Getting Older, Unschooling, and Moving On

My unschooling blog has a limited life. One day, in the not too distant future, I will no longer have anything to write about. My youngest child will have grown up and moved onto a new stage of her life. I’ll no longer be sharing her unschooling learning, and so it will be time for me to move onto a new stage in my life too.

What will happen to me when I no longer have children at home to share my life with? Will I miss the unschooling days I now enjoy? Will life seem empty? As I think of the future, perhaps I should be  worried.

I remember how I used to worry about moving on from my baby days. For many years, I enjoyed having babies and toddlers in our family. Life was busy. Life was good. I used to wonder how I’d cope when I no longer had little people dependant upon me.

But I needn’t have worried. My post-baby life has been amazing. I haven’t sat around yearning for those former, younger days. No, I’ve been far too busy to do that. I’ve been learning and sharing and contributing in ways I never could have imagined.

It seems to me that if we are willing to move onto each new stage of  our lives, we will discover new adventures and purpose. Yes, we have to let go of the old before God can give us the new.

So why am I mulling over stages of life and moving on? Well, my daughter Imogen turned 21 last week. That seems remarkable. Where has time gone? Part of me wants time to stand still so I can hold on to my children and keep them as they are. But most of me is perfectly happy. Yes, my children are growing up and I’m getting older, but that’s okay. I love my kids whatever age they are, (they only seem to get better and better!) and I don’t really mind not being so young anymore. Life is good.

I share a few ‘getting older and moving on’ thoughts in this week’s podcast. I also talk about a lot of other things. (I had lots to say this week!)

In episode 52, I talk about the following topics:

  • Why I’m not strewing at the moment
  • Real life Christmas maths
  • Encouraging children’s ideas even when they don’t seem practical
  • Whether it a parent’s duty to make sure her child learns what she thinks is essential for future success
  • What unschooling has done for me
  • How my own learning has had an impact on my children
  • Getting older and
  • How I will cope when I have to move on from sharing unschooling with my children to the next stage of my life
Will you listen? I hope so!

Podcast Notes

Blog posts

How to Get Kids to Do Their ‘School Work’
The Changing Seasons of the Unschooling Year


The photos were taken on my daughter Imogen’s 21st birthday.

During my podcast, I ask the question: What is your ‘thing’? It’ll be something that’s very important to you, something you can’t help but get excited about. If you’d like to share your thing, (or any other thoughts!) please stop by!

Thank you for listening to my podcast!

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  1. Reply

    Sue, I am sure you will be busy with grandchildren in the years to come 🙂 Our children grow up so quickly.

    1. Reply


      Oh yes, grandchildren will be a delight. I know how much you enjoy yours. I just hope that when my children move on to this stage of life, some of them are still living fairly close to us!

    • Fliq
    • November 23, 2015

    I have had lots of Christmas maths! I'm buying a fair few presents online, and instead of paying the exorbitant postage the American sites were quoting, I've decided to go with a parcel-forwarding service. So instead of having the site post directly to me, I am getting the site to post to an American warehouse, and then Paypal will post the parcel on to me in Australia. It's cheaper, and I can buy items that aren't available to Australia normally.

    So, I've been working out weights, converting them from pounds to kilos, converting US dollars to Australian dollars, and comparing prices. It's been quite educational!

    I've loved listening, as usual! I love you Mum!

    1. Reply


      Oh my, you have been very busy doing real life Christmas maths! The forwarding process sounds a bit complicated, but obviously it's worth doing it this way if you save money. I did enjoy reading about all the maths involved!

      I'm glad you enjoyed listening to my podcast. I love you very much too! xxx

    • Vicky
    • November 23, 2015

    We have had similar experiences when it comes to learning together, except when it comes to art. Some of the children have decided that they're no good at art because their pictures look different to mine. Even the ones who do like art can get discouraged when we sketch together. It might be because children go through definite developmental stages before they reach realism in art but it can make it difficult to learn together. I wonder if this is an art thing or whether it's easier to learn together with slightly older children.

    I enjoyed listening, Sue. Thank you for sharing xx

    1. Reply


      Your comment made me think. I don't have any experience with art, but I have observed Imogen sharing her singing skills with the younger girls. There have been times when Gemma-Rose has got discouraged because her singing just doesn't match up to Imogen's. Imogen has had to learn to be very sensitive and encouraging. She has to put herself in the background while sharing (does that make sense?) But even when she does all this, Gemma-Rose can still get upset.

      I don't have such spectacular talents as you and Imogen. Mine are pretty ordinary, and my children have seen me work on them. They remember a time when I hadn't written a NaNoWriMo novel, when I couldn't run more than a few hundred metres, when I used my camera on the automatic setting, when I first started blogging and podcasting and made lots of mistakes… My kids believe they can do things because they have seen me try and succeed.

      Maybe sharing your art will become easier as your children get older if they have an inner need to draw. Gemma-Rose really wants to sing and I know she's beginning to understand she has to keep working at it if she ever wants to sound like Imogen.

      Interesting conversation! Thank you so much for listening to my podcast!

  2. Reply

    I imagine you'll continue with your interesting unschooling studies – most of us are better unschoolers than our children anyway 🙂 It's just once the children are gone, studies change names to "hobbies" Regardless, I'm sure you'll be busy and productive. Looking forward to finding a spare half hour to listen to this latest podcast!

    1. Reply

      You are so right: I will continue my own unschooling, continue learning new things even when my children are no longer here. Perhaps I could even keep blogging if I change my blog's name to Stories of an Unschooling Mother!

      I hope you enjoy my podcast. Thank you for stopping by!

  3. Reply

    Great podcast Sue, thank you.
    I have to say that your age is irrelevant to me personally, except that I appreciate that you have had more life experience than I have.
    I like your family way of celebrating, we are just the same, we are happiest with our own company, some nice food, no big parties for us! I'm turning 40 next year and sometimes get the feeling that I should be planning something big. Then I picture myself at my own party quietly trying sneak away somewhere. Yes, I think I will be happy with a regular home and family celebration 🙂
    I agree with your sentiments on children learning from parents and vice versa – we all pick up ideas, inspirations and skills from each other, it's a beautiful thing.

    1. Reply


      More life experience? I have probably had more time to made mistakes than younger people! Then again, I worry about less things than I did in my younger days. Age has put a lot of things into perspective and I'm grateful for that.

      I had to smile at the image of you sneaking away from your own party. That's the kind of thing I'd do!

      Learning together is indeed a beautiful thing. Aren't we fortunate to have our children home and to be free to explore our interests? I wonder if any of your children have picked up on your interest of weaving.

      Thank you for listening to my podcast!

    2. Reply

      Gemma has woven a scarf for herself and I imagine the others will want to weave something too as they get older.
      I forgot to add that I love Sophie's photography idea, she is at the perfect age to build on her skills, get lots of experience and then hopefully some paid work.

    3. Reply


      I remember when Gemma made her first skirt and you shared a photo. I wonder if you've shared one of her scarf. I'd love to see it!

      Sophie really appreciates your encouraging words. They make a difference. Thank you!

    • Wendy
    • November 24, 2015

    Happy birthday, Imogen! I found this quite an encouraging podcast. I have been thinking quite a bit about my children getting older. Home schooling is a temporary position I suppose. But if our actual job is doing what the Lord is calling us to do, I guess we'll never be out of work!

    My goodness, 40 degrees – I looked it up and that's 104 in Fahrenheit! It barely hit 10 (C) here today! I hope you can enjoy the warmer weather. Was it very strange to have Christmas in winter when you were in England? I know a summer Christmas is hard for me to think of, I guess because cold weather makes me think it's time to get ready for Christmas.

    1. Reply


      Thank you for the birthday greetings!

      Oh my, there's a lot of difference in our temperatures at the moment. I was confused for a moment: 10 degrees C or F? So I looked up your weather details and now I think it must be 10 degrees C. -12 degrees F does not sound right at all!

      A summer Christmas seems right to us. It's funny how people still buy Christmas cards and decorations with snow scenes and snowmen, and some shops decorate their windows with spray snow! I do love going to Midnight Mass in the cool of the night. It always feels deliciously refreshing going out at that time after the warmth of the day.

      Thank you for listening. It's always good to share!

      • Wendy
      • November 25, 2015

      That's so funny! I had put 10 C, but I put the C in parentheses and the computer read it as a coffee emoji! Hilariously appropriate: I have been drinking many steaming cups of tea! Where my sister is, it really is 10 F this time of year, and she is getting snow. And drinking even more tea, I think! 🙂

    2. Reply


      That explains the emoji. Yes, I thought you'd been indulging in lots of cups of tea because your weather has been cool! If it were 10 F and snowing here, I would stay inside and drink lots of hot drinks! I wonder if I'd be able to stay inside all winter. It always amazes me how people still manage to carry on a normal life and go to work etc when it's snowing. They must be very tough!

  4. Reply

    Hi Sue,

    Is there any chance that your podcast exist in a writtent version ? I'm not very consistent in listening to podcast, despite the fact that the topics you mention really are of interest to me.
    Thanks for your answer.

    1. Reply


      Oh yes, sometimes it's hard to listen to a podcast. I find I can say a lot more in a podcast than I can in a post. Writing an equivalent post would take me a long time. Sometimes I do turn some of my podcast topics into blog posts, but I have never written out a complete transcript. I could make a podcast and then write a few related blog posts. Would that work? If there are any particular topics you're interested in, please let me know. I'll do my best to write about them.

      Thank you so much for your comment. I love getting feedback on my blog and podcast. It gives me ideas on what to write/speak about.

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