Learning from My Daughter and Other Unschool Stories

Once upon a time, I knew more than Sophie when it came to our shared passions. But I have to admit, these days, her knowledge far exceeds mine. Now I’m learning from my daughter.

“How did you make that blog post graphic?” I ask.

“I’ll show you,” offers Sophie. Then she adds, “I could make a screencast tutorial video about it for you. It might help if you forget what you have to do.”

So she does and I watch and learn, and soon I know how to make blog post graphics too.

I tell this story in this week’s podcast. Episode 34 is a bits and pieces podcast. I tell some stories about what’s been happening recently in our family, ponder some thoughts and share a few resources.

More specifically, I discuss:

  • something exciting that happened last Friday
  • whether or not we can prepare our children for an unknown future
  • why we are glad we have an active dog
  • how writing about Jane Fonda led to a new passion for Sophie.
  • the importance of encouragement and sharing children’s passions
  • how I discovered some muscles I haven’t used in a long time
  • how unschooling children persevere even when no one is pushing them
  • novel writing
  • how children’s knowledge can soon exceed a parent’s and how they can end up teaching us
  • how younger children can learn from older siblings
  • some of the DVDs and videos we’ve been watching
  • some of the things I’ve been working on

I hope you’ll listen!

Program Notes

Blog posts

School didn’t prepare me at all for life as a 21st century woman. How could it have? No one knew what the future was going to be like. This makes me wonder what life will be like in another 5, 10, 20, 30 years’ time. What will it be like when Sophie and Gemma-Rose leave home? And what kind of work will they be doing? I’m sure, with the advances in technology, there will be many job opportunities we can’t, at this present time, imagine.

Why Picnics Are Important
Many years ago, parenting and homeschooling could sometimes seem rather overwhelming, Some days my children refused to do what I asked. Or everyone needed me at exactly the same moment. Or I felt so tired I didn’t want to do anything at all. It sometimes became too much and I wanted to run away. “I’ve had enough!” I’d yell before running outside.

How Younger Siblings Learn by Listening In
Gemma-Rose sits in the same room as us, playing or drawing… and listening. She’s also transported into that other world at Elsinore. Occasionally I notice she puts down her pencil or her toy. She’s thinking about something she’s heard. Sometimes she even has her say when we’re discussing the play. And when we turn on the DVD to find out how the experts act out Shakespeare’s words, Gemma-Rose makes sure she gets a good seat. She is just as eager to watch as any of us. She doesn’t want to go off and play by herself. This is all much too interesting. 




The Phantom of the Opera: DVD
The Phantom of the Opera: the stage version
Love Never Dies: the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera
Fiddler on the Roof
Shakespeare Uncovered
on the PBS website


Sarah Mackenzie’s Amongst Lovely Things
Kortney Garrison’s One Deep Drawer
Sophie’s The Techno Maid


Fitness Blender website
Fitness Blender Youtube channel


60’s Quiz Show by Podington Bear(CC BY-NC 3.0)

Photos: Gemma-Rose took the photos in this post with Sophie’s direction. Sophie edited them and added the watermarks. And I stole them!

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  1. Reply

    I like your cooperation on photos. I like especially that you stole them. It always sounds like you're having a good time together. I wish I had more daughters …

    All the best

    1. Reply


      Yes, I like working together with my children. Cooperating is good. It's just as well Sophie doesn't mind me stealing her photos! I do enjoy my daughters very much and I imagine you have similar memories of the time you spent with your own daughter when she was younger. I hope you get to repeat all the fun girl stuff with lots of granddaughters! In the meantime, I'm sure your sons appreciate all those fantastic weapons you are working on together!

      It's always lovely to chat with you!

  2. I like it when the children start taking over as teacher – takes a load off of my shoulders, and really, it's fun to be the student sometimes 🙂

    1. Reply

      I think we all love sharing our knowledge of things that interest us. It's wonderful when someone is willing to listen. And yes, I do like listening to my children. You're right: it's fun. And also encouraging because we can see our kids love learning and are independent learners.

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