A few days ago on Sandra Dodd’s lovely blog Just Add Light & Stir, she wrote a post titled “Life Becomes Easier”. I put in the link because you should all go over and subscribe. Sandra has the ability to say in a few words what many of us take thousands to express.
In this case she used only fifteen words.
“If your child is more important than your vision of your child, life becomes easier.”
Even veteran unschooling parents need to remind themselves of this on a regular basis. As kids grow their likes and interests may change, so we should always remember not to categorize, or create a vision of our kids based on those interests. For instance, from the time she was about 4 years old my daughter Maya was a voracious reader. It got so that a trip to the library or bookstore was difficult only because we had trouble finding books she hadn’t already read. So in my head she was the kid who loves reading books. When parents in playgrounds would play the “how much does your kid love to read” game, I always knew we were at the top, even if I never said a word.
Until a few months ago, when she announced, in so many words, that she wasn’t really interested in reading books “right now”. At first I thought she was kidding, but several greatly anticipated YA books have gone untouched (after I read them) and are gathering dust on her shelves.
Did I panic? Um, yes, just a little. In my head alarm bells kept going off. What are we doing wrong? What has caused this sudden antipathy towards reading? My kid is the kid who loves to read!! (Thankfully this discussion never left the confines of my brain.)
The solution? See Sandra’s post above.
Maya is growing and changing and discovering new things. She auditioned for a musical recently – something she had never before shown much interest in doing. Is she now the kid who doesn’t like to read but wants to be in musicals?
No, she’s a kid who is happy and healthy and finding her way in the world. Everything else is details.