This week might have been the hardest of my parenting life.
This week, I decided to let go.
Let go of my plan, let go of my ideas, of my goals, let go of my preconceptions of things, let go of my idea of education as different as it is from the mainstream ideology of education,
…and transferred this to the rightful person: X himself.
Did I tell you it had been the hardest week of my life?
Truly, it was.
I have had a different conception of learning and education for a while now, and I thought that I was free from the current paradigm in education, and was able to truly make decisions not being affected or influenced by my own experience of education.
Turns out, I was WRONG. Turns out, I am still biased by the education I received.
I had never realized how truly and deeply brainwashed we are.
Seeing X reacting to education the way he was, I started to make other plans, to find other ways, to try something else, something new. Of course, all of these changes were motivated by the same ideas, the same goals. Ones that I had set for me and X: to make sure that we’d cover what we have to cover this year. So in the end, it was always the same, just dressed up in different ways. I guess X say through this better then I even did.
That is when I realized that I was barking up the wrong tree.
And truthfully, this is harder said then done.
It is easy to say that we let the child choose, but we set the environment for him. We let the child decide, but we give a certain restriction to the choice, based on out values, our beliefs, and our goals.
So in the end, the choice is not entirely the child’s, it is the child’s in what we made available to him. The real challenge was to free him of all this.
So I had to let go of the perception I had of myself regarding X, and about learning in general. And that was HARD.
I had a long conversation with him where I stated my fears and my hopes, and he talked about his relationship with school, and how unmotivated he was to do any type of schoolwork. And we came to the conclusion that no academic work was going to be done until X asks for it. I am determined to follow that agreement we made together, and not try to sneak things under. So, we spent many days just being. Just living. There are so many moments when my mind was running around, reminding me that X was not “advancing” like other kids. But I had to override this thought, and try to see things differently.
I am getting there, slowly, but surely.
I tried to keep busy, and lead an interesting life in which X could participate or get inspired by.
I read, we finished projects (including the bird house pictured up there), and started new ones.
I read aloud, cooked, cleaned, played with E and looked at X doing what he felt like doing, which was completely not what I would have wanted/hoped/planed, but I had to let go…remember?
We are following the slow process of “déscolarisation” as we say on french: getting the school out of children. I honestly think both the child and the parent need this time. The child to heal from the experience, and the parent to reevaluate their believes, even the more rooted ones…
And after a week of just living and waiting (on my part) to see what would happen, when his drive for learning, his mojo would be back, I saw a sign. Hiding in the garage, made without us parent being aware.
He is sure learning.
Not the things I had planned, nor the things the school has decided a 7 yo should know. But he is learning the things that truly matters to him, the things he needs to learn, in the order HE needs to learn them.
Message is clear. Nobody will make that kid learn. He will have to want to learn all by himself, and no external factor, forces or other means will make him do the things he does not want to. It will have to come from inside. And that is something he and only him has control over.