Is It Time to Unschool?

A new year. What’s ahead? More of the same? Or are you going to try a few new things in 2018? How about unschooling? If you’ve been sitting on the fence, thinking about it but not actually committing to this way of life, perhaps it’s the perfect time to let go and do it.

Jumping into unschooling might feel scary. Are you really prepared for what feels like a huge step? Perhaps you should read one more book or blog? Ask a few more questions? Think about it for a bit longer?

There is only so much reading, thinking and discussing we can do. Yes, we can learn a lot by sharing other people’s experiences. But this isn’t enough. If we really want to understand what unschooling is all about, we have to actually start unschooling.

But what if things don’t go smoothly? Maybe your kids won’t be as eager to learn as you hope. Or they might want to spend their time doing things you don’t value. Perhaps you’ll get impatient. You might not want to be accepting. Those close family connections I’m always talking about? You might wonder where they are. Will you end up saying, “This isn’t how I imagined unschooling!”?

Life won’t instantly become perfect just because you decide to unschool. (Life will never be perfect!) It takes time to let go of old thoughts and put new ones into action. Yes, you might hit a few problems. Just don’t give up. Instead, keep trying. Keep learning. Remember what’s important and why you wanted to unschool in the first place. Love and forgive and trust. If you go slowly and push through, you’ll get there. And it will be worth it.

Do something important this year. Be brave. Let go and unschool. If you do, when December arrives, you might say, “Hey, this has been an amazing year!”

So how about it? Is it time to unschool?

I might not be wondering if it’s time for us to unschool, but I have been pondering another question: Should I continue to blog this year? (I know, I know! I return to this question frequently!) And if I do blog, what shall I write about? Ideas have been going round and round inside my head.

I did say in one of my podcasts that the only thing I know enough to write about is unschooling. But that’s not true. I also know a lot about Evernote. Should I start a blog where I can share my Evernote tips? Or should I return to the beginning of my blogging adventure and write some new Catholic family stories? How about exploring Catholic unschooling? I pondered this idea some months ago, but it never went anywhere.

Going in a new direction is risky. What if I lose my audience who’d prefer more of the same? But I know I can’t stand still out of fear. (It’s a bit like being too afraid to begin unschooling.) If I’m to continue learning and sharing in a useful way, I have to be prepared to try new things.

Maybe you’re also making plans for the year ahead. If so, do you have any big goals? What are you going to try? What would you like to achieve in 2018?

Tags: , ,

Related Posts

Previous Post Next Post

Comments

  1. Reply

    I certainly HOPE you continue to blog πŸ™‚ I’m asking myself the same question, and my blog is not nearly as full of important and compelling information as yours. On another token, we have finally taken the plunge into unschooling. So far it’s tough to get my daughter off her duff and out of the screen. We’ve been watching some educational documentaries that we’ve both found SO interesting, and we’re opening our eyes to learning opportunities all around us! It’s true, that you can only read so much. Diving in is truly the thing that one should do. I’m quite confident it’s going to go well once I figure out how to properly chart our progress πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for sharing your journey!

    1. Reply

      Hi Stacy!

      I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family. It might seem a long time ago, but we are still in a holiday mood. We haven’t yet taken down our Christmas tree. We’ve been talking about it, but no one wants to do it!

      I am very excited to hear you have dived into unschooling. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your adventures. Yes, there are so many learning opportunities around us. We just need to open our eyes!

      Thank you for encouraging me to continue blogging. You must keep blogging too. Your blog is also very important. I know you are a freelance writer, but you need your own place to share your ideas and thoughts in your own way, one that doesn’t have to follow someone else’s guidelines. I’m not sure what I shall be blogging about this year, but I do want to keep writing. I hope you will continue to blog too. Maybe you can write some posts about your unschooling experiences. I would love to follow along.

      Charting your unschooling progress? Have you thought about using Evernote? It’s a good way to capture all our wonderful unschooling learning experiences!

      1. Reply

        First of all, I passed by our own Christmas tree that’s still up and thought, “I bet I’m the only human alive that hasn’t taken down their tree yet πŸ™‚ So glad to hear I’m not alone, lol!

        And we had a lovely Christmas, thank you! I’ve been watching Imogen’s videos and you all have such a lovely holiday atmosphere in your home. I don’t decorate much, aside from the tree.

        Yes, I have thought about blogging out some of our unschool adventures. It’s definitely going to be humorous in places πŸ™‚ I think I’ll do just that! I have some other things in mind too. What I really need to do is come up with some kind of plan for regular writing. I have all the best of intentions, and they all manage to get buried!

        I have tried Evernote, but haven’t really dived in so to speak. I probably need to play around with it a bit to get comfortable with the way it works. I bet they have tutorials on YouTube, don’t you think? I’m going to look!

        Thank you, and I look forward to reading your upcoming posts!

        1. Reply

          Stacey,

          I need a plan for writing too. Just think of what we could achieve if we get organised!

          Yes, there are lots of videos about Evernote on Youtube. I have made some of my own directed at unschoolers. Evernote is very easy to use. It’s not as complicated as it looks. I’m happy to share what I know if you decide to use it.

          I’m so glad we could connect here today!

          1. Reply

            Me too, Sue! Hearing from you always boosts my spirits! So you’ve done Evernote videos?? I’m DEFINITELY going to check those out! Thanks for letting me know!

            And yes…we’d really be something with some organized momentum, lol!

            1. Reply

              Stacey,

              I LOVE Evernote! I’ve written a lot of posts and made quite a few videos about it. I think it’s a perfect system for showcasing unschooling. My videos aren’t very professional. (Maybe I should update some of them.) But I hope you find something useful in them. Here’s a link to my Evernote posts:

              https://www.storiesofanunschoolingfamily.com/tag/evernote/

              After chatting with you, I’m feeling excited about blogging again. Thank you!

              1. Reply

                I’m so glad! And I will definitely check these out, if not tonight, then tomorrow for sure. For the record, I never look for professionalism in YouTube videos as much as I do realism πŸ™‚ And I know I can always find that in your videos!

                1. Reply

                  Stacey,

                  I’m glad you like real rather than professional. Your words make me feel better about my videos!

    • Anonymous
    • January 10, 2018
    Reply

    I was so excited to see a blog post in my inbox this morning. I know I have not commented on here before. I just soak in the inspiration and get back to my children. I would love to read more of your thoughts and experiences. As a catholic unschooler, I often feel isolated among many school-at-home catholic homeschoolers and am always looking for a kindred spirit. I hope to see more!

    1. Reply

      Anonymous,

      I’m so glad you stopped by. Thank you for taking the time to leave some very encouraging and kind words for me. Your comment put a smile on my face! Oh yes, we all need kindred spirits, especially when we have chosen to go along a different pathway from most other people.

      I’d love to talk about Catholic unschooling with you. I shall think about that idea a bit more and see where it leads.

      Please feel welcome to stop and chat again another day!

    • Nancy
    • January 10, 2018
    Reply

    My Nathan will be 19 in February and I wonder how many more years should we Unschool, as he is on the Autism Spectrum? He loves it and I am in no hurry to give it up. Will he one day be able to take his GED? I think he could. But he has no self-confidence. Neglected by a school system that promised to help him because he was special ed. So glad unschooling is a real option for us. Please don’t stop blogging Sue you benefit so many people more than you can ever know.

    1. Reply

      Nancy,

      I love how you are going at Nathan’s pace giving him the time he needs without getting stressed out. Listening to our kids and not getting caught up with other people’s expectations is so important, isn’t it? I bet you’re savouring your days with your son, enjoying them while you can.

      Is the GED important to Nathan? Maybe getting it will give him a great sense of achievement? Or does the thought of doing it make him feel stressed? I’d love to hear more about Nathan’s dreams and what he hopes to do in the future.

      I hope you had a very special Christmas. Lovely to chat with you!

    • Nancy
    • January 10, 2018
    Reply

    It’s kind of funny that you asked because the thought of taking a GED stresses him out. So I don’t talk about it. He’s convinced that there’s no way he would be able to get into a college because he doesn’t feel like he could do college-level material. He like to be a videogame designer. He also has a love for music. He draws very well. He’s very creative. And he has a dry wit about him which makes him fun to be around. He’s very easy-going. But because of his stuttering and the autism that he deals with he also feels uncomfortable and a lot of situations. Even as far as getting a job he doesn’t feel that he could get a job where he has to interact with other people. His feelings about himself can be pretty low even though my husband and I and his three siblings think he’s the best. And tell him regularly. We had a very nice Christmas. Thanks so much I hope yours was wonderful as well. Nancy

    1. Reply

      Nancy,

      Nathan sounds very creative. Could he complete an art or design course? Maybe he could study online. My daughter Charlotte is doing a Bachelor of Arts online, majoring in Digital Design. When she finishes, she wants to do a further practical course on animation. I think she’d love to do the art work for video games and animated movies.

      One of my sons is also not very comfortable in many social situations. Working has been an interesting (and sometimes difficult) experience. Some people don’t take the time to understand him and appreciate his gifts. But a few have got to know him and have helped him along the way. We also think our son is the best though we do have to boost his confidence at times.

      Have you seen the video ‘ Aspergers and Me’? It’s BBC TV presenter Chris Packham’s story. I don’t really know the difference between Aspergers and autism. Are they different degrees of the same thing? Anyway, in the video Chris does mention the word autism. He describes what it’s like to live with autism, the challenges he has had to face, the changes he has had to make in his behaviour in order to work with other people and achieve his dreams. He also explored the idea that instead of forcing people who are ‘different’ to change so that they fit into society, shouldn’t society accept and celebrate everyone’s differences. If we don’t do this, the world will be a poorer place. That’s a quick and inadequate summary. I’ll add a link to the video in case you haven’t seen it and would like to.

    • Gina
    • January 11, 2018
    Reply

    I hope you will continue blogging too. I manage a blog that I also hope to get more posts on. However, if I can get a minimum of one a month on there, I feel like we are fairly active.

    I consider myself more of a relaxed homeschooler than an unschooled. Your blog posts are helpful and inspirational to me. I prefer a notebook where I write everything down at this point.

    1. Reply

      Gina,

      it’s lovely to hear from you! I remember you had a couple of blogs. One about homeschooling and the other about breastfeeding. Are you still posting on both blogs or do you have a new one? One post a month does keep a blog ticking along. And then if we can write more posts, then that’s a bonus. I hope you have a very successful year blogging. Perhaps you can share your blog address? I’d love to catch up with what you’ve been doing.

      1. Reply

        Gina,

        I forgot to thank you for your kind and encouraging words about my blog posts. Thank you!

    • Nancy
    • January 11, 2018
    Reply

    Aspergers is actually what he has. No i haven’t seen this video Sue, but thank you for the link I’m going to watch it now. Nancy

Join in the conversation!

1 share
%d bloggers like this: