The unschooling, schooling homeschooler

Tonight I guess I’m looking for deep thoughts and finding none. Often I’ve written on the dichotomy of living life and reflecting on life, but now I think I’m too weary for the latter, and too busy with the former. The children had a nice day – lots of reading for Marcus, who’s finishing up A Series of Unfortunate Events for the second time. Naomi seems content with snailing through her multiplication tables – I’m watching closely to see if she is actually struggling, but she seems to enjoy making people think she’s helpless, only to burst through with big eureka moments of realizations. I guess she enjoys the extra bit of accomplishment she gives herself. At any rate I constantly remind myself that it’s the rare 30 year old that doesn’t know 4 X 8.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m a true unschooler. I’ve shunned curricula since starting to homeschool, yet I’m constantly searching for new series and methods of teaching that basically subscribe to the page a day format. ‘Eclectic’ may be a better term, but that seems like the ‘general studies’ moniker for a college student. The term is not important, it’s the philosophy behind it that I want to be consistent about, if only to make sure I don’t become what I say I’m not. I want to remain a proponent of interest based learning, even if I bend and shift with my child’s needs. I want to stand for the meaning of education as a means to accomplish God’s purposes for our maturation and not a method to achieve man’s approval. It seems to be bearing out in my children’s diverse interests, but I guess every parent has to wait til they are grown to know that you truly placed certain ideas within them.

I just found the Weaver curricula on eBay and we are going to try out a few unit studies to see if it helps organize our thinking and lessons for each week – something that will help me to maintain our pace of learning, even if we do decide to break now and again. I hope I won’t let this new method change me into the wicked school teacher with the pointy nose and the ruler for slapping disobedient children on the wrist – probably not, but at least I’m honest with my fears. I don’t think I could ever be a school – at – home dad, repeating the life I lived as a public school teacher for so long. But to indulge in little structure to complement my rebellious academic stance? As long as I hear comments like I did this morning, from Marcus, I think we’ll be OK –
“My goodness, I loved the way this morning looked!”

Looking unto the hills,


One thought on “The unschooling, schooling homeschooler

  1. The unschooling label can be just as much of a trap as curriculum. You’ve got some really great personal insights. It’s obvious you guys are going in the right direction for your family, and that you will continue to do so. Unschooling or not, eclectic or not, it doesn’t matter. You’ve got a good grasp of your own personal philosophy.

    Good luck with your pursuits. Happy homeschooling!

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