Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Radical Unschool and Cleaning
We had our worst day yesterday since we jumped into radical unschooling. I've been reading about Chores on a radical unschooling list serve. From that, I see that a mistake I might have made jumping into this was verbally "lifting all controls." My kids are very confused right now. They hear me saying that they are free to say no, but they see me struggling with it, and basically not really meaning it yet. It is an unschooling philosophy, IF I am understanding it correctly, that the NEED for a neat and tidy or clean house is the issue of the person that has that need. LOL I keep asking myself, what kid would want to clean up all these overwhelming piles of toys, dishes, etc., if I can't even get up the willpower to do it? It doesn't keep me from falling into my familiar victim role of "i can't do it all by myself!" I even had a small epiphany a week or so ago about how I really do feel awesome when I have a clean house, and so it would be worth it for me to just get over it and get it done. Everything becomes very black and white to me when I am in a victim/panic/really-need-it-my-way-now-mode, so I officially told the kids about 3 days ago, that we are not radically unschooling with chores anymore. LOL For two days we have been sorting through overturned toy boxes, with trash bags in the boys bedrooms, etc. Oh, by the way, their rooms have been that way since we moved in! I didn't want to unpack, because I wanted the house to keep that brand new clean feeling to it! Haha! So of course, having all those boxes hidden in their closets made it all the more fulfilling for them to dump them!! Piles of disorganized chaos fill me with an overwhelming panicky feeling that I can't even describe. Anway. I cleaned my room first, still trying to keep with the "model the behavior" mantra I have going on. In between errands and gymnastics, while we were home, we turned on music and worked together and it ended up being a fun time. Before I reinstated the Chore Patrol (haha!), I was an angry, yelling, giving up on unschooling Mama, all to end up with a bunch of dancing happy kids that are helping me clean. What I'm trying to remember to do, to keep in my head, is How can I skip the whole yelling, screaming and demanding part of things? I know my main comment-leavers are not radical unschoolers, but I'm sure you might have suggestions that would be helpful anyway? And if you're lurking around this blog, and have an idea, please leave it in the comments section! Thanks!