Twice Five Minutes on Friday: Does Unschooling Work?

I had a bright idea. A very bright idea. It was a halogen lamp of an idea which solved a problem. Let me explain…

I recorded my last video, What is Unschooling? in our family room, which was rather inconvenient for the rest of my family. Because we have an open plan house, they all had to keep very quiet while I had the camera running. After the 5th take, I felt like a nuisance: “Sorry kids! I’ll get it right this time (I hope). Just give me another ten minutes.”

I really wanted to make my videos in the privacy of my own bedroom, behind a closed door, where I could take my time without worrying. But I couldn’t. You see, there’s a magnificent hedge outside our bedroom window. It reaches high into the sky. It shuts out our neighbours. It also shuts out the light. My room is far too dim for video making.

“If only I had one of those lights that photographers use,” I said, and then I had that very bright idea. I remembered Callum once bought himself a double lamp on a stand. He uses it when he’s working on his cars. Would he let me borrow it?

He would. He did. My second son retrieved his lamp from the garage and carried it to my room, saying, “Be careful, Mum. It gets very hot!” He plugged in the lead and turned the lamp on and wow! The light was so bright, I couldn’t look at it. “They’re halogen lights, Mum.” That halogen lamp lit up every corner of the room. It probably lit up under the bed too!

The light problem was solved. It was time to get to work. I set up my camera facing one wall, and positioned the lamps so the light bounced off the opposite wall. And that reflected light was enough to allow me to record a video. Actually, the light was more than adequate, a bit too much in fact. It lit up my face far too well.

“I recorded another video today, in our bedroom,” I tell my husband Andy, when he arrives home from work. “I used Callum’s halogen lamp to give extra light to the room. You should see the result. All the lines and sagging skin on my face were well illuminated.” I don’t think I like that. I prefer the soft look. “What will people think?”

Andy grins. “Maybe they’ll no longer think you’re cute.”

Not cute?

“But then again,” continues Andy, “Yoda is cute, in a wrinkly kind of way.”

So this is Yoda’s latest unschooling video. What’s it about? Oh dear, I spent so much time writing the behind-the-scenes story, I’ve run out of time to tell you. Would you like to watch and find out for yourself? I can tell you the title. It’s called…

Does Unschooling Work? (Does that sound interesting?)

Talking about time, it seems I have a bit of a time problem… Sorry!

PS: chatting on camera is so different from writing a post. I’d have liked to have changed a word or two, here and there, but of course, I couldn’t. In particular…  I don’t think there’s any need to ‘teach’ our children how to learn. Given the right environment and opportunity, kids learn very well all by themselves. It’s funny how our sentences are never ideal when we are talking. I guess in real life we’d just backtrack and adjust them as we go.

Image: A bunch of unschoolers? Do they look happy? 

Tags: , ,

Related Posts

Previous Post Next Post


  1. Reply

    Cute???? You are an absolute BABE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

    That video was wonderful and probably the best 10 mins of my day! Ok, well, I did have some good times with the kids…but it was up there. I don't mind your "rambling". You have a lot wisdom..and, I can tell, love. And great cheekbones to boot!! What's not to like??

    I laughed quite a bit with this post. You make me laugh often. I see your husband is funny too! Thanks for sharing once again. Your experience, love, and humor is wonderful and I appreciate the time you put into this blog. Sooooooooooo glad I found this!! (I believe it was through Shelly's blog "No Place Like Home", but she isn't posting anymore 🙁 )

    1. Reply

      Virginia Sue,

      Who needs lots of comments? Just one comment of yours is a real treasure. Oh my! You made me feel so special. I had to read your words out to my family because they wanted to know why I was smiling. They all enjoyed it too. Yes, my husband is funny. We're all a bit weird when it comes to our sense of humour. I fear some people don't understand us!

      Shelly? Yes, I've been missing her. I was going to leave a comment on her blog to tell her that. I hope she's okay.

      Anyway, thank you for taking the time to watch my video, and for leaving such a great comment. xx

    2. Reply

      I sent Shelly an email a while back to see how she was. She said her husband didn't want her posting about the kids anymore. Privacy? But I understand.

      Yes, send her an email!! She is a wonderful woman and would LOVE to hear that she is missed! Maybe she could blog about other things……?


  2. Reply

    I, too, had a giggle about Yoda! I enjoyed this video very much. It is always interesting hearing about a home schooling journey which is further down the road than I currently am.
    And Sue, thank you so much for taking the time to leave the link on my blog for the periodic table videos. I'm plotting how I can include them in our day!

    1. Reply


      I'm glad you giggled about Yoda. Actually the video didn't end up as bad as I feared. I think the quality was decreased a bit, and the focus softened a little, after I uploaded it to Youtube. It doesn't matter either way. Worrying about such things is probably a waste of time.

      The link to Periodic Videos? You're welcome! They are only short videos, about 5 minutes each, so maybe you can fit one in, here and there. I'm sure you will enjoy them.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and for being interested in our homeschooling journey!

  3. Reply

    Hi Sue,

    I also giggled at the Yoda comment. Although, I don't know what you're talking about illuminating your wrinkles, I thought the lighting complimented your face rather nicely!

    I'm thoroughly enjoying your video series about unschooling so far. I like to think about the future, about if I get married and if I have children. I wonder what teaching method I'd use with them. I'd prefer to homeschool them, rather than sending them to school, because I have been a homeschooled myself, but I was wondering lately about unschooling, and your videos are helping me to understand it a little better. Thank you!

    And I realised that I am currently an unschooler through-and-through. I'm having a late night tonight, due to my latest unschooling adventures with drawing! I start drawing, and lose track of the time. All the things I am involved in at the moment are all things I am interested in. I never realised I was an unschooler before tonight!

    1. Reply


      I must have been lucky with the lighting when I made that video. You should see the new video I made the other day. I look so tired and old! Yes, definitely I was Yoda!

      I think it will be very interesting to see how homeschoolers will homeschool their own children. (I suppose they might even choose to send their children to school but I hope not!)

      You are certainly an unschooler, Helena! I don't think unschooling is that complicated at all. Most of us do it without even realising. Maybe most people just assume children need to learn in a different more structured way from the more natural way most of us learn. Thank you for watching my videos and stopping to chat!

      btw, I am very impressed by your artistic talents!

Join in the conversation!

%d bloggers like this: