Chris and I had a long talk today about what my current goals are within our family. I almost typed, ‘within our family-school’ but that would be contributing to that dichotomy again.
Whatever I do, whatever choices I make, whatever I put my energy into, impacts my life, my life’s energy and those of my whole family.
And the conversation was about eliminating this dichotomy. I wanted to articulate to him where I am headed. I wanted to say, “there is no divide between living and learning.” I wanted him to hear these things and know where my thoughts are taking me/us. I wanted to give him the chance to say, “I’m not feeling it,” too.
I also want to communicate freedom to him. If he chooses to ask Nic, “did you do any reading today?” that’s his choice. I recommended that he say something more like, “what excited you today?” or “tell me about your day,” because those are less of a quiz and more of a relationship-builder. But whatever he chooses, these are his children and he has the right to forge his own relationship with them and deal with the resultant consequences and perks.
But I needed to say, and I did, that I don’t wish for there to be a divide between learning and life. That my main goal is to deliver these beautiful children to adulthood with their love/glee/excitement about self-directed learning still firmly attached.
How can I do that if I drill them, no matter how covertly?
How can I help them to be firm in their convictions and beliefs if I teach them, daily, that I have the right to override them?
And Chris is a wonderful, wonderful man who took it all in and understood my words and my intent.
Then I wanted to talk about what I will call character education. I know that has become a phrase with very specific and, unfortunately, religios connotations. But what I mean is just that which is about who you are, who you will be, and how you treat those around you.
I am focused, right now on helping my children to see themselves within the concept of community. The need to see themselves as a part of a group and see how their actions and attitudes impact other people. And an important part of that is seeing how people treat them on the basis of these perceptions.
The other important aspect of what I am working to achieve, is that these children develop the ability to listen to the body and their spirit.
I talk with Nic frequently (and Theo ocassionally, as appropriate) about balance. Balancing the foods he puts in his body; balancing the food he puts in his mind; balancing times of activity with rest for both mind and body. But unless there is the ability to listen to one’s self, this balance will never be achieved without an external influence.
So, that’s our main curricula of the present. Learning more about one’s self via community; and development of internal balance-monitors.
Academic progress is secondary, but will flow from these primary goals.
Knowing one’s self is far more universal a skill than long-division…