Unschooling in 2015: Our Year
This year I had a 6 year old, a 4 year old, a 1 year old, and a newborn (for the second half of the year). This was a big year! We welcomed another new family member, a precious baby sister. It felt like we did a lot in the first half of the year. Lots of outings with friends. Lots of adventures as a family as we knew the newborn period was coming and we would need to slow down. And slow down we did! We really took the time to get to know our last little family member in the second half of the year. Though friends have visited us, we’ve hardly been anywhere! We’ve enjoyed each others company and had a really nice rest. We are refreshed and ready to kick start another year! But first, this is how the year went for four happily unschooled little people…
They explored their interests…
They had time to themselves, to spend however they wished. Slow time that belonged only to them…
They created, of course…
They felt the pride of meaningful contribution…
They visited some interesting places…
They had ample unstructured play time with friends…
They played outside a LOT…
Sisters relationships grew closer and closer…
(I grew, a LOT)…
There was another sister to be loved, and so very loved she was…
Little girls grew bigger and braver…
They played, and played, and played, every day…
They felt freedom…
Not one worksheet was completed.
Not one bit of learning was forced or coerced.
No one was made to meet arbitrary requirements.
No one was tested.
No one was compared to anyone else.
Everyone took charge of their own learning.
Everyone had fun.
They got to be children.
Everyone learnt so much. Both ‘academic’ and more, much more of great importance.
Everyone acquired any knowledge they needed to live their life in this moment, easily.
No one worried about the future, or ‘keeping up’.
Everyone was free to be themselves in every moment.
And I learnt too. This year I fully embraced the term ‘unschooling’. I let go of even more long held beliefs about education. The schooled mindset is so very ingrained and when you think you’ve let go of it something pops up to remind you there’s still more work to do. But, in the face of this life and watching these children I have no choice other than to discover what true authentic learning really looks and feels like. It is a privilege and it is SO exciting. Bring on 2016!
Wonderful girls, lots of special memories ♡ and beautiful photography 🙂 Although it drives me near insane not to see your beautiful faces he he he (not sure why that is – guess we are all so used to the illusion of feeling full access to peoples lives and curiosity) you have such a gift of creatively connecting with your words and photos none the less. Look forward to being inspired by your passion in 2016. I have let go of so much through your encouragement and gained so much more. Thank you xx
haha, yes, I really want to show their faces sometimes. Especially when they discover something and I happen to catch the look of amazement on their faces!! But I would rather them remain more anonymous too. Sigh!
Loved this post so much Sara. Simple but full of JOY and freedom, which is exactly what childhood and life should be. Thank you for your inspiration and encouragement over the last year. I hope you feel proud of your amazing efforts! xx
And thank you for being part of our year! So lucky to be surrounded by people like you xx
Lovely photos – I’ve really enjoyed watching your journey this year. You’re inspiring!
Thank you Danya!
I read your posts often but haven’t commented before. I have two girls aged 2 & 3 and your blog has really resonated with me. I hadn’t considered homeschooling or ‘unschooling’ before, I didn’t want to do ‘school’ at home and didn’t consider it an option for us but now I see there is another way, so thankyou.
What a beautiful year you’ve had.
Oh that’s lovely, I’m so glad. Thank you 🙂
Your pictures are beautiful! I’ve begun to look into the homeschooling requirements for our state and was disappointed to see that unschooling doesn’t look like an option for us. Especially after reading your post, I’m realizing the joy and freedom of unschooling. Your family seems to be flourishing in this method!
Thank you 🙂 What state are you in?
Kayla – in our state (Maryland, USA), if you review with the county you live in, unschooling really isn’t an option either. But if you can afford to pay to join an umbrella group (which can be found for under $100/kid), then unschooling definitely becomes a possibility. Maybe something like that exists in your state?
You’re so right. What a great year!
Thank you 🙂
Thank you 🙂
What a wonderful way to wrap-up the year. You are an inspiration!
Thank you Megan! 🙂
I happily stumbled across your blog this evening as I’m searching for ideas, information, and a dose of courage! You see, I’m a grandmother raising my granddaughter, (she just turned 8) and have just taken her out of public school so I can homeschool/unschool her. I’ve been intrigued with the notion of unschooling for a while now. I have five grown children that all went through public schools, and although I can’t go back and change things, there are things that I know now that I wished I had known then. My husband, and I are inspired by nature and are looking forward to this new adventure. With her being an only child, I feel a little sad as I scroll through your beautiful photographs that she doesn’t have siblings to learn and explore with. With my five children there was never a moment of feeling alone, (although some of my children loved their quiet/alone time) or not having a playmate at any given moment of the day. I know we will find our way, and what works with our little sweetie. I’ll be back for more inspiration!
Thank you! Wonderful to have you hear! I definitely think you will find a way to make it work. It will be amazing!
Hi Sara! I’ve been reading this blog and I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly. 🙂 Thank you for these writings!
I have one question that I didn’t find a direct answer to in your blog posts. How do you guys manage working or finding income? What would you suggest if both parents wanted to work AND homeschool? I’m very interested in homeschooling my possible future children, but I find it very unlikely that me or my partner would like to give up work completely.
All the best for you and your family!