The idea of unschooling is absolutely beautiful, you spend your day with your kids learning from life. You might learn something neat in your backyard, in a library book, through a video game, at a museum or zoo. I’m closer to 30 than 20, and I’m still learning something new everyday, so it makes sense that your children can learn through just living as much as us adults can. This is how our family failed unschooling.
Except for the fact that I was up every single night worrying that I wasn’t doing enough for my daughter. I thought I was failing her. I couldn’t deal with the lack of structure. I would wake up at 3 in the morning wondering if she was ever going to read, wondering if she would ever want to learn math. It was awful.
As much as I would love to, I can’t be the “just let it happen” whimsical mom that just goes with the flow. It’s not in my DNA. I don’t think it’s a bad thing though, while I’m a little jealous of the mom’s that can unschool, I know it’s perfectly fine to use a classical approach to homeschooling too.
There isn’t a handbook to homeschooling after all, we don’t have to conform to a set list of rules. Of course we have laws to follow, but they don’t require you to homeschool like that perfect Instagramming mom, you don’t have to follow a program down to the last direction.
Right now we’re using a curriculum for the core subjects (math, language arts, science, and social studies) it works well, we’re normally done by 11:00 everyday. Learn more about our Time4Learning schedule. She also reads books she’s interested in, can build an elaborate Minecraft mansion in an hour, has favorite YouTubers she aspires to be, and wants to learn how to bake and cook us dinner by herself. We love field trips, sports, Sunday school, and Girl Scouts too.
It’s the best of both worlds, she gets a little bit of everything. She’s getting an education she enjoys, I can sleep at night knowing she’s using a curriculum and working through what kids in her grade should know. It’s not the homeschooling experience that I thought we would have. When I pictured unschooling I thought we would be the family to get dirty in a garden with our goats and chickens, but we live in town with a yard too shady to grow anything where goats and chickens are definitely not allowed. A walk to the park, or a visit to the farmer’s market or local berry patch works almost as effectively, and it’s a lot less work.