Listening to your heart
My advice was that you listen to yourself as you are the only one who knows yourself or your children. Do you have a problem with doing that?
I think ideally following the heart is good advice. But if someone wants to allow her children to unfold naturally -- if she wants to learn how to unschool -- and her head is full of musts and shoulds, she often needs help identifying what's getting in her way.
For instance if someone feels that 3 meals a day is a must, but it's interfering with her life and making her and her family miserable, she might find it helpful to realize that people can exist just fine eating in other ways. It's not something that most people will even think to question.
For many of us, it's difficult to separate what must be done from what we've been told must be done. The way many of us were raised is based on having the child trust that what the parent or teacher or other adult says is true. (You must do your homework or you can't learn. You must go to bed early or you'll be tired. You must eat a good breakfast or you'll run out of energy.)
I love structure and order. For me to have "followed my heart" would have meant having my daughter do Calvert. It wouldn't have led me to unschooling. I offer the advice I do because I know how difficult it was for me to learn to identify where my "heart" and what I believed was best for my daughter was getting in the way of what my daughter needed. So perhaps better unschooling advice is to learn how to listen to your child's heart.
Last updated: April 2009