“I want to write a post for my unschooling blog,” I say, “but I don’t know what to write about.”
“You could play the writing game,” suggests Sophie. “I’ll give you a word and then you can write a post about it.”
“Okay,” I agree. “Sounds good. What’s my word?”
“Sausage?” I think about this for a moment and then ask, “What’s a sausage got to do with unschooling?”
Sophie shrugs her shoulders. She has no idea so I Google the words ‘unschooling sausage’. I find a blog called Educating Sausages. (Hello Lucy!) And I discover unschoolers have lots of sausage sizzles.
Sausage sizzles… unschoolers… No, that’s not very interesting. I have to find another connection between the two words.
“Imogen, tell me something about sausages,” I say, hoping she’ll have an idea that will lead to a story.
“We eat a lot of sausages.”
She’s right. We found a butcher that sells gourmet sausages. Some sausages have cracked pepper in them. Others have bacon, and there are even some chicken ones with feta cheese and rocket. They are delicious!
Every Saturday evening is sausage night. Sometimes we eat sausages during the week too. We love sausages. It’s our favourite meal at the moment.
At the moment? Yes, it hasn’t always been that way. Not so long ago we ate lots of home-made pizza, the kind that has pitta bread as a base. Oh, those pizzas were delicious too!
And we once had a hamburger phase: thick patties in soft buns with all the extras such as beetroot and cheese and salad greens.
And during winter we couldn’t get enough zucchini and leek soup.
I suppose sausages won’t always be our favourite meal. Something else will come along, tempt our taste buds and then become the new flavour of the moment.
Unschooling’s a bit like that. At least it is in our home. Not so long ago we couldn’t get enough of Shakespeare. We watched one play after another. We even watched multiple versions of a single play. I lost count of the number of times we watched Hamlet.Then suddenly we’d had our fill of Shakespeare. He was replaced by Jane Austen. We watched three different mini-series productions of Pride and Prejudice, and then every other Austen movie adaptation we could find. And then one day we moved on…
… to the BBC Farm programs. We’ve worked our way through The Tudor Monastery Farm series. Next we’re going to watch The Wartime Farm episodes. And if we can afford to buy the DVDs, we’d like to watch The Victorian and Edwardian Farms too.
It’s not just our viewing which changes over time. Other things go in and out of fashion too. The girls were doing a lot of sewing a few months back. They couldn’t make dolls and monsters fast enough. Now they’re crocheting. We haven’t recited any poetry recently, but we’ve been speaking out loud as we’ve been making podcasts. No one has done a lot of drawing in recent weeks, but our blogs have been redesigned and hundreds of photographs have been taken.
There are so many interesting things to do. The menu of life is endless. We couldn’t possibly do everything all the time. There just aren’t enough hours in a day, or a week, or even a term. But that’s okay. It’s nice to concentrate on a few things at a time, and then have a change, isn’t it? And we can always return to a former favourite activity, and continue where we left off.
Suddenly I feel like returning to Shakespeare. And pizza. Yes, my mouth is watering at the thought of crispy bacon, pineapple and cheese pizza slices. Perhaps our sausage phase is nearly over…
… just like my unschooling sausage story…