Worrying About Learning

A recent post from a mom in an unschooling facebook community struck a chord with me.

She said she was stuck in a place of worrying about all the things her kids weren’t learning, and if they were behind, and how she wanted to not control their learning but she was so scared about them being in charge of their learning.

I am convinced the best learning takes place when the learner takes charge.

Seymour Pappert

I could relate to feeling insecure when we started unschooling and had conversations with folks still in the traditional system, and also my hubby, about what our son was really learning. How could I prove it? 

It is so easy to succumb to focusing on the fear and negativity. To feel like you are not doing enough. And to get stuck in the rut of kinda trying to conform when that’s ultimately not what you want.

What can you do instead?

First sitting with the feelings is important. To let yourself feel and explore what is going on for you.  Maybe with journaling or meditation.  When ready, I tried to switch the focus from lack – what was missing or not happening – to look very broadly and holistically at what learning was happening.

We would:

  • Make a list of all that we were doing, learning, accomplishing. Sometimes we decided to share this information in some way. For a few years, we wrote a monthly newsletter about our learning adventures.
  • Change things up. Switch up the normal routine and explore something new.
  • Focus on creating and completing, even tiny little things in order to have that feeling of internal and external accomplishment. Notice and appreciate what was done, learned, created — today, this morning, this hour.
  • Move. Physically move, dance, walk, just move. Literally get the energy moving.
  • Go outside. Let nature open and stimulate the senses and ground us as part of the beauty that is bigger than ourselves.
  • Take the focus off proving learning to meet someone else’s values, and reconnect with our values for living and learning.
  • Add to the gratitude journal and really get specific about what I and we were thankful for.

Over to you:

Do you ever get stuck in the focus on lack, and fear mode?

How do you turn things around for yourself? 

How do you help your kids shift?

Please add your ideas in the comments, Thanks.

Learning all the time, enthusiastically,

XO Lisa

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