Am I Audacious Enough to Unschool? Reflections, K Week 10

That which stands out most in my mind this week is the huge doubt I have that I will be able to continue homeschooling in the future.  This is so disappointing, just the thought of it.

The position of the Youth Service Coordinator at my local library opened up, and after much going back and forth with myself, I decided to apply.  When I did decide to apply, I got to a place in which I decided that I really wanted the position, felt that it would really be something that I could love, something that I would be really good at, and something that could work in our lives that would allow me to homeschool.  After my interview, I felt good about how it had gone, but as the following weekend passed, I started to feel a seed of doubt.  Then I had a dream that I did not get the position.  Then I got a real letter stating that someone else had been chosen.  Well, it is what it is, but in the meantime, by opening myself up to the idea of going back to work, something else happened.

The classes for becoming an in-home childcare provider began on September 22, the day after my interview.  All throughout the day, I felt that I just did not want to go.  I never thought that I had it in the bag with the library, but I was also feeling like going to these classes was going to be a waste of my time.  I also felt some kind of premonition, I don’t know, maybe I would have gotten into a serious accident or something; the feeling dissipated at 9pm, when the class ended.  Following my intuition, I did not go.  But it wasn’t just about the premonition, starting up your own business takes money – which I am running out of.  I also have these holly bushes around the front of my house, holly berries are poisonous if ingested, so I sent a picture to Child and Family Resources, and the lady sent it off to the inspector, who replied that I would need to put a fence up in my yard where the children will play if I don’t want to remove them – which I don’t, they have sentimental value.  I don’t have money for a fence either.  As well, overall, there is no saying that just because I have a license to watch children that I will quickly fill up with clients; both of our child care providers seem to be in lulls right now.  It seems like too much of a risk right now, not enough security.

As well, that same Tuesday, I went to do an estimate for housekeeping.  I’ve hardly had any calls for the business, and these clients laughed at my estimate.  I did feel it was a little high, but it was a big job as well.  Leaving, I felt humiliated, and decided officially to close the business, which I had all ready been seriously considering anyway.

So, all I’ve got left is escorting (as in driving an escort vehicle for oversized loads), and that doesn’t make much money, actually, none if I leave the kids with the sitter; sometimes I go backwards from it.  But I like it and they need the driver, so I keep at it.

Anyway, I am back to square one.

As such, I have submitted a few applications at this point.  I am applying for full-time jobs.  The doubt in my mind asks how I can possibly think that I will be able to homeschool while working full-time.  How will I possibly fit homeschooling in around travel, getting ready, dinner, baths, grocery shopping, attempting to keep the house clean, and maybe seeing some family and friends once in a while.  Oh, yeah, Zumba too, don’t know when I’m going to practice that.  And, oh yeah, that sleeping thing has to happen as well.  I don’t function well on little sleep, either.

I recently commented on Capturing The Charmed Life’s post Investing Your Kids’ Time, and my comment got a few responses: one that ended up in making a great connection with another blogger, and TwainAustin, the author, put out there that there was a time in which she was “radically unschooling.”  Both connections have left me thinking-thinking.  First I was starting to get depressed.  Maybe putting it into words sucked: how will I possibly pull of homeschooling as a single parent?  But last night, I began to think, ‘Hmmm, what of unschooling?  At least for a while?  Elizabeth is by no means behind.  We are always doing this and that anyway.’

I then received a comment on my last post that I was nominated for the Leibster Award for Seed To Seedling by Sticky Boogers blog (thank you! :), the post for which may take me a little while to put together, but will eventually be stuck up and the love passed around).  Interestingly, Carrie (I believe her name is Carrie, I’ve been digging to figure it out), kind of made a label for each of her nominations, and my label was “The Unschooler.”  Hmmm, am I an unschooler, almost an unschooler?  I use a curriculum, but I do do a lot of modifications, just cuz.  And really Elizabeth and I spend so much time together, talking mostly, that once we got started into the curriculum, I did kind of feel that it both presented new activities and squelched her natural learning.  As it doesn’t follow her natural learning interests, I felt that it invalidated in that way.  But all of the art has really been a joy to do with her, and it is obvious that she has enjoyed doing it, too.

So, one person at least is all ready calling me an unschooler.  Another has planted the idea, without necessarily intending to.  Today, I was really chewing it over.  Is it possible?  I’ve read other blogs in which unschooling was the path the parents chose when both needed to work full-time.  My babysitter said she would be interested in working with me in homeschooling, which is totally awesome.  I will be so sad to miss out on watching Elizabeth in her learning though.  I all ready sit and smell Paul’s hair and kiss him while I am rocking him before his nap, how much longer will I be able to continue that?  Soon, someone else will put him down for a nap most of the week.  How sad.  I will miss Elizabeth’s endless chattering during the day, and our round-about conversations about this, that and everything.  Will unschooling work if someone else has them for more hours of the day than I will?  It’s worth a try.  The Global Village School Curriculum actually really fits very well into unschooling.  It offers a curriculum I can tell the school I’m using, but is so flexible and open that I could totally unschool and use the wonderful books as tools within it.  Their parent resources will help me integrate organized activities with the unorganized.

But am I audacious enough to unschool?  Do I have the guts to try?  I joined the Peace Corps and traveled to a foreign country without knowing the language and having no idea what was going to happen.  I took the risk to bring my (ex)husband from that foreign country to the US all by myself, not knowing if I would be successful.  I jumped into homeschooling knowing that it could be taken from me at any moment.  Maybe I can do it.  The least I can do is try.  Unschooling may not be the path that we go for the kids’ entire elementary and high school journey, but maybe it will be.  I guess we will have to see.  A light seems to be appearing at the end of the tunnel.  Change is upon us, we are whirling and twirling as if in a tornado, but a light is visible in the sky above.

Share your thoughts:  Have you ever unschooled?  How did it work out for you?

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5 thoughts on “Am I Audacious Enough to Unschool? Reflections, K Week 10

  1. I call my philosophy ‘waldorfy unschooling’. Basically, I don’t believe in the need for a teacher/parent created curriculum, but I’m Waldorf in my values (limited media, lots of art and nature, etc.). Have you read Peter Grey’s Free to Learn? I highly recommend it. I was on the fence about unschooling before I read it and it completely convinced me that unschooling is where it’s at.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t read it. I will look into it. Thanks!
      My childcare provider actually asked me the other day if I had heard of unschooling (must be a sign). She had found a book at a second-hand store or yard sale, can’t remember which, and had picked it up, and apparently it had made her think of me and my situation. So, must be it’s my path! I will definitely look into your suggestion. I need all the help I can get!
      Thanks for the comment. I will have to stop by your blog again soon and peruse your posts. I haven’t been over in a while, I remember that it is one that I did like a lot! (Don’t take offense that I haven’t been over in a while, I’ve been very busy job searching and the like, so I haven’t been to anyone’s blog much – including mine! 😦 It’s sad. I have loved the community I have found on WordPress.)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope you’ll find Grey’s book helpful! It was really confidence boosting for me. My kids are very young (4, 1, and 1), so I’m still quite new to homeschooling and parenting in general, but I’m dedicated to growing and learning so I can do my best (as you clearly are too). I love to see the blogs of other parents who are on similar paths!

    Liked by 1 person

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