I can’t see into the future, and I think that might be okay

I went to a homeschool conference yesterday hoping for some inspiration and clarity on what path our homeschooling would take, and I came away with some inspiration, sure, but just as undecided as ever as to how we will proceed. I suppose we’ll just keep going with what’s working. And what’s working looks a lot like…unschooling.

The dreaded word. Unschooling. I think this style of homeschooling carries a lot of weight. The uneducated public sees radical unschoolers on the news that don’t make their kids brush their teeth or let their kids eat donuts for breakfast lunch and dinner and want to call CPS. Heck, even I see that brand of radical unschooling and cringe hard. I don’t want to be associated with unparenting, even if those out on the radical side of things aren’t unparenting.

I feel like surely there’s some balance of encouraging stuff that looks a little like living history lessons a la Charlotte Mason and making sure my kid is at an age-appropriate reading and math levels and going to our homeschool group’s art and nature classes while being child-led and the facilitator of learning in our home and taking my kid’s interests and passions and letting her explore them to her heart’s content.

Surely this is a brand of homeschooling–er, unschooling. I just can’t seem to get comfortable with the idea of no rules and no limits, but at the same time I am totally on board with (always have been) respecting my kid as a human with real thoughts and emotions and needs. I needed the reminder of the latter, which I’m glad this conference did for me, as it seems like every 6 months we go through a wave of butting heads with one another.

But since coming home yesterday I feel like I’ve been responding to her (sometimes) irrational 5-year-old-ness a little softer, kinder, which ultimately is all I hope for her in her future. When people ask, “what do you want for your kid(s) when they grow up?” I totally and honestly only have two things. I want her to be happy and kind.

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