As much as I’ve been trying to let go of being so rigid and routine I’m still working on slowing down. I know longer have 10 things on my daily to-do-list. I’ve tried to minimize and only write in 2-3 things. I’ve also changed my mini’s school schedule. The biggest problem I had with her education was that she wasn’t being challenged but I realized I was trying to remake the classroom, partially because that is what I know and the structure is what I was taught.
My sophomore year of undergrad I joined a program called Ameri*Corps. After that experience I changed my major from videography and journalism. I had plans on making the next, “Eyes on the Prize” series. Then I wanted to study archelogy and become a museum curator. I was all over the place. It was that year as an Ameri*Corp member that I decided I wanted to work in education. After completing my student teaching I realized that classroom instruction didn’t allow me to teach in a way that I felt was fulfilling. I went through several other youth and community engagement positions before getting my teaching license as a parent educator. I taught ESL, ABE, helped develop parent education classes and workshops but I still wasn’t quite satisfied. When I moved to Georgia that’s when I started teaching online. I had to adjust my teaching style depending on the platform, and of course, the learned. For some reason, I haven’t been making those adjustments while teaching my own daughter. I’m putting away the lesson plans and letting her lead in her learning.
Lately, she has shown an interest in magic. After she completes her online classes she gets to work on magic. For the past two weeks she has gone online and learned fifteen tricks. She was practicing every day. She asked me to invite our host over for a magic show and spent an entire week practicing and rehearsing. I must say she’s mastered half of them. It makes me think about all the things I was interested in and how I never could choose which to stick with. Maybe, I didn’t have to but I felt like Lynn from Girlfriends. I didn’t want a bunch of degrees with no career. My mini gets the opportunity to learn and explore whatever subject matter she wants and learn from there. Her interest in magic tricks has also had her questioning existence, reality versus fiction. She wants to know when humans got here, what the first language was, she’s curious about different religions. The questions never stop coming and the answers don’t have to be put off until we reach that lesson or it’s supposed to be taught in the curriculum. A few nights ago she caught me of guard when she asked, “Did you have sex with my dad to make me!!!” This was after I had just finished explaining to her why women menstruate.
Being able to spend this much time with my daughter, I continue to learn from her as much as I feel I am teaching her. I am trying to focus on the present moments, not what I didn’t finish yesterday or what I need to do tomorrow. I went from working 80+ hours a week, with a color coded excel document as my screensaver, to 20-25 hours a week. I have no reason to fuss about what I didn’t complete because there’s no rush to complete any task. My goal was to stop being so routine and enjoy the present moments. I need to start focusing more on those and stop letting the next “project” take over. If something catches my interest I can focus on that. I need to be more like my mini and focus on what interest me and not on what gives me income.