Perhaps you’re thinking about unschooling. You could be wondering: Should we give it a go? Is unschooling right for our family? Yes? No?
Maybe something is attracting you to unschooling? Do you imagine children following their own interests, being passionate about what they’re doing, getting a good education?
Or is it something else? Could it be love? I hope so.
When most people define unschooling, the word love isn’t usually mentioned unless we’re talking about ‘the love of learning’. And although unschooled children do indeed have a great love for learning, I don’t think that’s the most important thing.
To me, unschooling involves unconditional love of each other. We accept who our children are, allowing them to develop their unique talents. We trust there’s a place for them in the world and they will find it. We accept their imperfections and our own too. We forgive. We respect each other. Or at least we try to do all that. We learn and grow together, hoping to become the people we are meant to be, by the power of love. To me, that’s what’s unschooling is all about.
I don’t often tell people what to do. I write my stories from a personal viewpoint: This is how it is for us. Your family might be different. I prefer to let others make up their own minds. But this time I want to say:
If you’re thinking about unschooling, if something about it stirs up your heart, just do it. Don’t have any regrets. Don’t look back and think about what could have been.
A few years ago, I wrote my story Time to Unschool:
… here we are, after nearly twenty years, our last child seven years old. And my problem these days isn’t finding a method that works for our family. No. Our problem is time, time that passes so quickly. The day after tomorrow will arrive very soon and my homeschooling days will be over. So I have to make every moment count. I have to live for today and enjoy every minute.
And how I wish I could have had the confidence to do that with our first child.
Time moves much too quickly. Our youngest daughter, Gemma-Rose is no longer seven. She’s eleven, racing towards twelve. The day after tomorrow, the end of our homeschooling days, is getting closer and closer. But when it arrives, I will have no regrets.
When all my children are grown up, I’m sure we’ll be living with the fruits of our years of unschooling. Will those fruits be well educated children, each living perfect, successful, happy lives? No, that’s not what I mean at all. The fruits will be love, the most important thing in the world.