Thursday, April 12, 2012

Nothing in Particular

So I haven't been blogging much.  It's not for lack of anything to say.  The few of you who know me elsewhere online probably privately lament my excess of "anything to say" on a regular basis.  I'm just not a very good self-starter.  In other words, I stare at this blank box in which I'm typing and think, "I have no idea what to say."  Whereas elsewhere on line I don't have a blank box waiting for me to impress my will upon it.  I have people saying things to which I respond.  Wow, was that wordy or what?  I guess I'm the family thesaurus for good reason.

Anyway, I finally have something to say without a prompt so here goes: This blog is entitled "Nothing in Particular."  In the beginning it was called that because I was just looking for a nice quiet place to keep track of what the children were learning and doing.  It didn't need a fancy-schmancy title because it was for me to chronicle our unschooling journey for myself.  But I wasn't terribly good at the chronicling thing because I'm a crappy scribe.  And because I was too busy DOING unschooling to record unschooling.

Doing nothing in particular
But the more I think about it, the more "Nothing in Particular" seems like a pretty good title for an unschooling blog.  That's a lot of what our unschooling life is: nothing in particular.  I don't mean "doing nothing" as in sitting around staring at the ceiling and drooling.  I don't even mean "doing nothing" as in sitting around staring at the television and drooling.  We do a little of this, a little of that.  Nothing in PARTICULAR but a lot of anything.

Today we worked on a jigsaw puzzle for a little bit until we all three simultaneously realized that we had been sitting there staring at pieces for like 5 minutes and drooling.  So we got up and did something else.  Shan went to surf the net for new webcomics while Mindie and I watched a really lame horror movie and kept asking each other, "What the heck?  Huh?"  Then Mindie popped in some "My Little Pony" while Shan played Minecraft and I watched Deep Space Nine and conquered the galaxy in Master of Orion II.  We got back together to make dinner.  Then Mindie watched more "My Little Pony" and I tortured Shannen with Weird Al videos on YouTube and we talked about the pop culture that was being commented upon and parodied by the videos.

It was a "nothing in particular" sort of a day.  Most days are like that now and we are all fine with it.  Every once in a while Mindie still comes in to me and stands there, slack-jawed and drooling, waiting for something to dance.  It's not boredom, it's a need to be around other people.  I usually drop what I'm doing and do something with her for a while, but nothing in particular.  Today when she needed to reconnect with the human race I chased her through the house for a while (why yes, I *am* three years old - thanks for asking), poked her with a giant poking finger on a stick a big, then led her away to do some kitchen science.    It wasn't anything special, nothing in particular really; just fooling around with ice and salt and water of different temperatures.  But it satisfied her needs and allowed her to re-energize for doing what she wanted to do with her day.

Don't you want to smell this flower?
When you're doing nothing in particular, it leaves you open to possibilities.  If a passing butterfly catches your interest you might follow it and discover a new plant which might make you want to start a garden which might lead to cooking with fresh vegetables from said garden which might lead to a career as a world-renown chef and television personality.  Or maybe not.  But when your day is packed with a schedule and curriculum and to-do lists and things in particular you can't follow the butterfly and then you'll never know if maybe you were born to be the next Emeril Lagasse.  Walter Hagen put it well when he said, "You're only here for a short visit.  Don't hurry.  Don't worry.  And be sure to smell the flowers along the way."

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