My friend Erin asked me if I would share about unschooling and how we were inspired to take this journey. With all the kids currently asleep I am going to attempt to share with you all a bit.
We started out homeschooling in a structured way. We started the year our oldest would have gone to Kindergarten. We didn’t have much money but I worked to find curriculum that would fit our budget. That year I caused more tears to flow from the two of us than the Hoover dam sees water. So I backed off a bit…ok a lot and began to search for something better.
During that time I met an unschooling mom online and then made a friend with an unschooling mom in real life. Between these two women I really began to journey ever faster toward unschooling. We were much more relaxed but we weren’t there yet. Even in the relaxed atmosphere I still felt something was missing.
So I read. Better Late than Early by Raymond and Dorothy Moore, The Teenage Liberation Handbook by Grace Llewellyn, anything by John Holt I could get a hold of as well as John Taylor Gatto and I read online articles written my unschooling parents. And I prayed. I prayed and asked God what I was supposed to do. What I was doing wasn’t working. I felt that I was supposed to back off even more and trust that the child that He created was equipped with passions that were uniquely hers and that she was equipped to discover them and to pursue them. I was to be a facilitator.
So life was full of library trips and late night reads. Games, games and more games, play dates, conversations, observations and just plain living. Living and learning were not separate things; they were intertwined. One cannot exist without the other.
We have been total unschoolers for almost 7 years now. It has been a fun and interesting journey. I have had panic moments when I felt that they weren’t where they were supposed to be. I have to pull myself back and remind myself that they are neither behind nor ahead they are just where they need to be. I have had to deschool myself. We don’t apply grades although my oldest likes to say what grade she is in. I don’t test them; there are no set hours of learning during the day. I have kids that stay up late and sleep in late. They become inspired at 9pm and their learning energy flows until the wee hours of the morning. I make suggestions, I bring home books from the library based on what they have shared with me in conversation, we talk, and I ask questions about what they share with me. Nothing is ever forced.
Our days are varied. No two look the same. We live and we learn and we go where life takes us. The best part is that I get to learn along with my kids.
Feel free to ask anymore questions you might have. I will answer them as time and children allow! 🙂