Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Greatest Skill to Have

After the issue with the classes yesterday, Megan was very upset and crying. We sat in my room together and had a very nice talk about the decisions I make for them and why I make them, and the freedom that I allow them to have in terms of a lot of things. We got to talking about doing things for ourselves and taking actions that we can't blame others if we don't do them - self-discipline! I gave some examples of things that I wanted to accomplish but never did or at least haven't yet. There's no one to blame but myself and I don't have the self-discipline to get it done.

We talked about this for quite a while and our conversation continued into the evening. We discussed what we could do to help ourselves become more self-disciplined, such as making a list or having someone else hold us accountable.

I learned that as unschoolers, my kids need to have a lot of self-discipline. Yes, I want to and will help them with their goals, but a lot of unschooling is being very independent and accomplishing academic goals on their own. By going to school, this is hard to learn. Mom wakes you up, the teacher tells you what to do, Mom tells you to do your homework, when to go to bed, etc. There's very little room for a child to self-discipline and learn from their mistakes, especially when others don't allow you to make them. Mistakes are sometimes the greatest things one can do!

So I believe, self-discipline is one of the greatest skills one can have! Do you agree or not?


  1. I think self-discipline is a very important skill. I hope to teach my children to have much more than I do!

    I also think that sometimes mistakes aren't such a bad thing either. There have been some situations in my life that I wished I could go back & change, but in the end they usually ended up teaching me something I wouldn't otherwise have learned!

  2. Thanks for the follow. I'm now following your lovely blog.

  3. Yes I agree but I believe I learned A LOT of self-discipline in school. I knew it was my responsibility to get my school work done and when I did I would be able to go on to university and get a good job. My mom didn't wake me up btw(quite the stereotype); I had an alarm and if I was late I suffered the consequences. My parent's didn't bail me out.

    I also think structure is really imnportant for kids to learn if they want to be successful. I noticed you said your children choose what they want to accomplish and can refuse to do certian lessons if they want. What is going to happen when they get a job? When their boss tells them to do a job they don't like are they just going to refuse? I'm confused.

  4. Don't get me wrong. I understand that what works for my kids does not necessarily work for others. I know of parents that do everything they can for their kids to get them through school, including doing their assignments for them.

    Also, please don't think my kids have full freedom to choose anything and everything. If something is part of something they are wanting to learn, they do it. My son loves Science, so he understands that a part of doing Science is learning Math. So he's learning Math. He doesn't care for it much, but he does it. They already take classes with a homeschool group. If there is an assignment they don't care for, they do it. They understand that that adult, as the teacher, has an authority over them. I don't wish my step-daughter to have an authority over them as I feel that puts them in the middle and confuses them as to who to obey.

  5. Self discipline is one of the most important skills to have. I'm having SUCH a hard time getting my kids to be self disciplined, it's pretty much making me crazy. Anyhoo. I thought I was following you the other day, but I wasn't. I actually AM now. I'm happy to find another unschooling mom.

  6. I'd like to think of it as self-control going hand in hand with self-motivation :)