Once again (for like the fifth time, at least), I have arrived in virtually the same place I have arrived at each and every time I have delved into the big, wide, not-so-welcoming world of “unschooling”:
I hate labels.
I seriously do. Just a few observations, in bullet-form since they are somewhat topical in nature.
- I am almost an Unschooler because I don’t believe learning needs “school”, and because I love, support, and promote curiosity-driven learning.
- I am not exactly an Unschooler because I am not an unparent. I believe in guidelines and rules for children, just as we adults have guidelines and rules in our daily lives. To ignore the responsibility of guiding our children is to do them a terrible disservice and set them up for a lifetime of pain and hardship.
- I am *almost* everything an AP (Attachment Parent) espouses–except that I believe in punitive discipline because I believe (and do my best to follow) Scripture.
- I don’t exactly fit the description of most of the Unschoolers I’ve encountered because I am a believer in Christ, not a follower of Eastern religions.
- I don’t get an AP badge because I spanked (but never “hit”) my children when they were young (from toddlerhood, not babies). I don’t care what anybody says, I’ve encountered both spanking and hitting as a child myself, and I can assert first-hand that there is a monumental difference. The funny thing is, only our first child (headstrong typical firstborn) got more than a few spankings in his childhood. The others were pretty well behaved save for the occasional departure (or dain bramage, as Bill Cosby put it).
- When it comes to parenting, I am Old school in some ways but don’t believe in the “children are to be seen and not heard” philosophy.
- In parenting, as in every other area of life, my philosophy is that it’s all about relationship. My children are among my very best friends. Even cooler is that I am among theirs.
So. I am not exactly AP, not exactly an Unschooler, not exactly Old School. I’m just a woman who loves her family with all her heart; does her best to be a devoted wife to her husband; mothers her children with firmness, tons of love, and a lot of laughter; and endeavors to enjoy learning along with them all every minute of every day.