Friday, August 1, 2008

My First Rambling

I tend to be a rambler...especially when I am just starting to share. So get comfortable because I don't know how long this will go.

It has been an interesting journey and the journey has just begun. I'm not sure where I'm going with this blog, but I wanted to put my thoughts out there and share our life experiences. We made the decision to homeschool in March of 2007. After shifting things in our life we were able to pull our daughter out of preschool and began homeschooling in mid-April. We all couldn't be happier with our decision.

Being the researcher that I am, making the decision wasn't the end of it. It was such a process for me it is hard to summarize it here. I scoured the internet, joined a bunch of Yahoo groups, read lots of books (love John Holt) and talked to other homeschool moms. During this investigation unschooling found me as well as Unconditional Parenting.

I have found that this way of life is definitely a lot more work and involves an amazing amount of trust...trusting your child, trusting yourself, trusting the process. It has been the hardest thing I have ever done. It is also the most worth while thing I could ever do.

So now that we've covered unschooling how about a little non-belief? I am new to the realization that I am a non-believer. I'm not sure why, but it's hard for me to call myself an atheist. I've been a Jew my whole life. Not a religious Jew, but a Jew nonetheless. I haven't really believed in God for a long time but it never occurred to me that I was an atheist.

Years ago I went to a rabbi and asked if God is God, why does he need us to kiss his ass? I mean really, is he that insecure? Every prayer is a prayer telling God how great he is. Come on? Seriously?I got a response from the rabbi, something about how it's really for us - to remind us how great God is...blah, blah, blah. I left feeling unsatisfied. I didn't stay at the synagogue much longer.

Then I met my husband, a non-Jew and an atheist and the love of my life. We met in 2000, got engaged a year later and married a year after that. We had a non-religious ceremony that I wrote myself and it was quite lovely.We now have our daughter who is almost 5 years old. We follow some Jewish traditions in our home. We light candles on Friday night, we have a seder at Passover, we dip apples in honey on Rosh Hashanah, we light candles on Hanukkah and we still eat our traditional "break the fast" meal of bagels and lox on Yom Kippur even though I no longer fast.

We don't have Jewish friends and honestly I've had very few Jewish friends my whole life. I want our daughter to know other Jews and to learn about her heritage without the religious pressure. I don't want to force anything, even non-belief, on her. We have a Humanistic Judaism synagogue in our town. I think that we are going to join so we can find a Jewish community. I still have a lot of questions about how to "do this". I have read some of the revised prayers and I like the changes. It's going to be a transition.

That's probably enough of a ramble for now. Welcome to our unschooling, family loving, non-believing, crazy, fun life blog. There will be ups and downs, but it's a great life and we are living it fully.

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