Busy, busy, busy.
The world is so busy.
Rushing from work to the gym to social group, finding time to have a hobby and keeping our houses tidy and spotless. Make sure you keep abreast of the latest news, organise the best birthday party and look amazing, all the time.
The glorification of busy is a real thing.
We are bombarded with expectations constantly of who we should be and how we should live and we are vilified if we fall short. Laziness is liberally used to describe people who are not engaged in the busyness of life. People who shun the idea that they must have or do all the things in order to achieve this optimum life style are often negatively labelled.
The world requires us to be doing more
and we are constantly left with the feeling,
am I doing enough?
Unschooling can also leave us with a school shaped hole in our lives. Once school is removed, we finally see how much of our time and our children’s activities were school related. Once we also start to question the necessity for classes and clubs, we can be left with a giant void in our weekly schedules. And we feel compelled to fill it, constantly feeling guilty that our children are not doing anything.
Firstly, it is impossible to do nothing.
Try it for a day. Go about your normal business and see how long it is before you learn something new. Even if our children appear to be relaxing there is much work going on internally. Sometimes it is the subconscious workings of the brain that needs down time in order to process recent information. Sometimes it is the deep concentration and silent study of the learner. Just because it is private and contained does not mean that it is not happening.
Secondly, it is better to spend concentrated time on meaningful and engaging activities than being forced to complete a timetable that we are disassociated from.
There is more value in learning things that we actively choose to learn than hours spent on tasks that have little meaning or value to us in our current lives. It is significantly easier to remember information and skills when we are personally motivated and committed to learn it.
Thirdly, our children are our measuring stick now,
not societies unobtainable standards. Ask yourself, is my child happy? Are they thriving? Are they curious about the world around them? Are they able to rely on me to partner them when they need it? Am I available to my child? Do I actively seek to support them in their interest irregardless of my own knowledge or interest in the topic? Is my home environment a place where my children feel safe and secure?
Am I doing enough is a misnomer.
It is the life that we are creating that is important, not how much learning content we are providing. It is the quality of our interactions, our availability to our children, our supportive responses, our zeal in day to day life, our own engagement with the world and widening our children’s opportunities.
We are always wise to re evaluate the effectiveness of what we are doing.
‘Doing enough’ by mainstream requirements will shift our focus from what we are trying to achieve. We must make sure that our children, our relationships and how they feel about the life they are living are the source of our answer.
Frequently asked questions