Our 4th Unschooling Anniversary (And Growth)
I love unschooling. I know that probably goes without saying, but it’s good for me to be reminded sometimes.
Yesterday was our fourth unschooling anniversary. Four years ago we made one choice that changed our world. And today I’m reminded just how phenomenal and empowering a choice it was. See, I don’t love unschooling because of its “results.”
I love unschooling because of what it gives us: freedom, space to heal and the courage to live passionately.
Four years ago, I stood before a child that was angry and sad. I stood before him with questions about how to help him and how to ignite the interests he once had. I was worried that he no longer loved to read or wanted to play with numbers or patterns.
Our life was anxious and nervous and uncertain.
In school he felt a lot of pressure to perform, took to heart anything that sounded like criticism, and became paralyzed by fear of failure. Even things he enjoyed and excelled in were avoided.
Reading was one of those things.
Although we had been reading since he was an infant, although he was excited to learn to do it on his own, and although he picked up on it quickly and easily, he was before me declaring his hatred for books. With pressure, judgment and limitations placed on him his loved for books suffered.
But unschooling changes those things.
Living outside school gave us the freedom to be ourselves, the space to heal our wounds and the courage to live passionately.
As I type this today, four years later, I’m sitting beside my 11 year old as he writes his first novel. And it’s not just any novel; he’s writing an epic fantasy novel.
My heart is so big and happy right now. I wish there was a smiley with it’s eyes closed and it’s face basking in the sun. Because that’s how I feel, as though I’m basking in the glow of a beautiful life.
My son is writing a novel. And I’m not concerned with any of the details, the grammar or spelling or “doing it right”. I’m not even concerned if he doesn’t make it past the second chapter (because he’s already finished the first…and it was Oh.So.Good).
I’m concerned with feeding his passion and his desire to want to do something So Big, so outside his usual comfort zone.
I’m concerned with supporting his sense of empowerment, as he chooses to do something that conventional wisdom wouldn’t expect from him.
I’m concerned with helping him feel the potential within him, to know he CAN, even if he chooses not to.
I’m concerned with his sense of freedom, giving him the space to grow and feeding his courage to live passionately.
Because those are the things that nurture a personal definition of success.
Those are the things that change things.