Unschooling sounds like a really anti-schoolish word. I used to completely dismiss it. I thought that unschool families were completely child-led; that the parents had nothing to do with their child’s education besides just keeping them fed and safe. I assumed the child only did “what they wanted” all day long without any parental supervision or direction. It wasn’t until I met unschoolers online, talked to “relaxed homeschoolers” who consider themselves “quasi-unschoolers”, that I began to see unschooling as more of a viable educational direction. At least I didn’t turn my nose up to it as much. Even then, though, I would never have chosen unschooling without God placing me in a position to default to it.
I was the epitome of a ‘school at home’ homeschooler starting out. I bought a dry erase board, two little school-desks with cubbies underneath, a flag for saying the pledge, and stickers to go in my teacher grade-book. I kept meticulous lists of every book the kids ever read. We did anywhere from 5 to 8 hours a day, five days a week – and those were the early years!
I had lesson plans within lesson plans. I lived and breathed teaching. Everything in our family was geared towards homeschooling – down to the foods we ate, the field trips we had planned (almost weekly), and the Netflix movies we might watch. The librarian knew us well – and actually had to help us to the car once or twice with a book cart. My two older children (then 5 and 3) actually begged me not to read them any more books on Native American Indians because I felt like the unit study wasn’t complete until we had read every book and done every activity that our curriculum suggested.
The only thing that prevented me from being a Homeschool Supermom was the fact that God saw fit to keep us moving – almost every year – those first few years of homeschooling. Our home flooded (twice) and we had to move out (and back in)… FEMA bought our house and we moved to another city… we moved out of state after having our house on the market for 8 months… and eventually, we moved back home to Texas. All of those moves kept me in limbo – boxes – and very distracted. Even so, my kids were thriving and our home schooling was a success. I knew so, because I tested the kids annually and they were excelling academically. I was driven to prove something to myself – that I could be a good homeschool teacher; and maybe I had bought in to the lie that I could “do it all”.
Pride, pure and simple. I was a victim of homeschool snobbery.
Three pregnancies and two children later, with two teens in the mix, I can say with certainty that God brought me to my knees again. Thankfully, it’s a place where He reminds me every day that my best was never what he required. Him plus my worst can still bring about miracles. All He really needed was a willing heart, a teachable spirit, and a desire to please Him.
In the next few days, I’ll be talking more about our journey – pulling up a few highlights on the path… sharing with you (and encouraging myself along the way) all the glorious moments when I was allowed a glimpse in to the beauty of letting GO and letting GOD in the driver’s seat.
I’m not saying unschooling is for everyone… nor would I ever have planned to be doing it… heck, I might not even do school this way if things were different in our life circumstances. I do know that my children are learning, though… and that as long as you have your eyes turned upward, and are desiring to please HIM in your parenting (which includes educating your kids), HE will MAKE YOU STAND.
Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand. ~ Romans 14:4
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. ~ Psalm 37:4
I’m going to link up the rest of the series here to make it easier to navigate for those that surf in after-the-fact. You can also just click the button in my sidebar and it will be easy to find this series later to read what’s new if you miss a day and want to come back and catch up later.
Introduction to this series
Day 1: Not So Super
Day 2: Morphing Methods
Day 3: Out of the Box
Day 4: Learning From Life
Day 5: Grace is for Homeschoolers
Day 6: Taste and See
Day 7: Grease and Sugar
Day 8: Carschooling and Fieldtripping
Day 9: Reading to Succeed
Day 10: Heart Over Mind
Be sure to join me each day. I’ll be giving away a prize to a random winner in my comments section on these posts – each comment counts as one entry. I love comments! Even if I don’t have time to answer every comment or email, I cherish them and enjoy getting to know my fellow homeschooling moms.
This post is a part of the 10 Days of… Series at iHomeschoolNetwork. Check out the other amazing homeschool bloggers who are participating in the writing challenge by visiting the landing page there.
Thanks for joining me!