Monday, February 25, 2013

Here's a tip. Don't make home fun, and then she'll want to go to school

I know it looks from my last post like everything is awesome, but in actuality for the last week I've been tearing myself up internally.  I feel like a failure because my son can't handle public school.  I feel incredibly rude for pulling him out on short notice.  I worry that my fun approach to parenting will do more damage than good in the long run.  And I'm still chewing on a big bitter bite of blankness - I don't know what is the point of life.  It's an existential crisis.  How do I teach my kid if I don't know what the point of life is?  What am I aiming for?  What is the end goal?  What does success look like?  Not that I had loads of faith in the public school system having all the answers.  But at least, they have An Answer.

On Thursday, the day after our 2nd awesome homeschool day, I helped Nala get ready for her morning preschool.  Then she said, "I don't want to go to preschool, I want to homeschool too."

I absolutely love her coop preschool and insisted that she go.  We get there and she starts acting, faking being sick.  A huge frowning face, palms clasping her throat, imitation raspy voice, fists rubbing her eyes red then fingers pulling the bags of her eyes down down towards cheeks, "My... Throat... Hurts."

What could we do?  I couldn't drop a sick kid off at school.  Her over the top performance was dramatically convincing.  She seemed in agony.  But I knew she was absolutely fine a moment before! I was so pissed.  And then I had a moment of almost freaking out.  I turned to her teacher, "None of my kids wants to go to school anymore. I just took my son out to homeschool him and now she wants to be homeschooled too."

Her wise and gentle teacher tried to help, "Here's a tip.  Don't make home fun, and then she'll want to go to school."
found these pictures on the camera.  
looks like Kaio shot a ballerina photo session 

Is my fun parenting creating self absorbed monsters who can't function in society?

I thought about this all day.  How much of Kaio's dislike of public school has come from my attitude towards it?  Like that Monday I let him skip school to catch up on rest because he came home late Sunday night from snowboarding, and I let him spend the day playing video games while I studied for a midterm.  I thought I was doing the right thing at the time.  But, life isn't all slopes and legos Krissee, people do have to work to survive.

In yoga we aim to live in a state of joy on a daily basis.  Connecting with our core being and acting in alignment with this being helps bring out that joy.  And this means maintaining internal joy while doing even the most mundane tasks.  But, as with all things in life, there must be a balance with joy as well.   In Chinese medicine one of the seven evils that leads to illness is excessive joy: too much fun will corrode your heart.  So I begun to ponder: are these issues with school the signs I have slid down the tipping point of the joy fulcrum?  Is my emphasis on learning being fun creating disharmony?

I look around the world and see so many different versions of 'success' it's hard to crack the formula.  It's not like a communist country, where someone tells you your perfect job; that's productive, meaningful to the fabric of society, and 'in theory' provides enough income for your happiness.   Or an  arranged marriage, where you know for better or worse this is the person you need to stick it out with - think about a life without all the stress of dating and finding or not finding Mr. Right?  In the US we have so many options and freedoms, you can become a millionaire without graduating from college.
I need to figure out what elements of success matter to me and build our day around this.  This means pondering so much more and doing more research.  If anyone has any books to recommend, let me know, please!

Walker Nature Center matching tracks

Thursday, February 21, 2013

We're Homeschooling!

The law of least resistance

 Graphing our snack

The "Classroom" we created in the guest room 

One of our quails was looking very sick earlier this week and we brought him inside to watch.  For a two days he was barely breathing or moving.  But today he few out of his respite box a couple times.

The kids played with him and he was a good sport about it

Today we brought him back out with his buddies

Who is heavier?

I'd planned on taking them skiing today but something came up.  So we took an afternoon visit to Frying Pan Park.  We were the only people there.

Kaio really likes being outside and climbing.

I love this picture, she looks like she knows what's up.
I still have to do some deep soul searching to figure out what kind of homeschoolers we are.  I made this decision very quickly and didn't have a plan or curriculum lined up.  So far we've just been carrying on with work Kaio's teachers gave me along with a loose structure around the day.  But I feel like there is some bigger experience out there to be had.  Some greater purpose in each of us that shines out when nourished.  I'd like to figure this out, I feel it but have no idea what it looks like.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Live a Little, Enjoy the Moment

"It's a perfect day for flying a kite mom!"

knee-jerk, lazy me thought, "dammit Nala, it's 20 degrees plus freggin windy, and I haven't even eaten breakfast yet.  It is NOT a perfect time for flying a kite."

Internal carefree me corrected my thoughts, "Live a little, don't be so lazy, enjoy the moment, listen to your kid and let her energy guide you."

The best thing about having your fingers ice stiff from untangling kite string:


A day earlier, I let Kaio skip school to play in the snow.

"Hey, I want to try that!"

It has been so cold and colorless outside, when Nala suggested a bouquet of flowers from the grocery store, it sounded like a good idea for once.  Of course, they had to be pink.

Then I get to have a fancy lunch date with my girlfriend.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Condensation of Love

There are moments when Mari and I consider sending the kids to spend the summer with their grandparents.  There are moments when the kids are shoving, stealing toys, laughing at the other's pain and frustration, and/or purposely trying to make the other cry about something (usually something stupid and imaginary). Then, there are moments like this, that I revel in the burst of joy provided through two creatures joined to me by magic: the condensation of love.

"Mama, come here, Nala's a magician!"


I'm going to turn Kaio into a 



There might be something else condensing besides love.  

 Maybe some silliness too.


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