Moments Unschooling

“You should know this stuff by now!”

I catch myself thinking and sometimes telling to my 10 year old: “Advay, you are supposed to know this stuff by now already!! 😠”

It comes up when he makes basic spelling mistakes, or when uses gone instead of went or vice-versa in a sentence, or when he takes too long to multiply two numbers, or when he doesn’t comb his hair while going out, or when he doesn’t know meanings of certain words…. you get the point.

This whole “he should know this stuff already” is a fear inducing thing. The moment I have this thought or blurt it out, I go into a mode where I get anxious about his entire god-damn future. “How will he survive?”, “Everybody else his age knows this stuff.”, “If he was a typical school going kid, he would have known this stuff.” This mental horror show goes on, until one of the following things happen

  1. I suddenly have a brain wave that I don’t know stuff, which my peers seem to know “like it is common sense
  2. Advay demonstrates that he knows some stuff, “like it is common sense“, that his peers have no awareness of.
  3. Someone I lookup to unabashedly admits that they don’t know stuff, which I know “like it is common sense

At that point, I calm myself down.

As such Advay knowing some stuff and not knowing some stuff has no significance other than that he knows some stuff and he doesn’t know some stuff. The loaded meaning I seem to automatically ascribe to it has me feel arrested, that I feel obligated to violently wiggle myself out.

There is an unexamined innate fear about my child’s future, in the face of which I seem to ascribe disproportionate significance to mundane observations.

I can’t say that I have had any victory over this fear, because it crops up repeatedly. I also can’t say that I am not doing anything about. I am trying multiple things (reflections, reading, morning pages etc.) Perhaps I can say that I am making progress, because I no longer feel embarrassed about sharing this bit about me in here.