If We Collaborate Could We Light a Gentle Unschooling Fire?

I’m looking for collaborators. People to work with. Other bloggers and podcasters and vloggers and authors who are passionate about spreading the unschooling message. In a gentle way.

Helen Keller said:

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.

And Louisa May Alcott said:

It takes two flints to make a fire.

I only have to look at my family to see how much can be achieved when a few people pool their talents and work together.

When we’re filming a music video, Imogen is our ‘star’, the reason for the video, but each of us has her own essential role to play. We share our talents and ideas as we braid hair, put together appropriate clothes, apply make-up, operate the video cameras, take photos, chat for the behind-the-scenes clips, hand out coffee, play the audio track at the right time, encourage, laugh and have fun. Later, we edit the video, publish it, promote it, and write blog posts before we go back to the beginning and record a new song and film a new video.

But we don’t just work together on music videos. We pool our talents for other projects too.

I’d never have published my children’s novels without my daughters’ help. Imogen formatted my manuscript. Charlotte drew the illustrations to go with my words. All the girls read my stories and gave me constructive feedback and lots of encouragement.

Then there’s photography. Sophie is always helping me with the editing of my photos.

And what about my unschooling book, the one I’ve been writing for years? If it ever gets finished, it will be thanks to Gemma-Rose who is insisting I work on it during Camp NaNoWriMo next month. She is going to keep me accountable.

I love working as a team with my daughters, sharing ideas, mulling them over, extending them and then putting them into action. I know if we worked alone, we wouldn’t achieve nearly as much. Or have as much fun.

I also know that two unschooling parents working together to encourage and support and provide information will achieve more than one. However, even though I know this, I’m still a bit reluctant to write this post.

I say to myself, “Sue, no one will want to work with you. Remember how few people took you up on your guest post idea. You’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Just continue doing your own thing.”

But I’m not going to listen to myself. I’m going to take a risk. Sometimes stepping outside our comfort zones is scary. However, I’ll never know what will happen if I don’t try, will I? And really, the worst that can happen is silence. No feedback at all. I can live with that. I’ll just keep on doing my own thing.

So what do you think? Together we could promote unschooling in a gentle unconditional-loving-kind-of-way. How would we do that? I’m sure if we pooled our ideas, mulled them over, and then worked on them, we could come up with something amazing. We could light an unschooling fire. A gentle one.

If you haven’t got a blog or Youtube channel or podcast, we might still be able to work together. Perhaps you could write a guest post for this blog. Even though I didn’t get much response to my last appeal, I was grateful for Lucinda’s, Hamilton’s and Miles’ posts. They were all enjoyed by my readers, I’m sure.

If you’re interested, you could leave a comment or send me a message on Facebook. I’d love some feedback – not silence – to my idea!


Images: I took these photos at our last music video shoot. The completed video will be published tomorrow on Imogen’s Youtube channel. Please watch out for it. And if you’d like to be part of Team Elvis, please subscribe to Imogen’s channel. We’d love to have you on board!


Update:

If you’d like to watch Imogen’s latest music video, here it is!

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Comments

  1. Reply

    Hey Sue,

    So beautifully put, as always. I would love to be involved in a collaborative project with your lovely self, and would be keen to chat more.

    1. Reply

      Hayley,

      I’m so glad you’d like to collaborate! I’ve been dipping into your blog. I enjoyed all the posts I read especially the one about learning, not teaching. My kids can do a good ‘sort of’ shrug too when asked questions by people who assume we’re learning in a more traditional way!

      Now that I’ve had some positive responses to this post – and not silence! – we’ll have to find the best way we can chat together about the amazing things we’re going to do. Any ideas?
      Sue Elvis recently posted…My Unschooling Podcast AdventureMy Profile

      1. Reply

        Hey Sue,

        Thanks for replying and for visiting our family blog. You can also find me at https://takingakinderpath.wordpress.com/.

        I would love to chat more, maybe by email? I am happy to write guest posts. I would love to help out in any way that I can – your website is an amazing resource and beautifully inspiring.

        Am off trampolining with my lovely little (and not so little!) people now, but will keep pondering on the possibilities.

        Really appreciate the opportunity to talk more. Thanks so much.

        1. Reply

          Hayley,

          Thank you for your message. I sent you my email address. I also added a contact page to my blog to make it easier for everyone to connect with me. I’m looking forward to working with you. We’ll talk about the possibilities very soon!

          Thank you also for your very kind words!
          Sue Elvis recently posted…A Gradual Approach to UnschoolingMy Profile

    • Nancy Saffield
    • June 27, 2017
    Reply

    Good Morning Sue, I would love to be involved in your project as a guest. I could post our home school / unschool experiences. Your the best Sue! Excited for the opportunity.

    1. Reply

      Hello Nancy,

      It’s good to hear from you! I’d love to publish your homeschool/unschool experiences on my blog. Thank you for offering to guest post. You have my email address. Perhaps, when you have written an article, you can email it to me. Or if you want to chat before writing, that’s okay as well!

      Thank you for responding to my post!
      Sue Elvis recently posted…Real Life Family Unschool MathsMy Profile

    • Venisa
    • June 28, 2017
    Reply

    I don’t have a blog but maybe I could write a guest post. I’d love to help you and support the cause!

    1. Reply

      Venisa,

      I’d love you to contribute to my blog. We always have such great conversations about unschooling. I’m sure your articles will be just as interesting. Thank you for offering to write a guest post!
      Sue Elvis recently posted…A Gradual Approach to UnschoolingMy Profile

    • Elizabeth
    • June 28, 2017
    Reply

    I would be interested in providing guest posts. After years of going back and forth between unschooling and “school at home” I feel a motivation for unschooling I haven’t felt before. And I am tracking my children’s progress with Evernote, which is amazing – it has provided a missing link for me. Thank you for your posts and podcasts! Your gentle approach has benefited me and my three children. So many unschooling websites are patronizing.

    1. Reply

      Elizabeth,

      You feel a motivation for unschooling? That’s so wonderful! Also, I’m pleased you’re finding Evernote helpful. Tracking our kids’ learning can be reassuring. When we have a record of their activities, it’s easy to see they’re learning a lot!

      I’d love to work with you. Yes, your guest posts will be very welcome.

      Thank you for offering to write articles and also for your kind words!
      Sue Elvis recently posted…When New Ideas Make Us Feel UncomfortableMy Profile

    • Carolyn (Olyn Bee)
    • June 30, 2017
    Reply

    Dear Sue, I have been enjoying your podcasts and blog for many months now. Thank you for sharing what you have learned over the last 20 years for people like me, just starting out. Although my daughter is only 2, I have a great passion for unschooling and want to spread the word. I am not sure how I can be a part of the gentle fire, but I want to stay connected and involved to see if an opportunity comes up for me.

    1. Reply

      Carolyn,

      I’m so pleased you want to be part of the gentle unschooling fire! Yes, I’ve been unschooling for a long time, but I won’t be around forever. My youngest daughter is already 13. We need younger mothers who are passionate about unschooling to take over and continue spreading the word. You will inspire a new generation of unschoolers!

      Most people start thinking about unschooling or homeschooling when a child reaches school age. I think it’s wonderful that you’ve already on the unschooling pathway. Would you consider writing about your baby and your thoughts for the future or perhaps a parenting post? You are very welcome to guest post on my blog. And, of course, I’d love you to be involved in any other project we all might work on together.

      I’m glad we have connected here and on Instagram!
      Sue Elvis recently posted…My Unschooling Podcast AdventureMy Profile

  2. Reply

    Sue, I’m so pleased to see so many eager collaborators here! I too would always be honoured to collaborate in any way, by providing a guest post or article for another format. Also, we spoke a while back about the possibility of recording a podcast together. Did you ever have any further thoughts about the technical aspects of that? I would love to chat with you on a podcast!

    Congratulations on doing Camp NaNoWriMo, by the way. Your unschooling book will be a huge contribution to the world. Thank you for always being so organised and ‘shipping’, as Steve Jobs used to put it (‘Great artists ship’). Oh and re timing – I’m busily preparing for my next talk which is on 12 July but after that I’m free, hurray!

    1. Reply

      Lucinda,

      I would love to have you as a guest poster on my blog. I’d also love to chat with you on a podcast. My big problem with that idea at the moment is our slow Internet speed. It could be very frustrating trying to connect up together. However, our village and its surrounding area is getting an Internet upgrade very soon. I’m sure there’ll be teething problems at first, but I’m hoping that eventually things will be much improved. If all else fails, we should try recording something together when you come to visit us!

      I was in need of some encouragement for my Camp NaNoWriMo book so I appreciate yours very much. Oh my, it’s a big job trying to put together an unschooling book. I keep wanting to give up. I have plenty of content. But I’m battling with the structure of the book. How do I organise everything in the best way? That’s proving very difficult.

      I’m so pleased you’ve got another talk organised. Soon you won’t need to make many preparations. You’ll have so much experience, the words will just fall naturally from your lips! How I wish I could attend one of your talks. I guess there’s no chance anyone could record you either on video or just the audio? I hope all goes well on the 12th. I also hope you’ll tell me all about it next time you email.

      Thank you so much for your kind comment!
      Sue Elvis recently posted…Sharing Our Values and Beliefs With Our Unschooled ChildrenMy Profile

  3. Reply

    I’m leaving a quick comment here for anyone who is on Facebook and would like to join a new group I have created. It’s called Unschooling Collaborators. I hope the group will be a way for us to get together to chat and swap ideas about how we can best work together. Please feel welcome to join! If you’re not on Facebook, please feel free to email me.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/441343869584186/
    Sue Elvis recently posted…How I Gave Up and Started UnschoolingMy Profile

  4. Reply

    Love this post! Peaceful revolution is just my style. It would be an honor to collaborate with you!

    1. Reply

      Laura,

      Peaceful revolution? Oh yes, that’s the perfect way to describe what we’re doing! I’m so glad you’d like to collaborate with me. If you’re on Facebook, please feel welcome to join our Unschooling Collaborators group. If not, we could communicate by email. I’d love to know what you’re working on at the moment. Perhaps you’ve got some projects you’d like to work on? Is there anything I can do for you? I love sharing ideas and tips and encouragement with other bloggers. At the moment, I’m trying to get my unschooling book into order. Once that’s taken shape, I hope to get this collaboration idea properly underway.

      Thank you so much for supporting my idea. I look forward to working with you!
      Sue Elvis recently posted…Podcasting Breaks and Unschooling BooksMy Profile

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