When you learn to Unschool fully -and well- there is a place you live where there is nothing to prove. No explanations are needed. No descriptions.
Both suddenly and slowly, you notice that a week has gone by and you haven’t thought about learning separate from life. You’ve spent those days asking your son to join you on a walk along the river. Watching She-Ra with your 11 year old at midnight. Making snacks you once were afraid of with nothing but joy and laughter. Without noticing, you intuitively understand the kids really are learning everything they need to know. It’s not something you need to think about anymore… like the way you understand to press the gas when the light turns green. You no longer need to think about it because you deep down know it. It’s part of you.
Then a month goes by.
Then a year.
And it becomes this little world. One where very few live. And you forget that there is anything else. That people rush along busily and scared. That precious moments of childhood succumb to the blackmail of “shoulds” and fear and fights and magazine articles and shows like The Doctors.
While you check off items on the grocery list added by your 13 year old son, you forget there are families robbing their emotional bank accounts over a Ring Ding. Forever lessening their connection over Captain Crunch. You forget that “those families” once included you.
And as you cheer on your son for winning a 1 v 5 match in Siege, you forget what it’s like to not know what that means. To not have sat and watched him play. To not have listened to his progress and battle reports each night as he has his late night snack, proud of his improvement. It’s only in retrospect you realize; you have celebrated this win with him in the same way you imagined celebrating his goal scored at a soccer game.
And as you all fall asleep each night when you are tired, you forget there are things such as bedtimes and requests to stay up “just a little longer.” You forget that there is such a thing as going to bed unhappy with each other. Or miserable about sleep. Or with fear of missing out on what everyone else is doing.
And you live in this little world. Just you, your family, and a few others. And the days go by without much to report. Just living life in a way that is best suited for those who are present. Slowly. Easily. Cooperatively, mostly. In practice of adjusting for tumultuous times; adolescent mood swings. Existential crises. Troubled friendships. Difficulty sleeping. Stalled communication. Reverting to old habits and ways of being.
And so even the tougher times are easier. Simpler. More authentic. Connective. Truthful. Opportunities to practice and learn how to do better next time. The feelings that it’s all impossible are infrequent and fleeting. Eventually they disappear. Presto!
And after a while you become so disconnected from what it’s like living outside this world, you no longer wonder why more don’t choose it. Why opting into rushing and fear and busy and overwhelm and franticness and fighting seems to be the default is no longer a curiosity to you. You are too far removed now.
And it’s beautiful. And lovely. And imperfect. And so much better than it was.
It doesn’t come easily or without work and the right resources, but it comes. When you learn to Unschool fully and well the whole world changes into something bigger, richer, and more beautiful and loving than you ever could have imagined.
Some who are lucky enough get a glimpse of the possibilities. Most don’t. I am so grateful I did. Life is so much better than it was.
Click here for the only Unschooling resources I recommend. They are the best.
Click here to learn how my husband and I cam to Unschooling.
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