Yes I work and I unschool.
How do I have time to do it all? I don’t. I don’t do it all. I have help. I have family, friends and hired help.
I am often asked, how can I attend to everything I need to attend to? I finally realized that attending to doesn’t always mean the same things to the same people. Some people, I have found, are trying to do it all. They are trying to be everything to everyone in the family. They are trying to answer all the questions, organize all the parties (pinterest style), do all the crafts, play all the games, feed all the healthy food, and still have time for themselves and if they work outside the home, do that too.
I tried to do it all myself, for a long time, with a little help now and then but mostly myself. It was a blessing in disguise because I can’t do it all and I finally realized that I don’t need to do it all and in fact, it is probably better if I am not. What did I notice when I was too busy to answer all the questions, do all the crafts, play all the games?
1. They figured it out themselves. Not always easily, not always right away. But, if it was important to them, they figured it out.
2. They learned regardless! Somehow, someway they learned to count, learned letters, shapes, colors, to read, to spell to write. No workbooks required. If it was important to them, they figured it out.
3. I just needed to get out of the way most of the time. I could advise them where to look, what resources were available but they could do so much more than I ever imagined ON THEIR OWN!
4. That they were more confident in what they had learned. If they took the time to learn it on their own, they were proud of their knowledge and it “stuck”.
5. How crippled I had become because of my education. I was much less resourceful, especially at their age, to do things on my own. I relied on people to teach me, to tell me, to show me. I learned to ask the “expert”, not become the expert. And I learned to not trust my own learning. It took me a long, long time to trust my own expertise and to be confident in my knowledge. How would it have been different if I had not been handed the, or at least their, answers?
For families newer to unschooling. This can be confusing for kids. They come from an environment of the talking head telling them what they want them to know, how to know it, what their correct answer is. When they have the freedom and independence to think on their own, to follow their ideas, their interests. It can be quite intimidating. They have to learn to trust and to love learning again. We never had this issue very badly because we never attended public school. But we did go from curriculum based homeschooling to unschooling and I have seen and heard of kids who just don’t even know what to do without an authority figure; teacher, parent, grandparent, tell them what they need to do next. It takes awhile for them to navigate borderless waters. But once they do, the things they can do, the things they will learn are amazing.
Let them follow their bliss. Let them find things that are meaningful to them, and they will learn. You will be amazed.