Notice I didn’t put an exclamation point. Not the lotto that has millions of dollars to win. No. That’s not us– we don’t play it.
Back in January, I was trying to get a foothold on unschooling. I was panicked. Nervous. Not very sure-footed at all and in a moment of weakness (or the compilation of many moments of weakness) I registered the kiddos with our school district for a spot in a magnate Montessori school.
It just so happens that two weeks ago we found out that our big guy won a seat in the second grade!
For the remainder of that day I panicked. The school administrator made it seem like we’d be passing up on the biggest most important thing ever if we didn’t enroll him in their school. The letter of acceptance even came stamped with a Golden Ticket a la Willy Wonka. She was kind enough in her enthusiasm for the school and their programs, but during the entire conversation I was perplexed. There was a nagging at the back of my mind and in my heart that this wasn’t it.
I personally love the Montessori method and incorporate ideas from it frequently throughout our day. Yet, with that single letter, I was sent spiraling into a huge puddle of self-doubt. Why do I always go against the grain? What about our freedoms? Their individual learning style and pace? Wouldn’t I love the freedom I’d gain if the children were gone five days a week, all day long?
Then, I imagined it. I hate saying that I “can’t imagine” a thing, because surely, one can. It just takes effort. So I imagined what might come if I sent Big Guy to School. I imagined if our Daughter went as well. I imagined all the writing, photos, and stuff I could get done. I’d be so productive! I imagined that Big Guy would love school. I imagined away…
Then I remembered that Big Guy went to school once and hated it. Hated everything about it. (You’re thinking: well, yeah! All kids hate school at that age!) He didn’t love to read. He didn’t love to learn. He lost all curiosity and creativity.
Then we came home. He reads now. Books by the pile. He is able to be curious about the things he wants to be curious about– and he now, loves learning. It isn’t an overnight process, for certain. It’s been an adjustment and continues to be. And our daughter? She’s reading. Why would I send her to kindergarten when she’d be bored?
In that one day, I was all over the map. Making the right choice for my children and for myself was so difficult.
Yes. You could say that we won the lotto. We’re unschoolers.