I write a post and hit ‘publish’ and then a short while later, I think, “Does that post sound like I am boasting about my family’s achievements? Do I sound like one of those unbearably proud mothers who has to tell the world about her children? Perhaps I should delete it.” I re-read my story and can’t decide and so I let it stay. But I wonder...
It seems to me there’s a fine line between boasting of achievements, and sharing stories which might encourage others in their own unschooling adventures. No one enjoys having other people's children’s achievements constantly thrust into their faces. It can get rather wearing to continually hear, “Look at me and my wonderful children!"
I think about the purpose of this blog. Do I want to use it to say... “This is how to unschool. Do everything just like we do and you’ll have success”...? No. I'm not an expert, here to tell others how to homeschool. Is there even such a thing as a homeschooling expert?
I hop from homeschooling blog to homeschooling blog and I notice something interesting. Some blogs are written from a personal point of view. Others have a tone of authority. They sound like they have been written by an ‘expert’. I do a little further reading about the 'experts' and realise that I probably have more homeschooling experience than most of them. Could I be an expert? Well, maybe after 21 years of being a homeschool mother, I’m finally getting to grips with my own family. One day I might be an expert on my own children. But an expert on all families? No.
So why do I write?
I think back to past days, when we were struggling to meet the expectations of outsiders, and we weren’t really enjoying homeschooling. We gradually threw out everything that wasn’t working, and we arrived by accident at unschooling.
I guess I want to encourage anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation - who is looking for a better way - to give unschooling a go. I want to say, “Unschooling can work.” And to illustrate that message, I tell stories of my own children and what they are doing and what they are achieving.
I think there are as many ways of unschooling as there are families. I like that. It’s not a ‘one size fits all’ way of education. Is it even a method of education? It is more a way of life. Of course, we are all tied together because we believe in the basic principles of unschooling. But how unschooling looks in each of our families? That can be very different.
This blog is about my family and what works for us. I hope it gives people who are contemplating unschooling a little encouragement to try it for themselves. I hope it’s a source of ideas to ponder and discuss. Maybe some of these ideas will be tried out before being rejected, modified or accepted.
And if you are already an unschooler, maybe my blog will give us the opportunity to meet and swap ideas and talk unschooling. Maybe I can share your blog too.
I realise that unschooling isn't for everyone. Some families choose to homeschool differently from us. But that's okay. We can still be friends and support and encourage each other. We can still share ideas and thoughts. We don’t all have to be the same.
So please read my posts. Please excuse any unintentional unbearably-proud-mother-moments. And please stop to chat. If you are investigating unschooling, I am happy to answer questions in my ‘non-expert’ kind of way.
Of course, there’s another reason I write: I love to tell stories, and I am capturing so many special memories I know I will treasure, once our homeschooling days come to an end.
What will I do when that day arrives? Oh yes, of course! No need to worry. Unschooling never ends.