Saturday, August 4, 2012

How I Recharge

Wow, what a wonderful day!! I had the opportunity to attend my 5th HSC homeschool conference. It is held here in Sacramento, so it's close and convenient. While some families choose to bring their children and even grandparents, I use this weekend as my get away. I enjoy going to lectures and workshops. It feeds my soul and reminds me that I am a part of a huge movement, homeschooling. It is now mainstream! I was inspired today in many ways and I would love to sum it up here. There are many workshops to choose from, but I quickly realized that my theme was self care and happiness. Every lecture or even conversations I had, wove together in such a beautiful way.

The first talk was called, "The New Consciousness of Education." It was presented by a public school math teacher, who is a homeschool dad of four. That alone should be an eye opener, but I am not shocked! Especially after spending many years going to public school and teaching in it! He was going over his theory on why there are so many issues in schools. He said, "You can't change things from the outside, you must evoke change from the inside." He asked us what most people think success is? What is happiness? Most agreed that they were all told the same lie growing up, that is you get good grades in school, you will go to a good college, get a good job, make good money and be successful and happy! This lie suggests that there is one path to success and if you don't follow it, you will not be happy!! Of course as homeschoolers, we think the opposite, there are many paths and we are here to help our children follow their passions. He suggested we think about success differently. He went on to explain things that most people crave and need to function happily. Choice, we all want choices. If your child says no, they are probably saying I want choice. I was shocked when he put up these pictures of prisons and said, we strip away all the rights to choose. They can't choose where to go, what to eat or when, whether to talk or not, when or where to sleep or exercise, when to go to the bathroom, what to wear, etc. What surprised me was when he compared that list to school, so true! I remember teaching, no lie! The pictures he had up there were actually schools that looked like prisons! He also talked about the human need for connection. He reviewed how times have changed and how people long for connection and try to get it via Facebook, reality tv, video games. These are all creating more separation. We all need a healthy way to connect with others. Where are you connected? Disconnection leads to depression. The last thing I took away from his talk was to let your children have curiosity, then cultivate it, this will lead to competence and build their confidence. This is what he called the cycle of cultivation.

The next lecture was by a great gal, named Sandra Dodd. She is an unschooler and is very entertaining. She speaks the truth and says things most people think but wont say out loud. Her talk was titled, "Happiness from the Inside out." She spoke about simple tools that I have been working on for years, but it was nice to hear it in a funny, light way. Laughter is a great stress reliever! She said your environment should provide emotional safety and peace for your children. So if you find yourself going down a negative path that will be contagious. You have a choice to be positive, to look for the good in all situations, and it maybe hard. It takes practice and awareness. It is possible to nurture and encourage people to be happy. She spoke about joy and wonder and to not accept a prepackaged life. That you can find more time to be present and look for gratitude. She reminded us how negative the news and media is and how it can affect the way you feel. She asked us to think about the people or activities or the things we watch and if they add improvement to your life? Are you getting caught up in other peoples drama and allowing it to bring pollution into your life? She ended with a funny quote that she found added laughter in her home, so she posted it in her bathroom. " A fart is a wish your butt makes."(Sorry, I couldn't stop laughing, had to share!)

The last worksop I went to was called, "Homeschool Burnout."I had no idea what to expect and as I walked in late I was surprised to see magazines all over the floor and people ripping pictures out. I was instantly intrigued. She greeted me and filled me in on the activity. We were doing a dream book or mini vision book for our homeschool. A great way to reconnect with what is important and refocus in times of need. The first thing I did was write my mission statement for our homeschool. I had to let go of it not being perfect and just let it flow. This is what I wrote, "It is our mission to have a peaceful, loving home. In our home our children will be able to explore their passions. They will be allowed to follow their inner spirit. They will experience support in all they do. We will cherish our time together, especially in times of transition with daddy traveling." The next page was reasons we homeschool. I wrote, "To allow children to learn when they are ready. Follow where they are developmentally, not the state standards. Spend time in a safe environment. Spend time with daddy when  he is here or travel with him. Accept them as who they are. Raise happy, healthy children." We then found pictures in magazines to remind us of our dreams for us individually, not for our kids or family. We wrote a statement or mantra on the cover of booklet, to bring us back to why we chose this journey. I found a picture of these cartoon heads with baseball hats on. It said, "Get your game face on." What an appropriate saying for this professional baseball family!

I am looking forward to the rest of the weekend. There are some more great topics and I hope I leave feeling as energized as I do now!!

Things I find fascinating

  • Bagua Board/ Dream board
  • Balanced Birth Approach
  • Birthing From Within
  • E Is For Ethics
  • Homeschooling
  • The Bradley Method Of Natural Childbirth
  • The Family Virtues Guide
  • The Power of Wisdom
  • Waldorf
  • Young Living Essential Oils
  • Zen in Ten Seconds