Jettisoning Judgment: #atozchallenge for April 12, 2017

Slices of An Unschooling Life Theme Reveal Post

Today’s Poetry Type:

Jeffrey’s Sonnet


Jettisoning Judgement

Jettisoning Judgment is key

for those learning naturally.

Preset notions get in the way.

Ingenuity and freedom –

creativity needs some

blended into every day.


Swift play runs a current unseen:

messy space, no hurry to clean

at the cost of inspiration.

Chaos holds possibilities –

Their crossed i’s and my dotted t’s;

deeply engaged concentration.


Invention can be far better

than construction by the letter.

A chair hangs from the ceiling at the National Museum in Saratoga Springs, NY, August 2015.
A chair hangs from the ceiling at the National Museum in Saratoga Springs, NY, August 2015.

I came from a very different parenting paradigm than the one we live here in my home, today.

As a child, I was constantly judged, and usually found wanting. I was “supposed to be so smart” but I didn’t always make the right choice, or know how to do everything. If I read until dawn during the summer, then slept till noon, I was lazy, despite getting less sleep than I probably needed. I was too messy (almost certainly true), had no common sense (that tends to come with maturity, experience, and the freedom to make some mistakes along the way without being ridiculed for imperfection). I was clumsy (not really; I just sometimes get wrapped up in what’s going on inside my head, and forget to pay attention to the outside – where I end and the rest of the world begins).

Inspiration, discovery, and invention need more space than that. They need the freedom to be, without judgment, and to exist, not for a desired, parent-directed result, but simply for their own sake.

            Lise-made craft foam birthday party treats for Buttercup the Littlest Pet, who was also turning twelve.
            Lise-made craft foam birthday party treats for Buttercup the Littlest Pet, who was also turning twelve.

When I put too much energy into the quest for my variety of order, or demand a specific result of any activity, I can thwart my kids’ (and my own, too!) creativity and overall learning.

Learning works best when the motivation for it is intrinsic – in other words, it’s relevant to the learner’s life right now. That’s why so much of what kids “learn” in school needs to be reviewed – it wasn’t relevant to the child’s life, or something that interested them enough to retain it. Much of a teacher’s job is to try to make the curriculum interesting.

We have a different approach. We don’t judge our childrens’ passions, or how they spend their time. We support them; offer them opportunities to go to interesting places and do things they might enjoy; we have a house full of books and games and interesting bits and pieces; excellent wi-fi; pets and the lovely chaos of learning – oh, and conversation. Lots of talking about what we love, what we don’t, what we’re planning and dreaming…

It might seem surprising, but knowing that their time and activities are their own leads to many other forms of learning. Most of what they’d be required to learn in school, on a preset timetable, they come to, on their own, in pursuit of their own goals. And, more often than not, they learn it more deeply, and can use it immediately.

It’s totally worth the lovely chaos it sometimes causes!

Just a quick question –

Can you think of a way that jettisoning judgement would help you or your children to find more joy in learning?

Jittery to jump on the J post joyride?

Just drive your jalopy onto the Blogging From A-Z April Challenge highway?

Click here, or the icon below, and journey on!

Jog by tomorrow – we have KITTENS!

                             Twelfth Birthday, with a giant theater cat! July 2016.
                             Twelfth Birthday, with a giant theater cat! July 2016.

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