My Draft Posts File is as Fat as Our Cats, and Other Stories

My draft posts file is getting bigger and
bigger. It’s looking rather fat, just like our cats. Each afternoon, for the past few days, I’ve fed it with another failed post. I’ve wanted to write but can’t seem to find the right words.

There’s lots of things I want to mull over, like…  chores. I know I’ve already written about this
topic. Actually, I think Getting Kids to Help with the Chores is my most popular
post ever. It just shows what a big part of life chores are. So many people are
looking for the perfect way to get them all done, with everyone helping, and without any
tears or threats.
Just recently I read several comments, elsewhere around the
blogosphere, by mothers who’d like to unschool more fully…  you know, let it
spill over into their parenting. The reason they say they are reluctant to do
this is because they don’t want to end up doing all the chores themselves. They
think that if they give their children a choice, the children will refuse to
work. I wonder if this is what actually happens. Will kids only work if they
are pushed? I know from personal experience that children doing chores, and more
radical unschooling, aren’t mutually exclusive. I’d really like to share a story
about how my kids once hid the chores roster because they didn’t want me to throw it
in the garbage bin. I found that so funny. I wish I could find the right words to tell you
about that properly.
I’ve also been thinking about how unschooling isn’t a guarantee
that kids will get immediately to where they want to go, as soon as they step
out into adult life. Unforeseen things can happen. Mistakes will still be made.
God still sends challenges despite the best arranged life. Does anyone have a
perfect life? But I guess some people might expect unschooling to lead to
perfection, especially as I’m always writing about it in such glowing terms.
Did you see that homeschooling book about the family whose
children all went to university (or was that ‘college’?) at very young ages?
That is so impressive. I couldn’t write a book like that. I haven’t got any similar
amazing success stories to tell. I do
have some amazing stories to tell though, just not ones that sell books. I
wonder if I already have a draft post in my file on this topic.
I was reading about accountability somewhere on the Internet
the other day. (I have done more reading than writing recently.) Will our kids
ask us why we parented and educated them like we did? Will they wish we had been tougher with them? “Why did you unschool us, Mum? How could you have done that
to us…. ?” I interviewed my son Callum the other day for one of my unschooling videos.
He’s 22. (I rather enjoyed talking to him.) I asked him if he thought
unschooling was a good preparation for his adult life. Did he wish some things
had been different? I’d tell you what he said but that might spoil my video! (I’ll
be posting part 1 of From Unschooling to University and Work tomorrow.)
Talking about video making, Sophie and I have been talking over vlogging ideas. She actually made a video this afternoon. She decided to talk about her most hated piece of clothing. This started me thinking… I might enjoy chatting about similar things, telling a few stories in short (?!!) videos. I am reminded of a question I was asked a few years ago: “When did my girls start wearing long skirts?” I think there was criticism hidden beneath this question. Actually my daughters all prefer knee length (or even just above the knee) skirts but you can see the direction the woman’s thoughts were going. Yes, lots to talk about. But would anyone listen?
Do you remember how I wanted an opportunity to wear my new
coat? Well, that opportunity arrived this week. A bitterly cold wind has been
blowing for several days. I thought we were going to miss out on winter
completely this year. It appears not. This has been good for coat wearing but
not good for running. Who wants to battle against wild weather while running? I
don’t. But I did. Yes today, just before lunch, I made myself put on my track pants
and run down to the bush tracks for some exercise. It wasn’t too bad once I
started moving. As I ran, I thought about a comment that was left on my last
post, an analogy between running and homeschooling. It’s very apt. I liked it
very much. Anyway, as I was running along, I was thinking about how we need to
push ourselves out of our comfort zones more frequently. Nothing is ever as hard
as it seems once we start moving. The feeling afterwards is so satisfying. And every time we challenge ourselves in this way, we get a little stronger. I might write about that one day…
But today, I can’t find the right words to write any of
these stories. I’ll just file them away in the drafts file. let it get a little fatter. Who knows? I might
be able to finish them another time.
Talking about fat, did I tell you our cats are on a diet? It’s embarrassing having such podgy cats. We had to do something about it. The cats are not happy…
But that’s another story.

Image: audacious but lovable cat by Yuma Hori, (CC BY 2.0)

You can also find me on my Sue Elvis Writes Facebook page. What have we been chatting about recently? Wedding anniversaries, book covers and books, lemons (???) Please come and visit, chat, ask a question, say hello!

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    • Hwee
    • June 25, 2014

    I know what you mean, Sue. There are so many aspects to our lives besides homeschooling and curriculum that we can share. Just pick any one and the ball will start rollling! 🙂 I've seen the interview about the Harding family and their exceptional story. It's a real wow, and can be both inspiring as well as intimidating (for us mere mortals) 🙂

    1. Reply


      It might be fun to share something other than homeschooling every now and then. I might see what I can come up with to get that ball rolling!

      The Harding family insist they are an average family but I'm not sure about that. Very impressive! I bought the book and I'm about halfway through. It's an interesting read. The mother writes that her children are just following their interests, but they must be very different from my children. Their interests are leading them down a very different path!

      • Hwee
      • June 26, 2014

      I've just ordered the book and will read it when it arrives. I, too, have the feeling that the Harding family do more than they let on, but what they've been able to achieve with their children is no less impressive. They certainly don't come across as an unschooling family, even though the mother says that they don't go down the structured route. It is hard to believe that every child in that family is equally academic and self-motivated on their own terms, but that's how they've projected themselves in the media. 🙂

    2. Reply


      I haven't yet read enough of the book to be sure of the Harding family's approach to homeschooling, but from the little I have read, I can see they are very different to us. An interesting book and an interesting family, I'm sure! We'll have to compare notes when we've both read the book.

  1. Reply

    Haha. I know what you mean, too…

    I also wish I had more time to read EVERYTHING you have ever posted. You make me smile and often laugh quite loudly! 😀

    1. Reply


      It's so lovely of you wishing you had time to read all my unschooling posts. That would be quite a feat as there's 327 of them! How did I ever write so many posts?

      I love smiling. I love it even more when other people smile with me. Thank you!

  2. Reply

    Hi Sue, maybe look at it this way, Maybe God isn't ready for you to publish those posts yet, maybe there is a reader out there who needs to read one of your posts, and God will grace you with the words for that post. All in Gods timing.

    1. Reply


      I agree with Virginia. I like your thought very much! Maybe it's just as well I keep filing posts away in my drafts file instead of deleting them completely. Yes, I might be able to build on those words one day. I have actually returned to some of my unfinished posts and found a way to use them. I just thought it was a case of finding the right angle to tell the story. I never considered it might just be a case of waiting for the right time. Thank you so much for sharing that thought!

    2. Reply

      I know you did not address me, but…if you don't mind me saying… I LIKE THAT!! You just never know, right? 🙂

  3. Reply

    Hi Sue,

    I'm finding that my drafts post pile is slowly, but surely, increasing as well! I haven't quite found the words, which I need, to express what I want to say. Ah well, I guess, if those posts are meant to be posted, then the words will come to me, one day!

    1. Reply


      I'm glad you're saving your unfinished posts. Yes, the right words might appear one day. I hate deleting any writing. Even the most unlikely beginnings can sometimes unexpectedly lead to great stories at a later time. It's quite amazing when that happens!

  4. Reply

    I have a lot of drafts of posts. Yesterday I decided to take a look at a few. Some had no words, only titles! Then I wondered what was I going to say about this or that? I am so glad I am not the only one who has fat cats. Abigail is on a diet, too and it doesn't seem to be working. Or as husband says, "Monica makes everything fat!"

    1. Reply


      Only titles? That made me smile. I have handwritten scribbled notes for some posts, and I can't make head or tail of them. I have no idea what I was going to say. Never mind. It couldn't have been that important.

      Our cats' diet doesn't seem to be working either. It's a bit embarrassing! We are determined not to make the puppy fat!

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