So Why Do I Blog About Unschooling?

Today I just feel the need to say…

This blog contains the stories and videos of my imperfect unschooling family.
All my ‘face-to-face’ friends know we’re far from perfect. Maybe you picked up on this too. But I thought I’d say it out loud just in case some readers don’t know us very well. I wouldn’t want to give you a false impression, make out we are more than we are.
All these stories about my children… and now videos too. Anyone might think I’m showing off my family: “Hey! Look at us! Don’t you wish you had kids like mine?” That’s not my intention. (I’d rather delete everything than have you think this.) 
What I really want to do is show off unschooling. I want to tell you about the love and the joy that can come from an unschooling life. I want to share the real blessing that’s been given to us.
Unschooling gets a lot of bad publicity. Some say it’s an irresponsible and lazy way of homeschooling. Perhaps because of the critics, many people are reluctant to try it. I want to give a different view of unschooling, by writing about what I believe it’s really all about. The easiest way to illustrate my thoughts is by writing my stories. I hope they might encourage other families to unschool too.
And so I blog.
Maybe this post is unnecessary. Perhaps you understood all that already. I hope so. But I thought I’d just check. Sometimes blogging can be very tricky. 
You can also find me on my Sue Elvis Writes Facebook page which is an extension of my blogs. I post lots of extra bits of info… photos and links to resources and other interesting stuff… (I’d like to thank everyone who’s stopped by recently to chat!) Yesterday, I posted a link to a gorgeous crochet book I’ve just ordered. I’m sure any little girl (and her mother) will love this book! Why don’t you come over and have a look?
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Comments

    • San
    • June 22, 2014
    Reply

    I always find your posts and videos encouraging and uplifting and not the least bit showy!

    I think most folk recognise that blogs tend to be a conglomeration of the best bits!

    Hope you are well

    San xx

    1. Reply

      San,

      Thank you!

      When it comes to imperfections, I try and share as much as I can, but sometimes it's just not possible. I can't invade the privacy of my children to reveal things they struggle with. We all struggle with something so I think this is normal… nothing really to do with the way we unschool. For example my eldest daughter struggles with mental illness, and her life doesn't look as I'd hoped when I was bringing her up. I wrote about this with Felicity's permission a few months ago, so maybe readers will understand the sort of things I am talking about. I guess what I'm trying to say is that an unschooling life is not perfect. There are other factors involved. I can't say, "Unschool like us and everything will be perfect." Children and life are never perfect. But life can be full of joy regardless!

      I am well thank you! I hope you are too. xx

  1. Reply

    Hi Sue,

    I don't find your posts 'showy', but it can be very easy for people to make that assumption about a blog. It's so easy for someone to see a blog, and only see a perfect family. I've seen this happen on far too many blogs. People just need to realize that blogs only scratch the very surface of someone's life. It shows what they do, but not who they are.

    I thoroughly enjoy all of your posts, by the way! I think it's wonderful that you have a blog (and Youtube channel!) so others can have a glimpse into an unschooler's life!

    1. Reply

      Helena,

      I think we share more of our lives than many bloggers but yes, we can't share everything. We'd need to meet to really get to know one another deeply. I would love to meet some of my blogging friends and do just that!

      Thank you so much for reading my posts. It's lovely of you to say you enjoy them. My Youtube channel? Oh my! A few months back, I would have told you there was no way I'd ever have one of those. Amazing what we end up doing!

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

  2. Reply

    I think you have a good balance between showing the wonderful things your family does and the areas where you struggle. I think you are right to keep your children's struggles private except with their permission.

    I always feel encouraged when I read your blog!

    1. Reply

      Wendy,

      What a treat it was to see all your comments in my inbox this morning! I love knowing you have been to visit me.

      It's easier to share struggles when our children are young but an invasion of privacy when they are older. Mothers have to be sensitive! Saying that, I was surprised when Felicity gave me permission to write about our struggles with her mental illness some months back. That turned out to be a very helpful experience for everyone. So at times, it is good to share the difficult times.

      Thank you for your kind words!

  3. Reply

    What a beautiful photo of your girls. I don't ever thing you're braggy. I feel you're proud in the way I might be–a surprised, happy, "Can this be my life?" sort of way. I think your joy is evident, and contagious. You radiate a hope and joy and trust that are beyond yourself. It all comes across just as you would wish.

    Today I got my "Little Way" book. I'm so excited to begin!

    Lynne

  4. Reply

    I've just thought of an analogy for you. You are a runner. I'm not quite confident enough to call myself that yet, but I do run. I don't really talk about it to other people though, because then they will say things like, "Oh, I could never do that!" They get the idea that just because I ran ten miles means that I did something very difficult–impossible! They don't see me running and know that what I do is jog very, very slowly. I can cover distance over time–that's it! There's nothing more to it than that. But the people who don't run don't understand that. And I really can't convince them that they, too, could do just what I do if only they would go slow and gradually increase their endurance. For me to talk about running always feels braggy–even if I know more than anyone how little there is to brag of–because I can see that other people don't get it. They don't believe me, they think I'm somehow talented in a way they are not. But maybe I should talk more about it, and insist that more people join me. Maybe I should make videos of myself trudging along the miles, explaining that it's really a matter of one-foot-in-front-of-the-other. I suppose homeschool is the ultimate endurance run. Now I should apply my running mantra: Easy does it! Easy does it!

    1. Reply

      Lynne,

      Thank you so much for your helpful comments! Yes, I'm am continually surprised and delighted by the gifts God has given me.

      You are a runner too! That is a wonderful analogy. Yes, I always think if I can run, anyone can. Oh I remember those early days when I couldn't even run down one side of the football field without feeling like I was going to die. Here's a link to my first running post if you're interested in having a chuckle:

      http://www.sueelviswrites.com/2011/12/that-i-can-run-forever-feeling.html

      Maybe a lot of people want to run but think they can't. It does hurt but it gets easier and the rewards are worth it! Definitely worth encouraging others to get outside and start moving.

      Maybe with unschooling the hardest bit is fighting our own worries and doubts and actually making the decision to start. It's like thinking about running, but each day putting it off until the next day, thinking it's just too difficult. Trust comes bit by bit… one foot in front of the other… yes! And then when we begin to breathe a little easier as we run a little further, or see how our children (and parents too) are thriving and achieving, the joy starts to flow and we know we want to keep on going.

      It's a cold and windy day here, not a good day for running. For the last half hour I've been debating with myself over whether I am going to be brave and go outside and get some exercise. After chatting with you, I have decided I am going to run despite the weather!

      I have really enjoyed exchanging comments with you, Lynne. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  5. Reply

    That is a beautiful photo! I think it comes across clearly that you are showing the joy and learning in the unschooling lifestyle, not bragging about your kids. You are open about your imperfections and uncertainties, but in a positive way.

    1. Reply

      Willa,

      Thank you so much for your encouraging comment! The photo was taken on Sophie's birthday a few weeks ago. We took a rare trip to the beach. I enjoyed trying out a new camera lens!

  6. Reply

    I don't care what you say…. I think you are absolutely PERFECT!!!!!!!!!! And your family too!

    So there!! 😉 <3 <3

    1. Reply

      Virginia,

      Perfectly imperfect! Maybe perfection isn't important. Just being who we are is enough when we have good friends. I wish I could meet you in person. I bet you have a beautiful smile that matches your words. Thank you!

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