Been awhile

It’s been awhile since I posted on this blog. Partly because my life has been a little chaotic, partly because I don’t really know what I want to say.

Our office has been going through some changes. We are installing new software, using new computers and replacing office staff. And of course, doing all that at once only invites chaos. But things are needing a change so why not just jump into the deep end ofishingf the pool.

On the home front, the “school year” is coming to a close. While it doesn’t really mean much of a change in our daily lives, it does signify another year of change for many. It is hard not to compare what my child has “learned” with what the schooled child, of similar age, has been taught over the year. I still have a hard time letting go of the standards and expectations. But, it is getting easier to see the things my kidsĀ  have learned. Some to much of my surprise. My oldest could probably hold his own as an entomologist. He can identify and classify with the best of them. His typing speed is close to surpassing my own as well. He is having fun and learning all the time. As are the younger two. I just have to participate, listen and watch.

Some of the things we have done this past week are immeasurably educational and fun. My boys were immersed in learning about hydro-electricity, history, sustainability, engineering marvels, social stewardship, biology and nature, navigation and so much more. And what did that look like? Camping, traveling and visiting The Grand Coulee Dam.

Sometimes I think that our chaotic life does not allow for the level of learning that I would like to see…but judging from my sonyurt working on his annual assessment, I think I can start letting go of that perception and start enjoying the ride. Some days I don’t exactly know how they continue to be so inquisitive, how they learn so, so much. Hopefully some day soon I will get over the idea that teaching comes from inside out and truly, 100%, trust. I mean how many times do my kids have to show me this reality before I really do?


It takes a village.

I have to admit, I am very fortunate. I have an extended family that supports and encourages our family decisions. Well, maybe at times, my brothers think I am nuts but other than that I am extremely blessed.Image

First my mom. My mom is nothing short of awesome. She gets me, she gets us. She is completely supportive of our unschooling ways and is there for me whenever I need her. Thank you mom. I know that many families do not have this support. I feel for you. Doing things that are unconventional, things that are against the grain takes guts. It takes more guts if you do not have a great support system. Unfortunately, my mom lives far, far away. I miss her a lot. My sister, my friends and my husband are all great partners in this path as well.

Second, my father in law. Now this is a little shocker for me. Not only because he is ULTRA conservative but his son, my husband, is his only child. But he is awesome. His upbringing was the typical authoritative, children are to be seen and not heard brand of child rearing. Authority is to be respected and unquestioned and education is of utmost importance. So for him to be not only accepting but embracing of our “hippy”, nonconforming ways is a great relief and display of understanding. He had his own son in an ultra-strict catholic school as a Imagechild. Yes, nuns, rulers and all. So for him to support us in this lifestyle is amazing. He does ask questions, he does have concerns but he also listens. He sees the results. He sees the love and he sees the joy. He even googled unschooling, on his own, and watched the videos and came to the conclusion that this stuff is probably okay. But mainly, he is open and he is willing to learn. Even after 70 years.

Support and understanding is so helpful in this journey. It is possible to go against the grain on your own but it would be so, so, so much harder. I really just want to say thank you to those who are willing to take the ride with us. To take the road less traveled and to trust the journey and to trust the children. It is a scary adventure when you don’t follow the crowds. Out of an estimated 56 million school age children, about 1.5 million are homeschooled. Of that number, at least 100,000 are believed to be “unschooled”. That means that 2.6% of children in the US are homeschooled and only about 0.2% of children in the US are unschooled. That is not a lot. We also had our 3 babies at home and only 0.72% of babies are born at home in the US too, so I guess we start out against the grain. And we were supported in that decision as well. Image

We are VERY lucky and we realize that. I often hear stories of families who do not embrace this journey and who sabotage parents best intentions. They do it, mostly, out of love and concern and trying to remember that can be difficult. Some do it out of envy too. They see a life of less stress, more understanding, more fun and more joy. And they want that life but feel stuck and scared.

Taking the road less traveled is scary. It can be lonely and it can be risky. But it can also be amazing if you have the right people in your corner. So thank you to my support team. You know who you are and if I can help support you. I am more than happy to help.

Choose love. Choose joy.