Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Unschooling Inspiration

Do you feel the same way each summer? I keep falling into the same trap of trying to plan out a whole load of structured work as each new year looms. Predictably, I fail to get it going after the initial one or two weeks. I am, it looks to be, quite masochistic. Ah well...such is life. Some of us learn from mistakes. Some of us obviously don't LOL.

Anyway, as I decided to google myself out my misery today I fell upon the idea of bookmarking some sites that will hopefully inspire me to let things stay natural. To not reinvent wheels or fix things not broken or ask for extra migraines when I could have easily avoided at least half of them.

I'm still unable to take the plunge. It's like swimming. The more my hubby and the kiddo ask me to learn, splashing me with water or hinting by throwing floats my way, the less I feel like doing it. But the more I gaze at the cool, beautiful aquamarine water at my leisure and see the butterflies and dragon-flies flitting just inches from the surface, the blue jays using our fountain as a bird bath and tiny water striders taking such courageous leaps of faith, the more I long to dip my toes, then feet and then completely immerse myself in that flying, weightless feeling.

These are books and links that make unschooling sound doable to a planner and schedule-tweaker like me.

Karen M. Gibson on unschooling high school.

Heather Madrone's very gently written essay on homeschooling and unschooling.

A book I've been longing to read: The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education by Grace Llewellyn.

Helpful articles and resource suggestions from Learn in Freedom.

And more thoughts and ideas from Julie's lovely HomeSchool Diner site.


  1. I just finished reading the Teenage Liberation Handbook. Very inspiring. I haven't gotten their yet,with unschooling. I do consider us relaxed in our learning, but I still have a somewhat structured plan for the day, month, year. Just can't let go yet, but really hoping to some day.

  2. Are you sure you and I weren't separated at birth, Suji? I go through the same self-flagellation every year, lol! I'm trying to get smarter this year and plan a lot less. I recognize our rhythm now, though -- more structure at the start of the year and gradually relaxing (burning out?) to none by the end. Thanks for the links.



  3. Diane, lovely to hear from you again and thanks for your thoughts on the book :) I am very eager to get my hands on it.

  4. Oh Lisa LOL! Yes, it is getting easier to predict the rhythms now though isn't it? I know I'm being a goose about the structure but possibly a bit less of a goose than I used to be :)

  5. Suji~ We are really on the same page~ I have to admit I bought yet another teacher planner and filled out the first four weeks and then said - this just won't work, lol
    I enjoyed the links very much~ :) I have been exploring unschooling now for about a year or so and finally taking some leaps into trying it out in our home learning. It is very enlightening and I hope to share more as we move ahead. I just started reading the Teenage Liberation Handbook and am hoping to learn more. I think for us, trying it out in little spurts as we did this past year really seemed to convince me and bring me more confidence in the process - I could not believe when things were delight directed just how much we accomplished in such little time. Its really a whole new world to learning as far as we are concerned. My 13yo, now, is excited for his new year of studies and our new schedule. :) Will be interesting and exciting to see how things progress.
    I think what helps me along too is my good friend and also evaluator who does our portfolios ( a teacher at our local highschool) really encourages child led learning and this sort of catapulted us, if you will into striving for this kind of learning more and more.

  6. I am so glad to hear from you Tracey :) I've been reading the Teenage Liberation Handbook too although my kiddo still has 5 years to go (chronologically, though mentally he seems to have turned 13ages ago LOL) to teenhood. It's a riveting read!

    Enjoying your blog whenever I get the chance :)

  7. Love your blog, I am following it now. What a wonderful and honest post! I use to be an anal scheduler and need for lists, schedules and planning! I broke that habit so it CAN be done! LOL

    Have a great year of learning!

  8. Thanks for visiting Rainbow Rivers! I loved your very pretty blog and will be visiting more often! I am so glad to hear that yoou have managed to beat it LOL...I thought I had but went through another wave of nervous planning yesterday...sigh.


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