Posted by: whimsigal | March 10, 2008

Unschooling Refresher

I’m starting to pull myself out of the unschooling doldrums that I was in and have decided to go and live on Sandra Dodd’s website for the next few days. It’s been so easy to allow myself to succumb to the doubts I was having but I KNOW in my heart that unschooling is the best thing for our family. As noted in the post prior to this one, Iain’s has been honing his reading skills ever since we began this journey last February, and had he been forced to read I seriously doubt that he would be where he is now. And then there is Ryan who hasn’t had a lick of school but can read like nobody’s business. Why is it so hard to remember these things when I’m feeling down?

I’ve noticed that my interactions with Iain and Ryan get stressful when I’m feeling down and being stuck taking it easy after surgery has really gotten me into that mode.

Wow, how weird is this? I JUST got off the phone with Ryan’s soccer coach from last year. Apparently she is thinking about unschooling her children and wants to talk to me about it. She’s also writing a paper on it for school. My mind is reeling from the cosmic coincidence and timing of her phone call. She’s coming over on Friday to discuss it with me so I’m definitely going to have to get back in that unschooling frame of mind. Don’t you think the timing is wild???

Anyway, since I’m slowly recovering I can feel the cloud in my mind also beginning to lift and I’m feeling more at peace with where we are in our life. I need to translate that into my interactions with the boys, too.

I just had to pop back in and post that since I had generated some comments with my unschooling doubts last week. Just wanted to let you all know that the train is back on the track, so to speak, and we are still unschoolers!



  1. I have no opinion on how you should educate your kids. I just wish you peace of mind and best wishes for what you decide to do or continue to do. Nagging doubts and second guessing is the worst! It sounds like things are improving for you all around.

  2. Hey Joan, thanks for that. Raising kids is difficult because, even though you know you’re going to make mistakes, you want to do everything within your power to avoid them. Things are getting better, thank goodness. You’re so right that second guessing oneself is the worst!


  3. It is so awesome how the universe gives you what you need when you need it! I’m so happy for you!

  4. Carri, that’s exactly how I felt! Thanks for being happy, too!


  5. I was just thinking about how much I need to keep a record. Partially because of moments like this, where we get “bogged” down and really question if what we’re doing is right/productive.

    I’m so happy that the “fog” is lifting and that things look a bit brighter for you.

    In Peace,

  6. Sheri, I read that post last night on your blog and agree with MamaP. Your blog is your record and you do a great job of detailing what your kids do! You’re right about how hard it is to see clearly when you’re “bogged” down.

    Thanks for stopping in!


  7. I’m really happy for you and your family. I have done the second guessing thing in the past and it is not fun.

    Now, where is the next installment of our romance novella?! I want more!

  8. I wrote a comment the other day – I’m assuming you didn’t get it, and not that you didn’t publish it because I said holy shic! (unedited) 🙂

    What I said was… I can’t imagine that there is one in Unschooly Land that doesn’t live our day in amazement (sometimes) and think “Holy Ship, it works!” when we have sparkly days.

    I know, for myself, in my posts, my thinking is never “look how good at this we are”, but “it works, even for US!

    Even for us.

    No worries, (I also said), rearrange the toys, rearrange the way you travel through your grocery store, rearrange your head, something will spark something.
    Much loves to you!

  9. Steph,

    You KNOW anytime you send a comment and then don’t see it here, it’s because I never got it. I cuss like a sailor and wouldn’t sensor a comment like the one you quoted above.

    I appreciate what you said and am planning to look at things through different eyes and try to “do” some things differently too. Anything to give THEM a different view, too.

    Thanks for your words, friend. I take them to heart as always!


  10. Glad your fog is lifting. I am currently caught in that cloud. However, my kids are asking for workbooks, so I wonder what direction to head in? I guess I will see how long the workbook infatuation lasts before I buy something. I guess it’s still unschooling if you follow their lead. I dunno, They have devised their own schedule. It”s bizarre. Plus, we are so done with winter and the kids are on each other, just one of those confusing weeks. Be well!

  11. MamaK, I think if it’s something they’re asking for there is nothing wrong with giving it to them. Iain has told me he wants to do more math and science related things so I’m trying to find a way to do that. Ryan is still content to do what he’s been doing and that is learning through play. Sometimes, like your have done, they establish a schedule for themselves, which says to me that sometimes kids do find comfort in the regular timing of some things.

    Don’t feel like you can’t give them the workbooks if that’s what they want. They may use them for a while and them put them down again for a long time.

    We’re feeling the effects of being cooped up, too, my friend. I hope that the weather gets warm quickly so your kids can get out and play and get rid of some of that winter energy that has been storing up.


  12. Back on track, yay!

    It IS still unschooling to give your child workbooks if they want them (to answer someone else’s question). My youngest loved workbooks for a long time – something satisfying about filling in the blanks. he gets that from me – I found great satisfaction in filling them out, and I still love completing surveys and questionnaires. Ok, there’s my weirdness admission for the day. The only problem is if they think they need workbooks in order to learn because they’re feeling a lacking in some way (b/c of parental doubt, other kids saying something, etc). But that’s just a conversation to be had. Jonathan loved workbooks for a long time, but now he doesn’t like/choose them anymore. Phase over.

    It’s not the workbooks that can be a problem – it’s the attitude that may accompany them. If they’re not required by the parent, no harm no foul. Different strokes, is all!

    Why am i lecturing you? Sheesh – sorry. Carried away on that one, I was….

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