Tuesday, May 5, 2009


WHY??? Why do I hear, quite frequently this time of the year, homeschooling moms (our social circles are largely made up of HOMESCHOOLING rather then UNSCHOOLING families) getting excited about the summer when they can lounge around, play games, read books with their children that haven't been dictated by a curriculum? Aren't they home all day??? Why don't they see the freedom that is inherent in being at home? How much school work could they possibly need to do???

WHY??? Why do some HOMESCHOOLING parents tell their children what books to read rather than letting them pick their own books? What is better than visiting the library and choosing your own books...still a thrill for me after all of these years!

WHY??? Why does everyone that I meet have to ask my children why they are not in school? And why can't I explain to them in a neat, concise, quick way that I don't HOMESCHOOL but EXPLORE, LIVE LIFE, PLAY, .......UNSCHOOL? Instead, my daughters answer that they are homeschooled and I imagine the questioner picturing my children neatly lined up at a table doing workbooks, when they are actually crowded around our computer excited about their Webkinz, playing games, putting on shows, creating recipes in the kitchen, gardening, reading under a blanket on the sofa for hours, .......

WHY??? Why do I have to keep questioning what I am doing in terms of my children's education? I know what I believe and I feel strongly about it, but off and on throughout the year, I doubt myself. I wonder if I am doing the best thing for my children. I wonder if they might regret not having attended school someday. I wonder if they will have enough friends. I wonder.... I want to stop wondering and feel the confidence that I feel RIGHT NOW. :)

"What children need is not new and better curricula but access to more and more of the real world; plenty of time and space to think over their experiences, and to use fantasy and play to make meaning out of them; and advice, road maps, guidebooks, to make it easier for them to get where they want to go (not where we think they ought to go), and to find out what they want to find out."

~John Holt~ Teach Your Own


  1. Oh, yes. That Holt quote says it all though, doesn't it? :)

  2. I hear ya ... Unfortunately, I think to most people in most social circles, unschooling is still too radical of an idea for them so instantly you feel the pressure to explain, explain, explain. Sounds like you're a great momma and are raising some smart creative kids. As tough as it is ... rest assured. Easier said then done, I know ... lol.

  3. Oh boy, going through this again. I think these feelings come in cycles. We should get together soon, huh?

  4. I have had this conversation in my head many times, although it hasn't bothered me too much lately. It is difficult to explain to schooled friends, and sometimes even more frustrating when the questions come from other homeschoolers! For what it is worth, I think you can learn a great deal from Webkinz! We have moved on to Club Penguin now, and Miniclips, and for two nights now, my boys haven't even turned the computer on after dinner! That is new, and I think it will happen for you too, once they get whatever it is they are needing right now.

    FYI-Found you through the yahoo group and your post there!

  5. Read your post on Always Learning and then read here.
    Two sets of twins--WOW. I have one set!
    Meeting and spending time with unschooled teens/young adults has built my confidence through this process. For me attending a conference was very reassuring. Also finding other radical unschoolers to hang out with helped.
    Just some of my thoughts--thanks for writing.