“Easy” Is Such A Relative Term…

I got a lot of feedback on the post I wrote about unschooling not being just for lazy people. I opined about how much easier my day would be if I could ship my kids out for 8 hours and just sit around eating ice cream sundaes all the time. I also supposed I would clean, too, and get a job….but who am I kidding? It’d be all ice cream and reading trashy magazines. But you can’t blame a girl for trying to look cool and more responsible on her own blog.

In a classic case of ‘the grass is always greener’, a few comments made me think about just what my life was like back when Naturalist and Golfer were in school 8 hours a day. Was it easy? Did I love it? Did I eat ice cream all day?

Uh, no. no, no, no, and NO.

And even though I am constantly working my tail end off keeping our unschooling environment as dynamic and creative as possible, I found the public school grind so. much. harder.

Probably because I was on someone else’s schedule. If one of the kids had an outrageous amount of homework to do one night, then we didn’t do things we’d planned and instead helped get the work done. Our mornings were spent rushing around trying to make it to the school bus on time instead of snuggling in bed until everyone was ready to face the day. My days were taken up in volunteering in classrooms, helping the teachers tow the line. Instead of playing games after dinner, we slaved over the homework that always made my kids cry. Instead of a continuation of a week well lived, our weekends were detox times when the kids would try to recover from one school week and rally for the next. They would shut down, not wanting to do anything else but just veg. All the trips we wanted to take had to be approved by the school or else we’d be in violation of the “10 allowed days of absences”. So we postponed or never took many family adventures. We didn’t read together until late at night, instead I had to enforce a rigid bedtime so everyone could get up in the morning for school.

It. was. exhausting. All the work, with none of the fun!!!

Unschooling. is. exhausting. A lot of work, but it feels like fun!

So, having to choose between the two, my heart is with unschooling. I smile more that way.

And it just now dawned on me, why can’t I have my ice cream and unschool too? Field trip to Coldstone, STAT!

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15 Responses

  1. better yet, make homemade icecream. that’s learning, isn’t it?

    • I don’t see why there’s not room for both! We can do a taste off of our homemade ice cream against Coldstone’s!

      Sent from my iPhone

  2. you are treating all your blog followers to Coldstone’s?

  3. Forgive me if this is a bit of a rabbit trail, but ya’ know I often look at people that are considered great successes throughout history from long ago to now and so many, many, many of them took “the road less traveled” or “marched to the beat of a different drummer” or “swam upstream” or “went against the grain” etc, etc,….all translating into simply being who God made them to be and living their lives as such. These people are upheld as successes, yet during the process and journey from birth to this “success” they have become, what was it like along the way? There had to be those that had negative, unsupportive, discouraging attitudes towards the route these on the road to becoming “successful people” were taking way back before they were officially accepted “success” stories. I mean they all started out just babies growing into children with dreams, gifts, hopes, passions and such…..they were not born “success” stories.

    So, all that to say, if folks could just wake up and smell the coffee that going against the flow seems to be a hallmark (yes there are exceptions so bear with me and see the big point here) or common quality of so many great “success” stories and people considered successes. Maybe, just maybe if more folks considered this then the idea of unschooling or taking an alternate route to traditions schooling would not seem so odd or unheard of or nuts or whatever.

    Just a reoccurring thought I have had for a while. Not that the masses will ever agree, but if we can agree these people are successes and many have taken an alternate educational route then can many not see the probable connection? Just thinking.

    • Maria, there’s a great series of books called ‘Childhoods of great americans’ (or close to it). And it’s adtonishing how similar the biogrophies are even though they highlight such different people.

      Curious, creative, stubborn, self taught, explorers, independent…totally against the grain. I love your point and think that all the time!

      Sent from my iPhone

  4. I love unschooling. We have days, even weeks where I feel as if we haven’t really “learned” anything but then we’ll look back and realise just how very much we did, and, as it was fun filled and on our own terms it didn’t seem FEEL like learning. Learning when I was a kid in school often felt like a slog. Fill in this piece of paper, now fill in THIS piece of paper. Write this essay, 4 pages, front and back. *le sigh*. My kids seldom write anything down. But it’s in there. Ask them a question and you’ll find out… it’s alllll going in just fine! ;D

  5. Whenever people say to me “Oh homeschooling, I couldn’t do that” I just tell them “really, its so much easier than sending them to school”! (I just use the term homeschooling with most people – that’s hard enough for them to grasp without saying unschooling!)

  6. Not long ago (I hope I haven’t already told you this) I read a response from a homeschooling mama that said “We don’t unschool…. I don’t have the energy for it!” That made me laugh. And appreciate her – for appreciating the work and magic of unschooling.

  7. For the first time in four years I actively looked forward to summer break this year. Three months of no school hassles. Three months of learning on OUR terms. I don’t know what the fall will bring. The boys will return to school, but I will pull them (or at least A) if I feel he’d be better served. So we’ll see.

  8. We’re just starting our unschooling journey, and you’re an inspiration!

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