Wild on the Inside

“Do you think we look like unschoolers?” I ask.

“What do unschoolers look like?” asks my daughter Imogen.

“Aren’t they supposed to look rather wild? Or at least different? Unconventional?”

“Well, we don’t look wild.”

“No, we’re rather ordinary looking,” I agree. “No one gives us a second look as we walk down the street.

“And you can’t tell we’re unschoolers by looking at our home.”

“You’re right,” says Imogen. “We don’t live in a campervan or in some wild and adventurous location.”

“Well, I think our bush is rather wild and beautiful, but I know what you mean,” I say.

“And our house isn’t unusual in any way,” I continue. “We didn’t build it ourselves from mud bricks or glass bottles or some other recyclable material. We don’t live off the grid.”

“Our backyard isn’t overflowing with home-growing food. We don’t own a cow or a goat.”

“Yes, no one would guess there’s unschoolers living inside our ordinary looking brick house.”

“And no one at church would guess we’re unschoolers either.”

“No, we don’t follow all the latest trendy ideas. We’re definitely traditional.”

“We look like we’re living a very conventional life.”

“We look just like everyone else.”

I grin, and my eyes twinkle, as I say, “But we’re not like everyone else!”

Imogen’s eyes light up too. “If only people could see inside our heads!”

“All those radical unschooling ideas!”

“All those possibilities!”

“Inside we’re wild!”

So can you lead a seemingly conventional life and still unschool? Can you live an amazing, exciting, unschooling life without anyone suspecting?

Oh yes! You can look ordinary on the outside, and not appear wild at all.

(Unless of course you’d like to have curly hair and haven’t got an electric hair curler. Then you might look rather wild, with your hair twisted into alien lumps.)

But of course, if you don’t want anyone to know you’re unschoolers, you might have to keep quiet, otherwise all those exciting, unconventional ideas could tumble out. And then everyone will know you’re different. (And don’t blog about it either!)

Are you wild on the inside too?

You can also find me in these wild places..my Facebook page,
Amazon, and

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  1. What a lovely story! And what beautiful hairstyles. I think we're wild on the inside and conventional on the outside, too!

    1. Reply


      Sophie often tries new styles out on Gemma-Rose's hair. She has perfect hair for braiding though maybe a little too heavy for curls. But everyone wanted curls for Easter. These photos were taken on Holy Saturday.

      I guessed you are also wild on the inside!

    • San
    • April 18, 2015

    I always love your stories! So funny the girls want wild hair and I crave the straight 🙂

    San xx

    1. Reply


      Thank you!

      I used to want curls too when I was younger. I had some awful perms which ruined my hair. I had a crimper too. These days I've stopped fighting my straight hair and just accept it though I still would like the volume that comes with curls. I bet you don't have to worry about your hair going lank and limp if it gets damp in the rain. Wild hair sounds like fun!

  2. Reply

    Perfectly written! That's funny that you ask if you look like unschoolers as people often are quite shocked to hear that we too, are unschoolers! 🙂

    1. Reply

      The Peaceful Homemaker,

      Oh I'm glad you're like us! Yes, people think we're rather ordinary and then we shock them with the truth! That makes me smile. It's so lovely swapping comments again!

  3. Reply

    Great piece, Sue. What I find amusing are the people who have tattoos. Once upon a time that was considered wild and unconventional. Today, almost everyone, including the mild-mannered, has at least one tattoo. That having a tattoo is actually quite conventional. So, I guess I'm still unconventional. My markings are bug bites, old-age spots, and eczema. LOL

    1. Reply


      It's funny how conventional can become unconventional. I remember describing us as a normal family (when filling in some details at a hospital): married and all the children have the same mother and father. I was told we weren't normal at all. Actually, it's quite sad normal families aren't regarded as normal anymore. btw, my markings are the same as yours plus I have a billion freckles!

  4. Reply

    Something about quiet waters and wild depths comes into my mind. We look unusually boring outside, so much so that we're often asked about why we do not follow fashion. Our answer is normally that we'd rather use our money for icecreams than for jeans. I guess we're rather wild inside too, even though we do not homeschool. I like your alien hairdos to make curls, and it makes me want for more girls.

    1. Reply


      Even though you don't homeschool, you are still unschoolers: You have a great love of learning and are always following your passions. Oh yes, you are definitely wild on the inside. All my kindred spirit friends are!

      Fashion? We don't follow it either. Every now and then we enjoy dressing up (like at Easter), but usually we are far too busy to worry about what we look like. I'm hoping you have lots of granddaughters so you can share all those girly things, like hair-dos, with them!

  5. Reply

    What a great way of putting it! Yes, we are definitely wild on the inside! And I don't think we really fit anyone's idea of home schoolers (except maybe our portfolio reviewer, but then I'm putting my experiences in a way she understands).

    I think we make some people uncomfortable because we don't really fit neatly into boxes. Everyplace it looks like we do, we don't when you get to know us. We seem to care too much about things other people don't think about and don't think about things that other people care very much about. It's like we're a secret society.

    Ok, I guess with the Secret Monkey Clan, we technically ARE a secret society. 😀

    1. Reply


      A secret society? Oh yes, with a language and a system of thought that's all our own. People probably think we're strange. It's good to know you are wild on the inside too! What would we do without the Internet? We'd all think we were the only strange people in the world!

      "Seeking neither fame nor fortune, yet bound to fight oppression and evil in any form, and known only by a small (and sometimes invisible) monkey tattoo on the inside of their right wrist, they are…

      The Secret Monkey Clan!"

      You are so much fun!

    2. Reply

      Thank you, high praise indeed!

      Not to switch gears too quickly, but I have a sad thing I'd like to ask you to pray for.

      A friend of mine has learned that her baby will not live long after birth (trisomy 18 and spina bifuda). She's known this for a few months, but her due date is coming up on May 8th, and I think she and her family (this is her 4th child and the eldest is 7) could use as much prayer support now as possible. The mom's name is Mary and the baby is a little girl named Grace.

      Thank you so much! And thank you so much for blogging about your own experiences, I am planning to show her your blog.

    3. Reply


      I'm so sorry to hear about your friend and her baby. Yes, of course, I shall pray for Mary and her family. I can remember how I felt as Thomas' due date approached. I was afraid at what was ahead, wondering how I was going to cope. Then all of a sudden, I started to feel excited at the thought of meeting my baby for the first time. I almost felt like a 'normal' mother, anticipating the birth of her child. I think God granted me this time of calm and peace before I had to face the stress of the NICU and the grief of Thomas' death. I pray God gives similar strength to Mary as she prepares to meet Grace. I hope the time she has with her baby will be sweet even though it will probably be short and tearful. God bless you and Mary.

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