What a turbulent time! Our weekend started with our parish priest stopping by for a cup of coffee and some home made waffles. Later on friends came over and spent the night. We had a great time talking, cooking, eating and watching the children play. Could there possibly be a better start for a great weekend?
Other than that we basically spent the weekend packing up…
… which was a lot of fun for the kids, but not so much for us. Every once in while we had to take a break, though…
On Sunday after Mass we decided to eat out and to enjoy the sunshine and a little free time…
The end of the weekend…
How was your weekend?
Have you followed my article series “Two under two”? It’s awfully quiet in that department at the moment, isn’t it?
Yes, it is. And you know why? Because our toddler is two years old now – and we simply don’t have two kids under two any more. However, life is pretty busy and loads of fun with a toddler and baby, even though they grow up.
So don’t worry, I will keep you posted about our family life, our kids who are growing up right before our very eyes and about learning processes, child development, milestones and changes.
So what actually has changed the past few months?
I’d say it’s gotten easier, more peaceful, calmer. I mean, it’s not really calm around here with the little ones playing, learning and working. But I guess we have grown into all this. We have grown into our noisy and chaotic family life – and it really is a lot of fun.
We’re looking forward to future milestones! How are you doing?
I’ve always been an idealist. I’ve always been called a do-gooder and a goody two-shoes. And you know what? I agree.
I think being idealistic is a wonderful virtue. And I think there is a dramatic lack of idealism in our society. Being idealistic doesn’t mean to be naive. I know my ideals will never come true – but that doesn’t stop me from striving for them.
The way is the goal – remember?
When I first became a mother people laughed at me because of my idealistic parenting values. But I still stick to them. I know I will never be a perfect mother, or a perfect wife or a perfect Catholic – that’s not the point. The point is that I’m confident that I will learn and grow so much along the way that I will benefit from that. More than that: Others will benefit from my ideals, too.
I am pretty confident that my children will not only benefit but also learn from my idealism. I strive to teach them that it’s a good thing to treat others well, to act responsibly, to be eco-conscious and to honor God. I want to teach them that it is worth striving for ideals.
How do you feel about idealism?
We spent a lovely and lazy weekend at home – which was very nice. Lots of drawing, singing, playing and doing nothing at all. That maybe is why I hardly took any pictures – but at least there are some snapshots that I’d love to share.
Breakfast time! We just love our homemade bread, that really is better than any bread we tried before. And it’s so simple and cheap, too!
Besides: “Flour” was one of our toddler’s first words…
I have been watching these buds for days – yearning for the first blossoms.
So this morning I was so thrilled to see the first one of them! And don’t you just love those?
Our home-grown parsley, however, doesn’t look so good after all…
Anyways, what else have we done on this lovely lazy weekend?
Of course we had very simple yet delicious meals that we enjoyed together…
… somehow this goat appeared to be our special guest. I think I know who invited her…
… and we shared some beautiful creative moments. Our toddler loves bears.
And who says you can only draw on drawing paper?
The most precious moment, however, (that I don’t have a picture of, though) was in church when our toddler insisted on blessing the whole family with holy water…
How was your weekend?
I think most of us have heard about unschooling. In case you haven’t: Unschooling is a certain concept of homeschooling that focuses on natural or life learning. Unschooled children are allowed to learn self-determined and self-regulated. That sounds interesting, right?
But what does that mean in practice?
And more importantly for a family with very young children: When and how does unschooling start?
Unschooling starts when your child is born, maybe even before he is born. Natural learning just happens because your child is eager to learn. Children are never not learning. And they do learn a lot, don’t they?
In his first years a child learns to sit, to walk, to speak and to do so many other things – without really being taught. You don’t teach your child how to walk, learning to walk is a natural learning process. Unschoolers think that basically everything you learn can be learned in such a natural learning process. Children have their own learning goals – and they pursue them. If we let them.
Children are intrinsically motivated to explore the world and to learn so many things – basically everything they really need to. We as parents, however, have to learn to trust them in what they are doing. That’s what unschooling is all about.
You don’t really start unschooling. Unschooling is a process that comes naturally as soon as your child is born – maybe even before birth. The question is if you stop that natural learning process one day to school your child – or not.
There are different unschooling approaches. Some parents do use classical learning materials in a sort of “prepared environment”. That means they hardly regulate their children’s learning processes, but they do offer learning materials and a prepared learning environment in order to take stock of their children’s state of knowledge. And sometimes they even seek to inspire their children to deal with domains they don’t love too much.
Radical unschooling, however, doesn’t instruct or regulate at all. There is no prepared environment or school materials unless the children utterly demand them.
How do you feel about unschooling?
Since 2012 there is a huge controversy regarding Attachment Parenting (AP) in the English speaking part of the world which was caused by a cover picture on Time magazine that showed a Mom breastfeeding her almost 4-year-old child.
But what is AP after all and why would anybody breastfeed a 4-year-old?
AP – or as we call it “need-oriented parenting” – is a parenting style that focuses a lot on meeting a child’s needs and being empathetic and responsive in order to establish a strong mother-child-bond. This bond between mother and child – also called “attachment” – is crucial for a child’s healthy personal development.
Therefore many parents who practice AP choose (longterm) breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping, cloth diapers or elimination communication, homeschooling or even unschooling, organic home-made food and gentle discipline. AP is a highly communicative parenting approach.
In the US AP is widely regarded as a mainly Christian parenting style, whereas Europeans tend to assume AP to be a secular parenting approach. Feminists often criticize AP as “New Momism” which promotes role models that should be overcome by now – but maybe a child’s needs and his personal development should be more important than social ideologies…
To us as parents the main reason for bringing our children up in an AP way of life is this:
Certainly sons are a gift from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb, a reward.
~ Psalms 127:3
Our children are a gift and a blessing from God – so we should treat them as the gift they are. How would you treat a gift that is very precious to you? We decided we wanted our kids to grow up in a family that grants them love, respect, trust, emotional security, warmth, protection, happiness and the freedom to just be who they are.
That’s why we chose this parenting style.
Our weekend has been a wonderful spring weekend. Most of the time we have been outside enjoying the sunshine, beautiful spring blossoms and every now and then a family picnic. But why don’t you see for yourself:
I adore spring blossoms, so most of the pictures I took this weekend were blossoms pictures.
I also love this special shade of green that leaves only have in May:
Other than that we enjoyed several picnics out in the garden and in the park. Spring is such a wonderful season, I love it so much more than summer, because it isn’t so hot.
If you are already a regular reader of this blog you won’t be surprised to read that OF COURSE we baked a cake that we took with us to our picnics.
By the way raisins are perfect if you don’t want your children to eat a lot of sugar. They are kind of “healthy candy”.
Our kids enjoyed being outside, too. Playing outside is so much more fun, than staying inside.
How was your weekend?