I love a fresh new year of possibilities. After the Christmas season and then the restful new year break, we’re starting to feel the need to get back into it, to talk about plans, to pick up old projects and start new ones. The energy is building! Maybe you can relate.
I have been reading everyone’s new years resolutions and got to thinking what I would say if I could make a list for unschoolers. This is what I came up with…
5 New Years Resolutions for Unschoolers
This is my word for the year. Wonder. I love it. Surely it is at the root of all learning. This is where it all starts. I feel like we have a lot of wonder in our lives as unschoolers, but I’m going for even more. A ‘life-giving environment’ as Ainsley Arment says. Time and space to wonder, big conversations, visiting wonderful places and people, and a nurturing and inspiring home.
“Wonder is the birthright of every child. It’s the natural tendency to look at the world and want to explore it. Wonder is triggered by beauty, by new discoveries, and by our imaginations. Children live in a constant state of wonder. They’re always learning, exploring, and discovering new things.”
“When we create an atmosphere of living, playing, working, and learning, we inspire a desire to wonder, explore, and investigate. A life-giving environment is the spark that lights a fire within our children’s hearts and minds, inspiring them to create, think, and—yes—do hard work.” –Ainsley Arment
2. Make a mistake
You cannot learn without making mistakes. How will you improve if you don’t try new things and figure out what works and what doesn’t. You don’t have to get it right all the time! Unschooling means continually growing and deschooling. If you’re not making mistakes then you’re not growing. Try something new. Be ok with it potentially not being right for your family. It might just lead to something else that does fit.
3. Build a Community
If you haven’t found an unschooling community yet, make this a focus for this year. Our friends are such a huge part of our unschooling and we wouldn’t be without them. If there’s not a ready-made one near you, create it! There are probably others looking for the same thing. Don’t expect it to be easy, or convenient. You might have to travel, it might take a while to get started, but it will be worth it!
4. Stop explaining yourself
Don’t waste time on people who don’t want to understand. There are many people out there with criticisms of unschooling based on erroneous assumptions and stereotypes. Sometimes it’s worthwhile explaining because they are open to listening and trying to understand. I love those conversations! Other times you know it’s going nowhere. It’s not your job to educate everyone. Let it go. Their opinions are meaningless when they are uninformed. Just do your thing, people will learn enough from your example.
5. Have fun
This is meant to be fun! Enjoy it! There’s always hard days, but generally, life and learning with children is enjoyable! Make extra time for fun this year. Enjoy each other.
I hope this new year is a beautiful one full of connection, joy, and tons of interesting learning for you.