Guess what I love more than Junior Mints at movies?
If you said the beach, you’d be close, but wrong.
What I really love is to read the comments people post on my blog.
At first, it was because the only people who read my blog were family, and they’re always the nicest!
Then, it was friends and family, which grew to other blogging homeschoolers, friends, and family…and everyone was so nice!
Now, it’s all of that plus an added bonus of people who are not unschoolers, friends, or family…and they call it how they see it. It’s not always kind, but is always always entertaining!
So, um, the moral of the story is that it was hard, so you gave up and now have no plan. You’ve turned your children’s lives upside down, but it’s okay, because now you have less stress and aren’t as afraid? Did you do the unschooling for your childrens future’s are because you wanted to make your life easier?
So, first, I laughed and laughed. The last part…about unschooling to make my life easier?! Let me just state for the record, I’ve never worked harder than I have since unschooling.
Easier is letting a third party make decisions for my kids. Easy is sending them away somewhere for 7 hours so I get some down time. Easy is leading an unexamined life. Easy is doing things my way rather than taking time to listen and collaborate with other people. Easy is trusting someone else to provide my children with what they say will be skills for the future rather than tackling that job with my kids.
I know from experience, “easy” is telling a kid “No!” and using strict discipline to keep them in line with the rules. Harder? Ditching hard and fast rules in favor of principles, and using examples and discussions to help guide kids to self reliance and self discipline.
I guarantee that if I wanted an easier life, I would have kept them in public school! Sometimes, I think about what my life would look like if I’d done so. They would all be away from me for 8 hours a day–probably more if you factor in after school stuff and sports.
8 hours! To myself!!!! What would I do?! For starters, whatever I wanted. Probably get a job. That would be the responsible thing to do. Or I could just clean the house all day. That would make more sense if I still had my house. Maybe I’d go back to school for a Masters Degree. Perhaps I’d work at a coffee shop and become a poetry reading hipster. Ice cream would be involved in some way, I know that much. Fudgy ice cream in a waffle cone, I’d eat one every day.
Instead, I’m here doing the unschooling thing. Chris isn’t the only one to wonder if I’m doing this for an easy life. Since moving to California, other peeps have accused me of being on a long term vacation. It must be all the beach/pool/hiking/sightseeing we’re doing. Hello, people! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…there’s a lot of learning in the play going on!
Amy, a lovely bloggy lady all the way in Maine, found this quote: “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” ~~Seth Godin
So, that’s what we’re about. Living life, learning as much as we can from it. Going out into the world, exploring, discovering, talking, interacting, traveling, asking, wondering, making, sharing, walking, running, swimming, studying, watching.
It’s freaking exhausting!
I’ve never seen a bunch of harder working parents than those that unschool. Without a curriculum or any standardization to fall back on, they do their darndest to provide activities and experiences that will help their kids learn and grow. This means being involved in the community, online, with other unschooling/homeschooling groups, and tuned in to both their kids needs and the resources available to help fill that.
Exhausting! And also loads of fun. Much more fun than eating fudgy ice cream in a waffle cone every day.
I have a theory, that people who get upset with our lifestyle and claim it’s because I don’t want to do any work or that it is making my kids ignorant, are actually upset with themselves, and their lives. These people were told that learning was a monotonous experience done between four walls and at a desk. They suffered through 10+ years like that. To see kids out in the world, exuberant, learning while living….well, sometimes it’s too much to take. It’s like pulling back the curtain and finding out that the wizard of Oz is really just a salesman from Kansas.