A couple years back when I was publishing a lot of stuff, I wrote this article that compared raising children to growing a garden.
While in the garden today, I had another thought about gardening and how it relates to raising children...
These are the very beginning of the acorn squash plants that are currently growing in my garden. Aren't they lovely? Coming up so green and strong? Far more healthy and robust in their quest for growth than most anything else I planted thus far.
Here’s the thing. By all rights, they should NOT have even sprouted. I don’t know how they had the strength to push their lovely greenness up through the dirt. The hills were thrown in at the last minute. Where they ended up was much shadier than I had wanted. And as far as watering, they are just out of reach of the sprinkler’s spray. So if my brain isn't fully attentive to the garden, they go a bit thirsty.
But they grew. They are healthy. Strong. Just going about, doing what seeds do.
I didn't do anything but plant the seeds. I haven't watered them nearly enough, and any expert would say that where I planted them was terrrible planning.
But they grew.
And so it goes with kids. And school. I'm not saying that we shouldn't ever do anything. I've come to find out that is totally NOT what unschooling is. Sandra Dodd says, "When a mom thinks unschooling is doing nothing, she's not doing nearly enough." And this is totally true. So please don't think I'm suggesting don't ever water the garden or care in the least where you put the hill of squash to grow. That would be the equivalent of saying "The kids are unschooled. I'm watching Oprah and eating cheesecake. All day. They will be fine."
What I am saying is I think sometimes (or most times)we try way too hard. We put our nose and cheeks and entire face into places where we aren't necessarily needed. We interrupt things that might otherwise happen naturally if we'd stop interfering all the time. Seeds sprout up sometimes, regardless of what we did or didn't do. They grow because its their purpose.
I'd venture to guess that with kids and learning, its much the same.