Me, Myself and a Cup of Caramel Latte

My peaceful moment…one Saturday morning with soft music, a cup of caramel latte, caramel candle…the smell of chicken broth and pasta and carrot and sweet potatoes soup for C1C2…just me, myself and my thoughts.

It is time to reflect and refresh….a stop button for myself to check back things that were happening in our family, in our daily homeschool days and so on. It is almost 3 months since we first started and no regret. There are days that are easy, magical and just pure fun….there are days that things are harder, tiring , and such. I learnt that along with my children, I will keep on learning, together…I learn that as educator we actually do not know all (of course!) and should not act like we do know all.

Ok, salah satu button yang menurut saya sangat challenging hehehe adalah saat anak menanyakan hal-hal yang kita sendiri sebagai orang dewasa tidak tahu jawabannya, belum mengerti ataupun tidak familier. Hal tersebut ditambah lagi kalau pertanyaannya banyak dan ditanyakan dimana-mana saat kita perlu juggle dengan hal lainnya. Flash back ke masa-masa saya berusia 6 tahun, did I have many questions? I do not remember…I know for sure I loved books….but I did not ask many questions back then in school…bahkan saya ragu untuk mengangkat tangan dan bertanya….itu yang saya ingat dari diri saya ketika berusia 6 tahun. Namun, ketika di rumah saya bisa bertanya banyak hal pada mami saya….memang mostly saya tidak bertanya tentang matematika, sains, teknologi, ataupun hal-hal lainnya…saya suka bertanya tentang overall kehidupan…dan saya ingat benar mami saya took time to chat with me almost every nights….to answer and to listen to my questions…my many questions.

Challenge saya sebagai homeschool educator adalah konsisten dengan dinamika yang sudah kami ciptakan dan actually encouraged semenjak anak-anak kami lahir…to tinker, to question, to reason, to think critically, to dig deeper …the freedom. Saya merasakan bahwa semua hal ini penting untuk anak-anak kami khususnya di masa sekarang, saya dan suami ingin anak-anak tumbuh menjadi individu yang kreatif dan bukan sekedar menelan mentah-mentah apapun yang di letakkan di hadapan mereka namun dapat mencerna dulu, melihatnya dengan pandangan lain, menyesuaikan dengan nilai-nilai kehidupan mereka. Masa di mana C1C2 nanti dewasa sangatlah berbeda dengan detik ini. Kami senang mendengarkan cerita dan juga ribuan pertanyaan dari anak-anak kami, it is encouraged in our family….just until one day…..

I am overwhelmed. haha mungkin itu kata-kata yang tepat untuk menggambarkan perasaan saya. One day, if my children read this, I hope they will understand my feelings. From the moment I opened my eyes until we fall asleep….there will be many many many questions….the bigger my child is…the more questions I can not answer….I love to hear my child telling me stories about things that he just read , I love to hear him said “This book is super!!!!” , “This experiment is soooo cooll!!!” and so on….but yeah sometimes I am overwhelmed by the tons of questions that I actually….do NOT know the answers.

Of course, I had been applying answers like “let’s find out together !” , ”let’s search it together and learn together.” But sometimes when the questions are actually toooooo many hahahahaha we will simply forget….I realize these triggered me. These triggered me to be insecure about my role and at the end it will affect other things. My favorite questions to answer (at least for me) are about my life, my childhood, my personality, my dreams, my weddings….haahahahaha I have no reservation to tell my children about these and I can go on for hours…..and I am glad my C1 enjoys asking these questions too…I feel by sharing about these, I can share part of me, part of my childhood, my own happy and sad experiences….

But questions about complicated stuffs (at least to me) like challenging math problems (I am not talking about basic Math but more like about logic + computational thinking math kinds of questions) puzzled me. I feel challenged myself.

My close friend told me that it might be a mental block from childhood that I even avoid those stuffs…oh well, maybe!!!! usually when these things happen, I started to feel a bit down…like how am I going to guide my children in these areas and so on, they move so fast and now even faster than me. Sometimes I flash back to when he was 2…those beautiful memories…just with flubby jelly, sensory bin, color, shapes and tons of farm, museums, story time, cooking and baking together…life was so simple and easy…hahahahaha

Then out of my frustrations I remember something…that I am just a facilitator… I may not have to understand everything…I am a supporter who help navigate, scaffold, encourage, nurture…..the seeds that God have given our family.

I help to remind myself that whenever I feel tensed because of the unknown…I will try to think that I can always improve, that we can use a different strategy, that it will take some time but there is always progress, that mistakes help us learn, that I on my 30s is able to re-learn, that I will actually learn from my children or my friend or others.

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Elvina Lim Kusumo is a Mother , Author "Montessori di Rumah" & "Real Mom Real Journey" , food scientist, Montessori Educator , and founder of IndonesiaMontessori.Com (IMC).

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