Yesterday was not a good day for me. I had to go to town and turn in thrown together "work samples" for our home school correspondence program. It's the first time I've done this here in Alaska and the whole process wasn't that encouraging for me. They were nice enough, but I can feel the pressure building on "performing".
I'm really happy with where my kids are at scholastically and personally, so the outside pressure is not welcome. After yesterday, we're thinking of getting out of the program altogether. We homeschool to remove ourselves from the outside expectations and I feel like we've welcomed those things back into our life on a smaller scale.
Anyway, I was uncharacteristically emotional (read: hormonal, which is a rare occurrence for me) and so I came back home and crawled back into bed. Dave asked no questions and offered no criticism. He just let me talk for a while and then shut the door and left me alone. I stayed there for the next 5 hours, mostly reading books to shut out the stress I was feeling.
He and the kids played in the living room the whole time. When I came out, they had set up a mini-mall with products to buy and sell. It was so cute.
They made their store fronts with chairs and tables, using bristle blocks as their money and decided what types of things they would specialize in. Dave had helped them come up with a trading system until they'd earned enough "money" to buy things from the other vendors.
He used his skill of making signs in trade for products for their stores.
Elsa told me she is glad I married Daddy because he's such a wonderful Daddy. I agree. I'm a blessed woman.
For dinner we decided to go get some Thai food from a little place down the road. The Spicy Thai ran itself out of a travel trailer all summer and had so much success they decided to build a makeshift permanent shelter around the trailer to keep it up through the winter (I love Alaska, I don't think they would have passed "codes" in the lower 48). This led to a discussion with the kids on the Spicy Thai's business model, pricing and profit margins, customer service, how they could improve the flow of traffic, etc...
That's how unschooling works. You nurture interests, letting the kids lead and they take it all in. Learning through Living. They will remember this day and it's lessons far more than anything they learned from a workbook.
I will remember this day for those reasons also, but mostly for the nurturing and love I received from each member of my little family. Acceptance from them with no reproof is immeasurable and I know that I'm blessed. I hope I can return the favor to them when they're having a off day and they feel as loved as I do. ♥