Drudgery & Discipline

This is the second post in a three part series titled Discipline in a Love of Learning, Freedom Based, Interest-led Homeschool. You can read the first post here and my concluding post here.

Let's dive right in. My last post left off here:

Myth Two: If you are self-directed learners, and let your children largely pursue their own interests as their education, your children won't learn self-discipline. They don't learn to apply themselves to less-than-pleasant tasks. In short, they are not equipped for real life drudgery.

Before I answer this myth I must share something I found online recently which illustrates this idea to the extreme.

I came across this comment on a blog post about unschooling. I landed on this blog through some random internet wandering. It's not part of my usual circle.

Although this comment is somewhat extreme, I think it speaks, quite accurately, the fears people have about freedom education.

The problem that I have with unschooling is that school isn't just about learning, it's also about discipline. I think one of the most valuable things you learn in school is to get up in the morning and do something you don't want to do every single day. Unschoolers will bemoan conditioning children for the American work machine, but since that's the world they'll actually be living in, and most of us won't have the luxury of exclusively pursuing our interests into adulthood, this is a valuable discipline.

The commenter then adds...

Sorry, I wasn't trying to imply that school should be miserable, just that there is value to having a structured day and having to wake up in the morning and study math today even if it was art you wanted to do instead.

Another commenter:

There is also some value in learning to delay gratification. Learning to read is a slog, but being able to read is tremendous fun. Children aren't great at seeing the end-game; telling them that it'll pay off in the long run rings pretty hollow (at least, that's what I remember about being a kid) but showing them, over the course of years, that putting in difficult and sometimes unpleasant work really is worth the things it can accomplish... that's a very valuable lesson, and it's something I can't see them learning on their own.

I believe these commenters express something that many people believe. School is the training ground that prepares you for a life you don't necessarily want to live and forced academics is a great opportunity, and main vehicle, for character development.

Most people will never meet anyone who shows them otherwise (or will reject those who do). They will go through life thinking this is all there is - getting up in the morning to do something you don't want to do every single day, and therefore it is in their child's best interest to learn to do the same.

When I was growing up "school was my job". And "job" as a word, as an idea, as a concept, was not necessarily positive. Job was the thing you had to do whether you liked it or not. (By the way, I liked school. I love book learning, I'm social, and I'm always eager to please people, so school was a great fit.)

I don't have a problem with academics. But I question compulsory academics in a society where the success of its citizens, the longevity of the society itself, rests not on people having an acquired knowledge base (knowledge is free in our world) or following a set path (the Industrial model mindset is no longer the track to success it once was), but rests instead on people being empowered with a skill set of creative thinking, entrepreneurship, and leadership.

This is the complete opposite of being told what to learn. Our world needs self-motivated thinkers, leaders, problem solvers, do-ers and creators, not automatons.

In my next post I will share some ideas and observations on developing self-discipline around your interests, in a freedom environment (with the security of solid boundaries, see my first post). But first, I want to ask these questions:

Is this the life you want to live? One where you must do meaningless things every day that you don't like?

What if you did live your childhood getting up every single day (give or take a few days) knowing you had the power over your own days, knowing you could make your ideas happen?

What if you were taught, through healthy home life, how to manage your time and then given free reign within that time to do the things you loved, study what interested you, build what you imagined? What kind of adult would you be?

What kind of world would those children-become-adults create?

Would those children-become-adults be lazy no-gooders, unable to get out of bed in the morning, interested only in playing video games all day?

Or would these children-become-adults be empowered by years of personal decision making and experience - growing up in an atmosphere of unconditional support, clear boundaries, and positive role models - to seek after and make happen those things they want to accomplish in life?

(Hint: That last sentence is our educational philosophy, in a nutshell.)

Would these empowered adults be able "to fit" into a society of people who make themselves get up and do things they don't want to do? Or would they have the skills, knowledge and attitudes to create a new reality for themselves, and those around them, of passionate, creative, missional, and interest-led living?

I started this post with this myth: If you are self-directed learners, and let your children largely pursue their own interests as their education, your children won't learn self-discipline. They don't learn to apply themselves to less-than-pleasant tasks. In short, they are not equipped for real life drudgery.

I wrote this post weeks ago, these ideas have been percolating for months, years even, as we have set up a home learning environment based on an interest-driven education philosophy.

Imagine my delight then, when just this week I came across the thoughts of one of my favorite authors on the subject of drudgery.

One problem with the word work is that it has come to be equated with drudgery, and is considered degrading. Now, some work is drudgery, though it is not always degrading. Vacuuming the house or scrubbing out the refrigerator is drudgery for me, though I find it in no way degrading. And that it is drudgery is a lack in me. (my emphasis) I enjoy the results and so I should enjoy producing the results. I suspect that is it not the work itself which is the problem, but that it is taking me from other work, such as whatever manuscript I am currently working on. Drudgery is not what work is meant to be. (my emphasis) Our work should be our play. If we watch a child at play for a few minutes, "seriously" at play, we see that all his energies are concentrated on it. He is working very hard at it. And that is how the artist works, although the artist may be conscious of discipline while the child simply experiences it.

Madeleine L'Engle from Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art

This quote is a great place to stop as it sets the tone for, and introduces some key ideas from, my next and final post in this series. I'll see you there...

« Training in the Early Years ~ A Foundation for Self-Discipline
Developing Self-Discipline »
  • Jennifer @ kidoing!

    Jennifer @ kidoing! on Dec. 5, 2013, 1:42 p.m.

    Renee, this is an excellent series. We share these same philosophies, but aren't fully aligned with them yet.  I have been thinking a lot about discipline lately as Z does really well at things that come easily to her, but doesn't quite know how to work at something that is a challenge. I know my role as mentor comes into play here, but I'm still figuring out how. Based on my school upbringing, I would sit down and read something over and over until I got it, or memorized it, but that's not working in this case. 

    Look forward to reading the third post and sharing all three with Marc!


    • renee

      renee on Dec. 5, 2013, 1:52 p.m.

      Hi Jen. My next post goes into much more depth on this very part of the equation - ages and stages. What it looks like to let children play and do well at what they love and how that looks as they get older and start, eventually - yes! applying themselves to difficult academic tasks - on their own! With our mentorship yes, but choosing the difficult over the easy, even in areas outside their comfort zone. It happens. 

      And our tendency as anxious parents, with not a lot of role models to see how it happens otherwise, is to push it to happen (even just a wee bit). I'm just as guilty of this!

      I just want to encourage you to continue to let Z go hard at what comes easy to her, let her develop incredible competence and confidence in those things. You can slowly introduce the more difficult things, you can even incorporate them into very "short and sweet" (this is key) lessons if you wish - but don't push (or she'll push back, right? all self-directed learners will!). It'll come. 

      But I do think you'll really get a lot out of the next post because I deal with this exactly!

      So nice "hearing your voice" and knowing your daughter personally I can just see her working hard at what she loves and bringing so much joy and energy into your home in doing that. You have beautiful children Jennifer and we remember our time at your house so fondly. 


      • Jennifer @ kidoing!

        Jennifer @ kidoing! on Dec. 6, 2013, 2:44 a.m.

        Choosing difficult over easy, really? I'm intrigued to read your next post. Thank you for your encouragement. What you say about letting her explore what she loves is intuitively right to me. I'm still reprogramming my thinking away from the "school" mentality.  I have tried backing off when we've hit a bump before and each time we pick back up something clicks and she gets it. I just want to make sure I'm cultivating in her the desire to work through challenges. 

        It's funny you mention hearing my voice, because that is exactly what happens now when I read your words. I can hear you speak them to me, with all your inflections and passion. :) It was a wonderful blessing to meet all of you. And, your children's names come up often in conversation here. Thank you for sharing all your talents! Big hugs to all of you.


        • renee

          renee on Dec. 6, 2013, 2:50 a.m.

          You'll see what I've got coming tomorrow, I'm going over my final edits right now actually. But just a hint... our kids will choose their own difficult. They will choose things we won't necessarily value, but they do. And that's where they chose the difficult over easy. It's their choice, their difficult. I'll explain more tomorrow...


  • Sarah Mast

    Sarah Mast on Dec. 5, 2013, 3:42 p.m.

    Love the quote; one of my favorite books. 

    My first reaction to those commentors above is saddness, that they do not enjoy their life and are not pursuing their dreams because they are 'too big, too out of reach, to impractical'--they've settled and think that's just the way it is, for everyone. I don't want to live like that!

    Now...a way to think about grocery shopping not being a drugery.... :) Sarah M



  • Sarah

    Sarah on Dec. 5, 2013, 4:24 p.m.

    Oh, Renee... so much good re-education (or at least re-evaluation and reflection) happening over here. I hate to say it, but I definitely have thought about the concerns you've outlined in "Myth 2". I've thought very similarly to the commenter you quote. I think over the last year reading your blog I've seen examples of the opposite of these assumptions... and also that we shouldn't necessarily be worried about the things we're worried about (i.e. if we don't want to--or don't want our kids to--join the rat-race, why push them--or ourselves--to prepare for it?) I do think that as a larger society (or I guess our respective countries/communities) we need to consider the questions you pose (about where we're going and what we want our kids to prepare for and whether we are meeting those goals). I think that the saddest part of school reform (not really what you're talking about, but an interest of mine) is actually the lack of true reflection (are we really just preparing kids for college or are we preparing them for a greater life?) Anyway, these are all questions you ask, so I don't know why I'm re-hashing them (I guess because I love that you're asking them!!!) 

    I do hope to go back to that last post I commented on at some point, but one of the things I was going to say in responce to you was that I think empowerment--helping kids feel that "they can do it"--whether that be change the world, follow their wildest dream, or do both (as when they're doing one they're probably doing the other). I think that that is the greatest loss that comes with traditional school... and it's not something I have the answer to. (Obviously.) Ah and commenting on learning styles--I'll have to go back!

    Also, my experience with discipline (interesting to me at least--smile): my parents were quite strict when I was younger and have certainly loosened as we've gotten older--we really have no major behavior issues now (at least as far as I can tell--I guess that's easy for me to say). I was also in daycare/pre-school/elementary school, so I guess that set some of our boundaries as young children (my mom did breast-feed but my parents weren't attachment-y at all, as far as I can tell). The more interesting part is now: my parents have definitely loosened up on most boundaries, but they never had boundaries with school ( they weren't strict about homework when we were young, they trusted us to do it, they didn't push extra supplements and we only had tutors when we truly needed the one-on-one learning environment and they didn't feel they could help). But now, they've tightened the reigns. Not on me--I can spend all my time typing comments here (smile)... because they know I'm self-disciplined to do school-work and I have a history of getting things done. But for my brother (and my sister to a certain extent), they have put in a lot more structure. (It's mostly because he won't do/put time into school work in favor of things like watching ski films.) Lots of nagging. I look at my parents as people really, who have the best interests for my brother. And as individuals struggling to do what they believe is the best was to set him up for a happy life in which he can contribute to and help others. And yet, I question their actions. And I think they do too, and I understand that's hard for them, too. 

    I have to say, it seems to be helping... but with what? He gets the work done, and I believe he's feeling more accomplished, and even enjoying school more (because he's doing the work more thouroughly)--all good. But is he loosing a sense that he can do it himself? Is he loosing time to his genuine (strong) interests, like adventure film-making? What is more important? And then I have more questions and thoughts... which will be about 3 more paragraphs (they're about how it impacts children's thoughts of themselves to transition out of a traditional school that's hard for them and into another learning environment....), so I won't go into them here, but maybe another time.

    Also, my mom and I were talking a few weeks ago (this is a comment relating to the "my mothering is good enough" post) after going to watch a man talk on parenting and child psychology. She was saying how she thinks that there really is no one "right" way and that she worries that that was not the message the speaker was saying. I referenced you saying that you thought the basis of parenting is really building a relationship--she (and I) agree. (Smile.)

    I loved your update post on your AT hike! Can't wait for the vid. series! I'll think about questions I have. 


    • renee

      renee on Dec. 5, 2013, 5:28 p.m.

      I'm going to comment more on your comment but what I have to say right now is Sarah has a blog, check it out!


      • Sarah

        Sarah on Dec. 6, 2013, 3:07 a.m.

        Thanks, Renee! It was a lot of fun to get your comment--yes, I love Aviva Romm, too! I found her through your twitter feed, I think. So thank you for that, too! :)


  • Rana

    Rana on Dec. 5, 2013, 8:07 p.m.

    This has been such a great series Renee!  When I think back to when I was young, I think of my parents as being self-directed learners.  My dad was always interested in something with history, books, and religion and how it applies to our lives.  My mom was taking classes in photography, caligrophy, ceramics and other hands on type projects that my sister and I were able to go with her to or she showed us what she was learning. Thier love of learning and dicipline to do the hard stuff and showing us that work can be enjoyable is what has helped me and my sister to share this way of learning with our families. 

    You have shared some great thought provoking questions, things that I have thought about, but not taken a lot of time to dig deeper into.  I'm looking forward to your take on how to put it all together. 


  • Kelly

    Kelly on Dec. 5, 2013, 11:45 p.m.

    I recently left the classroom after nine years of teaching middle and high school English. There were a number of reasons I left, but one was exactly what you pinpointed. It was so hard to 1. create a classroom experience where I could make learning meaningful when there were a number of factors constantly working agaisnt me and 2. I couldn't guarantee my own children would be taught to love learning. I feared they would be taught to just get through it. Homeschooling, at this point, is the only option I see for our family to make sure all of our days are spent learning and doing what we enjoy. 



  • Mama

    Mama on Dec. 6, 2013, 4:34 a.m.

    Automaton?! I Remember that from Hugo! Great movie. But in regards to child-directed learning, I have to say that in fine tuning our educational philosophy, and simply watching our kids learn through projects of their own devising, I have been thinking more and more - what is the point? Why bother doing any school at all when they seem to learn just fine on their own, or simply by answering their questions? I don't think at this point that we will ever be true unschoolers, but I absolutely value and respect their methods because they work! And in learning about it, my school-loving self is learning how to welcome and encourage the self-directed learning processes of my children.

    And, in regards to self-discipline, I absolutely see how learning to focus on one's interests teaches discipline. People naturally want to learn and to enjoy creating something with their minds and skills. Even if some so homeschoolers do use some parent-directed learning, we can learn a lot from the success of unschoolers. This is a much needed and we'll-written series!


  • Coleen

    Coleen on Dec. 6, 2013, 12:56 p.m.

    This series of posts is stirring up a lot in me.  It has made me realize that as a result of my public school upbringing, I learned academic discipline. I am very good at being a student, at getting good grades.  But after graduating from college, and now raising a young family, I feel lost in a lot of ways.  And your post is making me realize that is because I never learned personal discipline, outside of school.  I was such a serious student that my parents let me out of doing chores.  And I feel totally lost around the house- with cooking, cleaning, etc.  And just in general, out in the "real world".  Because all my upbringing taught me was how to be a good student, and there is so much more to life.  Big realization. 


    • renee

      renee on Dec. 6, 2013, 1:47 p.m.

      Coleen, you raise such a good point and make an important distinction, one I wished I had thought to make. Academics develops academic discipline (or alternately, self-loathing for those children who "just can't get with the program") This in itself is not a bad thing. Academic discipline is a worthy aim, if your goals and desires include academic pursuits. But self-discipline transcends academic discipline. For example, self discipline allows "mature" students, like my mom, to go back to school after 40 years of being out of school. To apply themselves, because it helps them meet a goal. 

      I do want my children to develop a certain amount of academic discipline, it's totally in my homeschool goals for them - how to study for and take an exam, how to meet a deadline, etc. but in our home the time for developing this skill set is in the scholar years, when the student has self-directed goals that motivate this kind of discipline. 

      Academic discipline does not need to be something we impose on our children, it can be something they choose for themselves. Under the larger umbrella of self-discipline. 


  • Sydney

    Sydney on Dec. 6, 2013, 6:51 p.m.

    I'm not sure but I think a schooled child can keep his or her love of learning intact.  I see a lot of dual-mind thinking, especially in North Americans: either we homeschool or our child will lose all interest, or we school or our child will not know how to operate in the wide, wide world.  What about a child who goes to school but through careful parenting keeps his or her curiosity alive and well?  I have a child who has gone back and forth between homeschooling and schooling.  I won't go into the details but we have led an unschooling lifestyle from the time she was born, but for various reasons/life circumstances/unexpected bumps in the road she has spent several years in school.  And school has been mean to her.  She has lived through all those terrible scenarios any homeschooling mom could dream up, including a threat to her life at age 9 by a girl who must have been very deeply disturbed.  Here she is, though.  An incredibly interesting, endlessly curious, hopelessly poetic, artistic, empathetic young woman who is an absolute pleasure to be around.  Sometimes she wants to cry because school is so boring.  (I suspect she has chosen to continue -- because it's her choice -- precisely to show herself she can do it despite the social difficulties she has faced/faces) But every day she comes home and teaches herself several somethings new.  One day she came home and said, "I want to learn what I want to learn!"  And I asked her what those things were.  She replied, "Robotics, aeronautics and programming."  So I looked up what we could do and one of the things I came up with was an aeronautics diploma program for kids 13+.  The exam is in May.  This will enable her to receive assistance from the state to pay for her pilots license.  Just a few of the afterschool topics of yesterday and today have been the death penalty, the Hippocratic Oath, the negativity that seems to permeate the world -- and her theories about this (incredibly insightful and deeply felt) -- and psychology and the different spheres in which a psychologist.could operate.

    So perhaps parental attitude and strong opinions about how a child should or shouldn't learn impact heavily on how a child develops?  A parent's strong opinion has a tremendous impact on a child.

    Also, what do you think about Jesus telling us that the only way up is down?  Is there room for down in homeschooling?  In the homeschooling mom's idea of how things should go? Just something to ponder.


    • renee

      renee on Dec. 6, 2013, 7:15 p.m.

      Sydney, I'd love to dialogue with you a bit about this but first could you direct me the quote specificall of Jesus' "the only way up is down", or you referring in general to the servant-hood, dying to self, humility message of Christ's?

      I think your daughter's afterschooling is fabulous. I think your daughter is fabulous! Wow, what a self-motivated young woman. I think parents are key players (duh) in how a child learns discipline, regardless of their schooling. This is why I am try not to present homeschooling as the only option, because for some people it just isn't. It is the only option for us though, until our young adult choose otherwise.

      Like you say, you can be unschoolers and choose a public school route. The tricky thing is when the child feels trapped into that way of thinking, that they must perform, must do the work (if if they aren't interested). If a child has freedom, from teachers and parents to make (or not make) the learning their own (and this means not pushing children to "get good grades" etc) I think it is possible to have a unschooling mindset in a schooled setting.

      Is the education meeting a need for the family? (which may not even be educational, but simply a service the community provides to look after children when parents are not able to) Is the educational environment allowing the student to choose his or her own path? Does the student have freedom (which could just look like parent's saying "hey, go to school and do what you like there. Take what works for you, leave the rest. Be respectful obviously, but this is Your education").

      Those are some radical notions about how to approach schooling. Can you imagine if a bunch of kids went into classrooms with that mindset. This is My education and I'm going to do with it what I like. Wow... that's a bit mindblowing. There goes the common core and no child left behind and whatever other reforms are in the works because it's very hard to have standardized testing of individual's goals and progress.



      • Sydney

        Sydney on Dec. 7, 2013, 2:15 p.m.

        Sorry, I had some thoughts flowing on this last night but my little one was needing me so my comment ended up a bit muddled.  I'm not sure I can do better this time.

        First, the reasons for choosing school can be so much more complex than needing a free babysitter.  In our case, a couple of the reasons were my cancer and my eldest's tendency to lose large chunks of her father's (and grandparents') language when not immersed every single day, which was inevitable since she was living in a third culture.

        Second, it seems to me that many of Jesus' parables (as well as several Old Testament stories...and, well, his whole life) speak to us of the need to first fail or suffer or in some way become the lesser one in order to enter the Kingdom he spoke of. 

        I suppose what continues to strike me in your blog and others on this topic is a tendency to at least seem (italics) to want to create the ideal conditions -- and, also, in some way distance oneself from the masses (we are not that; we don't do that).  And what I'm saying is that perhaps failure is a requisite; perhaps going deep into the worst facets of society is beneficial in some way (I know it has been for my eldest).  Where is the room for failure, rejection even, in homeschooling?  I'm not saying there isn't any.  I'm just asking myself this question.  Yes, self-discipline may come from pleasure but it can also come from failing over and over again.

        Gotta go.


        • renee

          renee on Feb. 11, 2014, 2:57 p.m.

          Sydney, (I've had this reply in my drafts for a couple months. I haven't forgotten about your comment.)

          Firstly, you're totally correct, the reasons for choosing school are more complex than a free sitter. And, second language learning is a real challenge for homeschoolers and for many of us, it's something we sacrifice for our other goals.

          As for failure. My kid fail often at what they do. They make a plan, it doesn't work. They start a project but don't follow through. They work towards something and it does work out, etc. They run a race someone else beats them. Someone is "failing" on a daily basis in our home. There is plenty of room for failure in homeschooling, we just don't call it failure, we call it growth.

          Failure is absolutely a pre-requisite for growth, just as "death" is a pre-requisite for new life. It's all part of the cycle.

          I just don't talk about "failure" on the blog because I don't look at it in those terms. We, as a family, view failure through a "growth" lens, not a personal defect lens.

          I believe children (all children) should have the security of failing in a loving environment. I believe all people should have this opportunity. The fact that the world doesn't operate this way is not going to stop me from living the way I want.

          I can't change the world big scale so I build a home life that is according to my ideals, which I wrote about here. And in doing so I believe I do affect change in the world. Because so many people give up, even in their homes, the one area they truly have the power to change. They give up, they give in, because that's not the way the world is. To which I say, "make it the way you want it to be". You've got one life, live it the way you want.

          I can't do anything about "all children" in the world who are not given the freedom and opportunities my children are. I can only really provide the life I want for my children, which is what I'm doing.

          I strongly believe children should not be bullied or treated unkindly and experience forms of rejection like that when they are little. And I absolutely protect my children from this, without apology. I'm their mama, and I will do everything I can to protect my children from unnecessary hurt. Does this mean I protect them forever? No. But it does mean I protect their childhood, which all three of them, in the scheme of a 90 yr old life, are almost done living.

          I do not believe that experiencing the worst facets of society would be beneficial for my children. Could they survive it? Yes, many children do. They would gain resiliency also but they would lose innocence earlier than necessary. And I don't want that for them and so yes, I unapologetically protect them from those things.

          Our children will experience loss, rejection, unkindness, etc. as they grow up and out of childhood but there are some things I never want them to experience. There are things I never want to experience.

          You said "I suppose what continues to strike me in your blog and others on this topic is a tendency to at least seem to want to create the ideal conditions -- and, also, in some way distance oneself from the masses (we are not that; we don't do that)."

          I can't speak for other blogs or homeschoolers, but in my case you are absolutely right. I am trying to create ideal conditions because I want to live a life that is beautiful and loving. And I want that for my kids. I want that for all kids.

          I want to change the world. And I'm doing that with the means I have available to me, in the way I raise my children, in the home I create, and with writing. I want to live in a world where children are cherished and allowed to blossom in their own time. I want to live in a world without bullying. I want to live in world where we develop and cultivate loving relationships. So I do.

          And if it seems that I distance myself from the masses, it's because I do. Literally. I live in the woods. I don't have the same values as the masses. Of course I distance myself, I don't relate and in many ways I don't want to. 

          "Second, it seems to me that many of Jesus' parables (as well as several Old Testament stories...and, well, his whole life) speak to us of the need to first fail or suffer or in some way become the lesser one in order to enter the Kingdom he spoke of."

          Absolutely, we must die to self in order to enter the Kingdom of heaven. We must admit we are sinners, in need of savior, and accept Christ as our redemption. That's how we enter the Kingdom he spoke of. We must become lower.

          Jesus also has some very direct commands for our action - our orthopraxy, in addition to orthodoxy. We are to care for widow and orphans. To love the unlovable. To turn the other cheek. Etc... The gospels are full of his message. I won't repeat it all here.

          There are many ways for an individual or family to live the gospel. It's a big world with a lot of need and ache and hurt. And if we shelter ourselves and our families to the point that we are not ministering to this need in some way than yes, that's a problem.

          But there is no one way to minister. Our children do not need to experience failure or rejection in a public school setting in order to follow Christ. They do not need to be bullied to identify with Christ. What they need is to recognize and reject their sin, which separates them from their loving heavenly father, and ask for forgiveness.

          What is so wonderful about Christ's message and his own life of rejection and love, is that whenever we find ourselves in a place of unworthiness, hurt, and need we know Christ has been there and he has made a way for us. He has experienced that and triumphed over it in his death and resurrection. This is the ultimate hope for humanity, for our homes. It is the peace in our lives and it is the driving force behind our homeschool and our family life, our freedom in Christ.


You can subscribe to comments on this article using this form.

If you have already commented on this article, you do not need to do this, as you were automatically subscribed.