Will All Unschoolers Do Amazing Things?

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Will all unschoolers do amazing things? If you do some googling, you’ll find many stories of young unschoolers doing extraordinary things. You might think that every unschooler has a guaranteed amazing future. But what if it doesn’t turn out that way for your kids? Will you think you have failed? Will you wonder if you did something wrong?

I have a few unschoolers who are hoping to do amazing things. In particular, my daughters Imogen and Sophie have big dreams. Imogen is a passionate singer and pianist and is looking for success as an online musician. Sophie wants to have a career as a videographer and photographer. My daughters talk about fulfilling their dreams together. Already, you can see their work on Imogen’s Youtube channel. Yes, the girls are out there working in the public eye. And who knows? One day maybe someone will look at them and say, “Unschoolers do amazing things.”

But I don’t think unschooling necessarily means our kids are going to become famous singers or young entrepreneurs or international sports stars or bestseller authors or big name fashion designers with their own line of clothing. Some unschoolers are going to have more ordinary looking lives. However, they are still going to be doing amazing things as they make their mark in the world. They’re just going to do it in a quiet way.

Not all my children are doing visibly extraordinary things. For example, my eldest son has an ‘average’ type job. He isn’t making big waves. But this doesn’t mean he isn’t amazing. No, I think he is a very special person indeed. I say to him, “Go out there and make a difference!” And he does. He uses the talents he has been given to change the lives of all the people he comes into contact with.

I think it’s important that we tell our less showy kids that they’re amazing, that they have talents, that they’re making a difference to the world. Sometimes they might compare themselves to other more seemingly amazing people. Do they feel they’re not very special? That they aren’t doing anything of importance? Perhaps we need to remind them they are indeed unique people with a unique mission.

Sometimes we might not feel very amazing either. We look around, compare ourselves to others, especially those who are working in a similar field to us and say, “There are far more talented and successful people out there than me. Why should I bother?” We give up. But we shouldn’t because, like our kids, we are all unique human beings. Each of us has special talents. We have unique voices and we should use them. How else are we going to change the world?

 

Will all unschoolers do amazing things? I talk about this question (and a lot more) in this week’s video. I hope you’ll watch!

Notes:

Related Podcasts:
Episode 78: Go Out There and Make a Difference!
Episode 55: How All Kids Are Amazing

Blog Posts
Sophie‘s blog post: We’ve Come a Long Way
I like knowing my sister Imogen needs me. That no one else can do the job that I’m doing. Though other people could film a music video for Imogen, it would never turn out the same as mine. And that feels amazing!

My post isn’t an answer to Luminara’s post. I made my video before I read it!

 

So what do you think? Do you agree that all kids are amazing? Do you tell your children to go out there and use their talents and make a difference? 
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  1. Reply

    There is an Orthodox priest in Russia… He says God will not ask us if we were good at our careers or hobbies but if we were good husbands and wives and parents. I think he is right. Success is measured in what we are like as people, especially towards our closest ones, which is usually our family. You seem to try hard as a parent to do the right thing. I am sure your kids will also since they have such examples as you and your huaband. And that is what will be amazing. And if they are good at other "extras" then all the richer the world will be. Sometimes grandness is in the little things and often famous people are very unhappy people. May God bless you.

    1. Reply

      Today,

      I do agree with you. God is not interested in whether we gain fame but whether we do His will and that includes being good wives, husbands and parents. Yes, our most important mission is to love and encourage our closest ones, to be a good example for them, to be good people.

      When I write posts or speak in videos or podcasts, I don't express all the thoughts inside me all at once. I share some here and there, but always end up leaving some things out. And I can see how, in this post, it might look like I'm saying that unschooling children are seeking the grandness of fame for its own sake. My children know they have talents. We all have them. They are given to us by God and therefore they need to be used. My girls want to develop their talents, not so that they can bask in the glory, but because God can use those talents to help other people, bring them closer to Him.

      My daughter Imogen is a cantor and soloist singer at Mass. Her voice is used in God's service. Other people's experience of Mass is enhanced by the beauty of her singing. She sings, not so that everyone will tell her what a great singer she is, but because she has been given a singing voice that brings pleasure to others. Her voice brings, for example, the psalms alive so that they can be appreciated by everyone. Singing is a great responsibility.

      Yes, Imogen hopes to become well known through her singing. Being able to support herself while using her talents is her goal. She also wants to share music with as many people as possible. She is inspired by such people as The Piano Guys and Lindsey Sterling who work very hard developing their talents, and, at the same time, have God at the root of all their work. They do not seem to me to be unhappy people but rather, God and family orientated.

      You are so right that the 'extras' will enrich the world. Maybe for some people the extras are part of their mission. Something they can do for God.

      As I said in my post, not everyone will do visibly grand things. But they will still leave their mark in the world, not for themselves, but for God. I think it's the little things that will change the world the most: The smiles, the kind words, the compassion, the willingness to work hard at whatever needs doing…

      I've been thinking more about how I described everyone as amazing. I do believe that because we are all made in the image of God. How could we not be amazing? I didn't mean the words to imply a child should think of herself as better than everyone else. Rather, that such specialness comes from God. Of course, none of us is perfect. But with love we are all striving together to become the people we are meant to be.

      Unschooling has shown me how unconditional love is the centre of everything. We as parents can love and accept and forgive mistakes, try to be a good example ourselves, encourage… and while we are doing that, all of us are becoming better people. Yes, that is amazing! I often contemplate that. There is so much joy and love. I thank God for everything because, of course, He is the source of everything.

      I am so glad you stopped by. It was good to ponder your words, and to share some additional thoughts. Thank you for continuing the conversation.

      May God bless you and your family as well!

    2. Reply

      Today,

      Just a quick extra thought. I don't always write about God in all my posts, but that doesn't mean He isn't at the centre of our unschooling life. I write this blog for all unschoolers, not just Catholic ones, so I can share the love and joy of this way of life with everyone. I do have a Catholic blog but feel I'm called to write here at the moment. It was good to talk to you about God and our beliefs for a change. Thank you!

  2. Reply

    I know, Sue. I did not think you meant being grand is the main goal. When I comment it usually comes from whatever I am dealing with at the moment. Often it is worrying about what others will say or think. So I thought of encouraging you and myself at the same time. Maybe it did not come across that way. I realize God is at the center of your life. It is evident even without you mentioning it al the time. Thanks for encouraging me to put love first. It is hard. I like thongs to be done my way… Even though I do not unschool to the degree that you do, I take away a lot from your blog. You always give me something to think about and that is what I love about your work. And I alway feel encouraged by your words. God bless you.

    1. Reply

      Today,

      I am glad you thought to encourage both of us. I do need encouraging too. It is good to think about these things and ask ourselves questions: Are we on the right pathway? Are we doing things for the right reasons? I really did enjoy pondering your words. The only reason I wrote such a long reply is because I felt I had left a lot out of my post. It is so easy to do that and then there are misunderstandings.

      Thank you for reading my blog and for leaving me kind words about my work. You have indeed encouraged me! I have really enjoyed our conversation. Thank you for stopping by. May God bless you!

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