Our Unschooling Story

Imagine if you visited us. You’d knock at our front door. We’d invite you in. We’d sit around our kitchen table. Sip coffee. Eat chocolate muffins. What would we talk about? Lots of things! You’d tell me about your family. I’d tell you about mine. We’d probably chat about unschooling. Maybe you’d ask about our unschooling story.

In this week’s podcast, episode 93, I tell you about our unschooling story. I share stories about how we started as unschoolers but drifted away and tried other things. But we did find our way back again. How did that happen? Would you like to hear?

As you listen, imagine we’re sitting together around our long wooden kitchen table…

Show Notes

Behind That Cream Front Door

Undercover Homeschoolers

Doing Our Own Thing

Time to Unschool

So how did you hear about unschooling? Have you always been unschoolers? Maybe you’ve drifted from one educational method to another just like us? I’d love to hear your story!

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    • Nancy Saffield
    • April 16, 2017

    Hi Sue, I loved podcast 93. Your unschooling story. I went through a lot of the same experiences you did on our homeschooling journey with our 4 children. I was often unsure of myself and I think I wasn’t brave enough until my 4th child Nathan that I could unschooling him. I had often thrown around the idea but never brave enough to try. Also because my 2 youngest Emily and Nathan are on the Autism Spectrum, I was scared. I’m glad Nathan and I dove into this Unschooling method a year ago. He absolutely couldn’t learn the traditional way. I belive that the Lord brought unschooling back to my mind when traditional did not work for him. We are a Christian family belonging to a nondenominational church , so faith is a significant part of our lives. The Lord has guided my steps. Nathan is thriving with unschooling as he is my last child to school. Because of the special needs he has ,he is 18. I will unschool him till he is at least 21 but possibly even 25. Because of his learning disabilities he feels far from comfortable moving on to any type of college education. He wants to wait till he feels prepared. he enjoys the safety of unschooling apart from judgemental eyes that would wonder why a very bright boy of 18 isn’t preparing for college yet. Thank you Sue for your kind and encouraging words and for giving this veteran homeschooling mom of 12 years the courage to once again follow a new path for a very special child. Happy Easter to you and your sweet family as well. Nancy

    1. Reply


      It’s so good to hear that you have the confidence to ignore outside expectations and give Nathan the time he needs before moving on to something like college. Different children have different needs but not everyone sees this. You are so right: It does take courage to walk a new path. I’m glad we can do this together, encouraging and sharing with each other. Thank you so much for listening to my podcast and then stopping by to share your own unschooling story.

      Happy Easter to you and your family! May God bless you!

    • Nancy Saffield
    • April 16, 2017

    Awesome podcast

  1. Reply

    That was really delightful, Sue! My youngest is turning 10 next month, and my oldest will be 20 this summer. It is hard to believe they are so old!

    I had big plans to do classical home schooling, but it was clear, well before my oldest was 5, that classical schooling, for me, was much more about my superior home schooling skills than about helping my little boy grow! Ah well, we did a lot of unit studies and themed weeks based on what the kids were interested in. Well before we had special needs diagnoses, I realized pushing on a schedule was bad. God really used it to break down a lot of my ideas about what success meant. I got more and more relaxed as I went along, but I also had to learn a lot of specialized teaching techniques because of the different special needs my kids had.

    About the time the oldest was nearing high school, I was in a co-op with a lot of classical home schoolers who were really into “rigor.” I finally realized that I just didn’t care about the academics. I just wanted them to be good and loving people.

    And then two things happened: the first was that I discovered that my kids, in doing their own thing were academically ahead of the others, and the second, sadly, was that most of the parents got tired of constantly pushing their kids to work, put them in school.

    I still don’t consider myself an unschooler, because I feel I have to do things with my special needs kids in a structured way, but I get a lot of encouragement for my way of home schooling from your blog1

    1. Reply


      Thank you so much for sharing your homeschooling story. Oh yes, when our kids do ‘their own thing’, they thrive. I spent a long time trying to impose a method of education on my kids before I realised that kids are naturally eager to learn if they are free to do it in their own way.

      “I feel I have to do things with my special needs kids in a structured way..” Seeing to the needs of our kids and helping them learn in the way that suits them best is what it’s all about, isn’t it? It doesn’t really matter about labels.

      Thank you so much for listening to my podcast and for your kind feedback. I always love chatting and mulling over ideas with you!

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