And so it begins…

This first post will mark my descent into life. For so long I (and subsequently the rest of the family) have lived a life not my own. It has been a turbulent journey with more bumps and head-on collisions in the last nine months than I care to share (or maybe at another time).

One recent change in our lives has been the decision to homeschool. Our idea of homeschooling has changed and continues to change drastically since we first embarked almost 8 months ago. I have found myself between two versions of home education (at the moment) and am determined to keep myself open to whatever G-d has in store.

It’s not easy.

To give a title to what we do would probably mean calling us unschoolers, although I’m not 100% there. Taken from Wikipedia, “unschooling is a form of education in which learning is based on the student’s interests, needs, and goals”. That’s only the tip of the iceberg. It’s really about nurturing a developing soul and encouraging him/her to grow without boundaries. It’s considered radical which fits me well, but as I said I’m not a 100% unschooler…yet. 😉

We are finding the balance between the two opposing forces. Funny how my whole life has been about emotional, spiritual, and mental balance; physical balance being where I still need the most improvement!

So for the benefit of friends and family, I will blog our journey into this unknown. With all it’s stumbling and probably at least a few wrong turns, I still have faith we will get to where we are meant to be.

Here’s a little background…

My son, Z. is 7, turning 8 in August. He was placed in a private school at the age of 5 and we withdrew him in December of ’06. His total 2 and a half years in the “system” dramatically changed who he was (or at least who he had been). He went from a naturally curious, gentle-spirited and empathetic 5 year old to a negative, pessimistic 7 year old. At times I regret not pulling him out sooner (or sending him at all) but life is a lesson and I’m thankfully for what we learned. Our experience confirmed our current choice.

I was public schooled through the 9th grade when to my dismay I found that education had slowed to a crawl to allow for others to catch up. With the support of my mother, I never went back and unschooled myself until graduation. I really think it was more deschooling, decompressing from the school experience. I settled on a GED because I really didn’t care about what others thought I knew or didn’t know and almost a year after that enrolled in massage school. My work as an independent massage therapist gives me the flexibility to allow Z. to learn in freedom while still allowing me to have a personal creative outlet.

Where are we now? Justin, Z. and I are in Vegas as we have always been. I am stoking my creative writing embers (so long been doused) while with determination and occasional exhaustion trying to stoke Z.’s as well. This blog is for the benefit of both and I’ll attempt to update our happenings as often as possible. I have another just for my poetry,, if your interested. And maybe Z. will even blog a little with me!

Til then, wish us luck!

4 Replies to “And so it begins…”

  1. cool. and, in the spirit of what you say, why cant you unschool…and also add whatever you want to that (such as “traditional” subjects or subject matter in the areas of history or science that you think he might need to know just to function in society! …or just so that he can join into conversation with people talking about such things…)
    regardless eventually he will fall in love with something(s) and different things in different phases of his life and learn a lot of things that way…no doubt in the process learning more TRUTH about said things maybe than what others are being taught about that same thing in public school (again such as in the areas of science and history 😉

  2. To unschool and add my own agenda would no longer be called unschooling. It’s eclectic schooling which is kinda where we are right now, about 80% unschool and 20% parent-introductions! LOL We’ll find our groove in time I’m sure.

  3. I hope you find, as I did 2 years ago, that this leap into the unknown is as fulfilling and exciting as anything you could imagine! And, even though it seems like a boat adrift trying to figure out what path your ‘schooling’ will take, the joy is in the journey. Good luck and have fun!

    My daughter was 8 when we took her out, too, and her experience sounds a lot like your son’s. I could never have imagined her recovery to her ‘whole’ self, but she’s come a long way and so will your son. It’s like watching a flower blossom in the sun.

    You’ve made a good decision!

  4. I am so excited for you. We have been unschooling or just learning through what life has to offer for about 3 years or so and my children are very happy. I remember feeling those “new” feeling of finding the treasure that unschooling is. The doubting and worry that comes with everything being so new. But, the rewards,pride, joy, and true love of daily life that will come later will far superseed those doubts you have now. I look back at that time will such great memories. All you need to do is just trust Z, and everything else falls into place.

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