Who is Mama?

That would be me. I’m Katie. Nice to meet you.

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I’ve been married to my incredibly awesome, hilarious and handsome husband since February of 2004.

He’s Mike, for the record.

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So far I’ve got six little munchkins. My oldest, my girl, was born in 2005. The second, my first boy, was born in 2006. Then come boys two, three, four and five: born in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014. There’s an awful lot of testosterone in this house. And I say “so far,” because yes, we’re nuts and plan to go on having kids. You can tell me I’m crazy but just so you know, I’ve heard it like a hundred times already.

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My kids are terrific. You know, most of the time. But they’re also real kids who often don’t do as they’re told, cry when you won’t give them candy for breakfast and (gasp) physically fight with each other. But all that stuff is just part of parenting. Right?

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2 thoughts on “Who is Mama?

  1. I have a question about the Unschooling thing. I’m not trying to be offensive, I am just curious. How does this choice set your kids up for adulthood? What do the children who are brought up this way put on their résumé? Do you plan for your kids to attend high school and graduate? I thought it was mandatory for kids to have some type of schooling, and I understand the Homeschooling idea, where parents themselves follow a curriculum with their kids and mail in exams and such, but I am not understanding Unschooling; I am genuinely confused.

    • Thanks for your question! I understand that it can be a confusing idea as I once knew very little about it.

      For us at this moment, unschooling means allowing our children to pursue what they are passionate about. It also means allowing them to learn things when they need to. As they get older, we may use more structure or more books, but that will mostly be at our children’s leading. I want my kids to be kids while they’re still young, to play and learn while they play. They will undoubtedly have time to study and do homework down the road.

      As for the legality of it, British Columbia is a wonderful place to homeschool as we are given many freedoms that others aren’t in other parts of the world. I register my children so that the ministry knows that they are cared for in their education and after that, it is up to me. My two oldest kids learned to read because I gave them ways to learn – resources – rather than sitting them down at the table and “teaching” them. I am their mother and sometimes I teach them things, but they are fairly motivated to learn on their own. As for their education down the road, if we reach a point where they feel that their calling is to become a doctor or lawyer or something else that would require a university degree, we will do what is necessary. If that means putting them in school or pushing them through a curriculum, we will, but then they will be willing because it will lead to something they really want. If we have a child who desires to work in a trade, we will move towards whatever that trade would require – extra math or science or individual courses or apprenticeships. We firmly believe that the best thing for our kids is to be doing what God wants them to do (if you want to leave God out of it, you could say what they really want to be doing). I felt called to motherhood. I do not have a degree and I don’t work outside of my home. I am a wife and mother and if someday I feel called to do something more, I will pursue my education then. As far as the practical side – will my kids graduate high school – we will cross that road when we come to it. BC offers a program where you can enroll in grade ten and pass exams and get a diploma. If a diploma is relevant to their lives as adults, we will more than likely go down that road. My kids will not reach grade ten and not know anything. And if they reach it and are behind their peers, I can guarantee they will catch up. There is research out there that suggests that we have the ability to learn everything we need to in a very short amount of time if necessary.

      A big part of what is so confusing is that we have been so conditioned by society to think of school as being equal to learning. My kids learn ALL THE TIME, they just don’t do school. We don’t stop the process for summer or at three o’clock every afternoon. We take every opportunity to learn. When they are interested in something, we pursue it, when they have questions, we find the answers. If one of my kids wants to do a curriculum, they can. We don’t forbid it, we just don’t push it on them. My daughter’s best friend recently moved to Quebec and so she decided (in the middle of summer, when most kids are avoiding anything that looks like learning) to learn some French. She brought out her notepad and we did some online lessons that I wrote down and then we spoke a bit of French to each other for the next week or two. Again, it’s about allowing her to pursue something she WANTS to learn.

      One blog post that I really like is this one: http://www.christianunschooling.com/why-i-unschool/ It sums it up so well for me. I’d encourage you to read what other people are saying about their unschooling journeys to get a feel for what it means to parents with kids of all ages. Mine looks different than nearly everyone else in the group I spend time with here. Some are radical unschoolers, pretty hands off in all ways with very little discipline. I’m not one of those. I’m still the parent but I have learned to respect my kids needs and desires for learning. There are some who mostly use curriculum but allow their kids to direct what they use. I have plenty of books and resources, we have online phonics programs for our kids to learn to read, we do math while we drive around town, kitchen experiments when someone asks for one.

      I hope that answers your question at least in part. 🙂

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