that we’re made in God’s image. If we truly believe this, would it make sense to also believe that everything happens as it’s supposed to? That we can’t force ourselves to grow a certain way? That your life is supposed to be lived in a freestyle fashion but we get so caught up in an event or emotion and refuse to move on from it? Thus causing our own suffering…

Seems we’ve forgotten from whence we came. We’ve decided that instead of allowing Life to flow, we’d let other humans dictate our path and how we should journey it. Is Life not the Supreme of existence?

Self Esteem

“I’ve always felt like I could do anything. That’s the main thing people are controlled by: their perception of themselves. They’re slowed down by their perception of themselves. If you’re taught you can’t do anything, you won’t do anything. I was taught I could do everything.”~~ Kanye West

Society strips us of our confidence from birth. Then unfortunately, the try to sell it back to us via their idea of how we should perceive ourselves through clothing, the type of home we have, cars, income, etc. Most of us buy what they’re selling. The words in the quote above are very profound. I’m a huge fan of Kanye West. Certain behaviors of his are portrayed through media that vilify him. What provoked those behaviors is rarely displayed. Whether you’re a fan or not, if you take the opportunity to listen to just ONE of his albums, you’ll see that there’s so much more to him than the “rants” he’s become famous for. Or rather you’ll see why those rants happen. Getting back to the quote, it states so much truth. How would you perceive yourself without all the outside influences that helped form your current perception of yourself? It’s difficult. The key, I feel, is to unlearn what has been taught and start anew. Sometimes, you must die to live.

XOXO

A New Day

I was blown away this morning when I opened my Twitter page and saw a BEAUTIFUL example of what true freedom to live looks like. In this world we live in, regardless of what is said to the contrary, it is difficult to fully be ourselves. Recently there was a television interview conducted by Diane Sawyer on Bruce Jenner. He discussed feeling like a girl/woman since childhood and how he’s been living aimage lie all his life. Living to please everyone but himself. Bruce had decided to finally live life his way and is now living as a woman. Today we were introduced to her as Caitlyn Jenner and I must say she’s GORGEOUS. Serving up all kinds of beautiful fierceness!! This is a huge step for our world. I’mso truly ecstatic about this. This is going to change lives. People who once felt powerless will be empowered by her strength and courage to live exactly as she was meant to. Since my childhood I’ve always been about the business of living my life as I please and am an advocate for others to do the same. So here’s to CAITLYN JENNER!!! Way to start the week off girl! Check her out on the COVER of Vanity Fair magazine!

Perfectly Imperfect

Being perfect is all the rage these days. Perfect hair. Perfect butt. Perfect nose. In a world that sells perfection as the standard, it’s difficult to be yourself if you don’t have a strong foundation in who you are. As a child I struggled with being myself. I knew who I was but was afraid to be that person for fear of other’s harsh opinions. Today I’ve grown, for the most part, beyond that. Many adults today have yet to grow beyond that point what with makeup ads, gorgeous models on magazine covers and on television. Product on top of product being advertised as if you are not cool or beautiful until you have them. We have girls starving themselves to be thin. There are teens injecting themselves with poison for bigger lips, hips, and everything in between. So how do we get people to love themselves exactly how they are? If we raise our children to love themselves and focus on their greatness, we have a good chance of them becoming adults who love themselves. Perhaps someone will develop an ad agency that focuses on positive body imagery. Instead of selling people what they should have , encourage them to appreciate what they do have. I’m confident our children will build a better, more progressive model of this world where perfection is being unapologetically YOU.

XOXO

EYE

Don’t ever place me on a pedestal. Let me be who I AM. Otherwise, you will ever see disappointment once standards you set for me aren’t met. You don’t know who I AM. That’s ok. That’s the fun part. As life progresses, you discover a little more. I don’t know ALL of who I AM, yet my foundation is solid because I do know whence I come. The journey of discovery is amazing! Though, the shell in which I reside is finite, I AM of infinite energy. Therefore, who I AM is infinite. ~ A.Y.D.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!IMG_0677

XO