Bringing God into the Unschooling Picture

A few months ago, I wrote a post called Why This is the End of the Line for Me. I decided that I’d explored unschooling from every possible angle. What more could I write about? It was time for me to move onto other things. Let my kids tell their own unschooling stories and find something else of my own to do.

I’ve spent weeks trying to work out what that ‘something else of my own’ is. Should I blog about a topic other than unschooling? What else do I know about? Perhaps I don’t need to blog at all. Blogging isn’t all good. At times, I struggle to find the right words to write posts. It’s hard work. Why would I want to continue blogging especially when I seem to have come to the end of what I want to say? Perhaps it really is time to disappear. I could do something in the ‘real’ world instead.

But despite the struggles, something keeps drawing me back to my blog. I’m like a singer who wants to perform just one more song. And then another. And another. She waves goodbye but can’t quite leave the stage. Not that I’m basking in the success of being a popular blogger and am wondering how I’ll survive without all the attention. I know I’m fortunate to have so many loyal blogging friends, but I can’t really call myself popular. (I gave up looking at my stats a long time ago because they were discouraging.)

The other day, I felt like writing. A thought was revolving within my head, and despite being an almost-ex-blogger, I decided to share it as a post. I was thinking about how we can’t make our kids learn. This might not, at first glance, be obvious because kids learn stuff they’d rather not know about all the time. Anyway, I headed to my blog, clicked on ‘new post’ and began writing. I’d typed only a few words before I got stuck. It was very frustrating. Just write down what you want to say in whatever words come to mind, I told myself. Then you can start pushing them around, changing a few here and there, and before you know it, you’ll have written a post. This good advice didn’t work.

Later, I pondered the question: Why couldn’t I write a simple post? Why were all my words so heavy and uninteresting? I had trouble because my words lacked passion. I was going over old ground. I’ve written that blog post before. Multiple times. I’ve spoken about this topic in podcasts as well.

This failed post made me realise, once again, that I’ve written unschooling to death. And if I continue writing more of the same, you’ll probably die of boredom reading my posts. I need something else to explore. But what?

After recently making some new Evernote videos, I contemplated the idea of creating a blog just for Evernote. I was very excited about this idea for a few days. Then I realised something: Although I love Evernote, this digital note-taking system is just a tool. It allows us to do some fantastic things, but on its own, Evernote isn’t important. If I’m going to spend hours sharing it, I need to write and speak about it in association with something that really matters to me. Like unschooling.

So I’m back to unschooling.

The other day, I began thinking about Catholic unschooling. I didn’t want to think about it. You see, what will happen if I decide I should explore unschooling from a Christian viewpoint? I’ve worked hard at including all my readers, regardless of beliefs, in the unschooling conversations here on my blog. If I wrote more openly Christian unschooling posts, would some readers feel alienated?

I love having readers from many different backgrounds. We can learn from each other even if we don’t always agree on such matters as religion. That’s why I try and write posts everyone can relate to. Oh yes, I mention Catholic things from time to time. I’m not afraid to talk about God. I’ve even written a few obviously Christian posts such as Can Unschooling Be a Christian Thing to Do? But this blog (and my podcast) can’t really be described as particularly Christian. But despite appearances, it is a Christian blog. Although I don’t often mention God, I talk about Him all the time. Between the lines.

“Our kids have been given gifts that they have to use. These gifts are part of their missions.”

Where did our kids’ gifts come from? And their missions? From God, of course.

And who gives us the perfect example of unconditional love and forgiveness? And what about trust? Then there’s the value and dignity of every person, and free will, and self-giving love. Yes, even though I don’t always come out and stay it directly, our unschooling lives are built upon a foundation of faith.

So is it better to continue writing about unschooling using language we can all share? Write about faith in a less obvious way? Or is it time to be more openly who we are? Catholic unschoolers. If we bring God into the unschooling picture, a whole new conversation might begin. And that could be very exciting.

If we do start some Christian unschooling conversations, where should we meet up? Where should I publish my posts? Here on this blog? Should I create a new category? Or would it be better to begin chapter two of our unschooling blogging adventures somewhere else? Perhaps I need a whole new blog.

Lots to think about. I love to hear your thoughts!

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Comments

  1. Reply

    I’m a Protestant not Catholic, but I would still love to read your take on the connections between faith and unschooling. I think unschooling is a great example of Christian discipleship because it requires you to be so intentional with your children. I’ve touched on it a bit in some of my posts and I’d encourage you to do it right here.

    1. Reply

      Sallie,

      I’m so glad you’d like to explore the connection between unschooling and faith. I’ve decided to publish my posts here on this blog. Thank you for your encouragement!

    • Alison
    • January 11, 2018
    Reply

    I’m not Catholic either (my husband is a Protestant pastor) but I would also love to read your faith-based/focussed posts! I’m very happy that you’re still wanting to blog. 🙂 Unless you want to start a new blog, I think having a new category on this website would be fine.

    1. Reply

      Alison,

      When I share my faith story, I hope you’ll share yours. I really would love to hear your thoughts on faith and unschooling. Yes, I shall create a new category just for these blog posts. I think that would work well!

    • Rowanne
    • January 12, 2018
    Reply

    I am Catholic and would love to hear about how your faith and unschooling lifestyle are woven together. I find it easier to incorporate the liturgical year and prayers into a relaxed/unschooling philosophy. I hope you stay on this blog and add it to your treasures here. ( btw, I used to be anonymous but saw where to put my name. Lol!)

    1. Reply

      Rowanne,

      I’m glad you’re no longer anonymous! I’m also glad you’d like to discuss faith and unschooling. I look forward to hearing how you incorporate the liturgical year into your relaxed/unschooling life. Thank you for your encouraging and kind words!

  2. Reply

    To me, it’s exciting to hear you consider bringing your faith into your blogs! Of course, I am openly Christian in all that I do. I am of the belief that we cannot, and rather, must not, separate ourselves from Jesus in any facet of our life. He is with us always. When we’re worshiping in the church, or when we’re just sipping tea at home, He is there. Whether we are writing our blogs, or driving down the street, to or from a destination, He is there. Whether we are lively and awake, or in the deepest realms of sleep, He is there.

    Not long ago, I was praying and asking God how my relationship with Him could be made better. And one of the things that he showed me was this verse…”But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” (1 Peter 3:15). He showed me, by leading me across other verses in addition, that we will never have to “give an answer for that hope” if no one ever sees it! Just like that we should not hide our light under a bushel (Matt. 5:15; Luke 11:33), we should rather put our light high enough so that others can see it, and be led to it, after which we should be ready to give that answer as to our hope.

    Paul says in 1 Peter 2, that we are a chosen people, and a royal priesthood, that we should show forth the praises of the One that called us out of darkness, and into his light (verse 9).There are so many places throughout the Scripture that God calls us to minister to one another, encourage and uplift one another, with the Word, and spiritual songs, and all blessings He has blessed us with.

    So, if we are Christians, I don’t see how we can ever separate ourselves, or any facet of our life, from His own glorious life, and the life WE live, THROUGH Him. I realize there are far more “denominations” than we can count, but we all serve the ONE TRUE GOD. For truly, there is only One God. Even Peter and Paul greatly disputed certain things, and the idea of circumcision threatened to completely split the early church, as it was gaining ground after Jesus resurrection. But they did what we must all do…put our differences against the light of the Scripture, pray, and move forward.

    I’m very excited to see where this new path leads, and I know it will be an exciting journey for you, and for us as your readers! You are an amazing writer, and a wonderful teacher in these matters. I would never have considered unschooling if I hadn’t come across your blog, even though I was completely aware of it all along.

    So thank you. And, as always, I’ll be keeping my eyes open!

    1. Reply

      Stacey,

      Thank you for sharing the Bible verses and your encouraging words. Yes, it is exciting thinking about incorporating faith into my blog in a more direct way. Hopefully, we will have some very interesting conversations. I don’t think it matters that we belong to different Christian denominations. We all do indeed serve the one true God!

      Hearing that you’re unschooling because of my blog posts makes me smile. That’s wonderful. Despite the ups and downs of blogging, I have continued because I do feel I have a message that God wants me to share. I’m glad He has been able to speak to you through my words.

      Just recently, I’ve felt like I’ve lost my ability to write. Being a writer yourself, I wonder if you ever have times like this. I’ve been feeling like a real fraud. I think my problem has been a lack of inspiration. When we have something we really wnat to share, the words flow out without a problem, don’t they? Hopefully, I’m now back on track!

      Thank you so much for your kind comment!

      1. Reply

        In relation to how you say you have felt as a writer, I’ll give you a resounding YES! I have felt like that, and even have felt so recently! I think sometimes it happens even easier when it’s something we really want to say, rather than not. What I mean is, that if it’s something we feel that’s really important, we’re much quicker to critique ourselves and think it could be better. Or longer, or more detailed, or less detailed. I was talking with someone the other day and she said, you know, I don’t think you’re really a writer until you’ve held your published work and thought to yourself, “I really should have done at least two more edits on this!” 🙂

        I also think the enemy invades our minds with thoughts that we might not be as good or as important as we should be before first embarking on the endeavor ahead of us. I suffer from that thought greatly, and often! However, even if a thing has already been shared, it’s important to remember that it’s never been shared “by you” or “in your opinion or voice”. If that makes sense. While I could sit down and write up my review of any particularly popular movie or book, you could do the same, and I’m willing to bet, they would be different EVEN if they said the same thing, in essence.

        Hopefully, I haven’t been too confusing, lol. I mean to say, I just know that what you’re writing is going to be amazing and it’s going to speak volumes to someone, or many people, who truly need to hear it! Be blessed, and write your heart out 🙂

        1. Reply

          Stacey,

          It’s good to share thoughts and feelings with a fellow writer. You are so right about how we’re quick to critique ourselves. Yes, we are never satisfied with our work. Or we’re satisfied for a time, then we discover what we feel are huge flaws, and wonder how we could have placed our writing out there in the public eye when it needs so much more work!

          Your comment reminds me that in one of my podcasts I spoke about how each of us has a unique voice. We are all needed. Yes, even if something has been shared before, it hasn’t been shared by us. I agree with your words! I shall remember them and keep writing my heart out. Oh, I do love how you put that!

          May you keep writing and be blessed too!

    • Holly
    • January 12, 2018
    Reply

    Just wanted to add my name to the list of interested readers! I am a radical somewhat unchurched Jesus follower. I think following Jesus outside of “religion” goes right along with teaching our children outside of “school.” I would love to hear your Catholic thoughts 🙂
    Thanks for all your hard work!

    1. Reply

      Holly,

      We all seem to have a diverse range of faith experiences. I’m sure this means we’re going to have some interesting discussions. Thank you for wanting to hear my thoughts. I want to hear yours too!

    • Nancy
    • January 12, 2018
    Reply

    Hi Sue, I’m so glad you’re writing about this topic. I and my family are also Christians. And we are of the non-denominational persuasion. We in Christ for salvation and the only way to God. And I love your blogs post the things you talk about. That you incorporate God into your everyday life just as our family does. Relying on him for everything. However you want to move forward I will be very happy with it and happy for you. It’s always great to hear everything you have to say so you’re a Wonder. Hugs, Nancy

    • Nancy
    • January 12, 2018
    Reply

    Sorry, should have proofed it before I sent it. We trust in Christ for our salvation and the only way to God.

    1. Reply

      Nancy,

      Thank you for your encouraging words and hugs! Oh yes, we rely on God for everything. He really is the foundation of our unschooling lives. I look forward to us sharing more of our faith experiences as I write my posts.

  3. Reply

    I am excited about new posts and would love the more Christian point of view. I always find your blog posts so encouraging. It’s surprising to hear that you ever had trouble coming up with the right words. I am always amazed at how you can write so well, even about difficult things. I really appreciate your perspective.

    1. Reply

      Venisa,

      I’m glad my struggles with writing aren’t that obvious. Yes, I do sometimes have trouble finding the right words. At times I wonder how I can regard myself as a writer. Your comment makes me feel better. Thank you for your interest and excitement as I move forward with some faith focused posts.

  4. Reply

    For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
    1 Corinthians 2:16

    I would love to hear your perspective of how your relationship with Christ influences your life and educational philosophy! Here. In this space on the web. 🙂

    Love,
    Kim

    1. Reply

      Kim,

      I’m so pleased you’d like to discuss Christian unschooling here on my blog. Thank you for letting me know! xx

    • Erica
    • January 15, 2018
    Reply

    I was so happy to read this blog post because I was just thinking the other day how much it could enrich your blog if you shared more about your Faith. I know you’ve been worried about possibly offending some readers, but I think it’s better to share all of yourself authentically. You write with great sensitivity and care, so I can’t imagine there are many who will actually be turned off.

    This is my first time to comment on your blog, but I discovered it about a year ago, and have enjoyed your writing and podcasts. I’ve found you to be a helpful encouragement as I do my best not to be a “dragon mom!”

    1. Reply

      Erica,

      Welcome to my comments box! I hope that now you’ve said hello, we will chat again and become friends.

      I have always tried to be open and honest when speaking and writing, but you are so right: I’ve held back as far as sharing my faith. I think it’s time to put that right. Everyone has been so kind and encouraging. I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner. I think we could have some very interesting conversations.

      I’ll probably be remembered as a former dragon mother for the rest of my life! The beautiful thing is that my kids smile when they hear those words. They don’t hold anything against me. Aren’t love and forgiveness wonderful things?

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

    • Kara
    • January 17, 2018
    Reply

    I love it! We need more Christian Unschooler voices. Christian homeschoolers don’t really consider Unschooling as a responsible option. To be quite honest, it has a negative, worldly stigma. I came to Unschooling as a homeschooling mom of 10 years out of a place of desperation. The Lord led me to really look at it, delve in, pray through it, and I’ve learned that it is more spirit led parenting than the way we parented and educated before. I so wish I had explored this idea years ago! Sometimes we need permission from a trusted source.

    When I first looked into it, I actually googled, “Can I be a Christian and unschool?” 😜

    1. Reply

      Kara,

      I’ve been praying about this a lot, and I think you’re right: We do indeed need more Christian unschooling voices. This is something we need to talk about. I hear of so many homeschooling parents who are struggling. They keep pushing on even though they aren’t happy because they believe that it’s their duty to do this. I’ve been there too. But I don’t think God wants us to live like this. Families should be places of joy. Maybe God will lead more people to unschooling. Spirit-led parenting? Yes!

      I’m really looking forward to discussing Christian unschooling with you. I hope that you’ll stop by and add yor thoughts!

    • Amie
    • January 19, 2018
    Reply

    I just found your blog and this the first post of yours I have read so I am all for it. 😉

    I am searching for unschooling Christian perspectives! I agree that there needs to be more voices for it as it works beautifully for us but sometimes I feel sort of outside both circles, as unschooling groups tend to be more secular and the more formal classical homeschool model is what is the norm in Christian circles. I think there are more of us Christian unschoolers out there but we don’t know how to find each other! Anyway, I am excited to hear more!

    1. Reply

      Amie,

      Welcome! I’m excited you found us here on my blog. Yes,our family doesn’t seem to fit into any unschooling circles or Christian ones either. We shall have to form our own Christian unschooling community!

      I’m looking forward to getting to know you and your family. Thank you for stopping by!

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