Google+ Authentic Parenting: The Virtues Of An Unplanned Childhood

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Virtues Of An Unplanned Childhood

Come September - if we were living in Belgium - would be about the time my daughter would enter the schooling system. Luckily, we are spared from that. We live on a plantation with two more kids who would attend school for the first time this September. WHile for our family, this September will be nothing different than last September, the other two families are already gearing up for homeschooling, or homekindergartening.
I will do no such thing. We were doing fine so far, why should I change anything?

But, shouldn't I be introducing some structure in my daughter's life?
She has plenty of structure with her daddy going to work and coming back for lunch and in the evening at scheduled hours. Actually, I feel that we already have way to much of a schedule going on and I'm trying to break free of it.

Image: Extaticist on Flickr

Shouldn't I at least give her some activities to do?
She has plenty of activities throughout the day, the only difference is that she chooses them herself. And yes, they are varied, even though she does go through pases where she prefers one thing over something else. Just today, she went swimming, baked crepes, played with playdough, did some drawing, went for a walk, played pretend games with other kids, went to see a bunny, a civette, a monkey and some chickens, she got to feed the civette a bottle. She climbed a mount of sand and ate an apple. It's only 4PM as I write this and I must have forgotten plenty of little things.

But what about her education?
Well, I think the things I've just summed up give her more education then anything she would see in a classroom.

Aren't you afraid she'll never be social?
Seriously, I think my 26 month old daughter is about the most sociable toddler I have ever seen. She plays with kids of any age (her regular 'gang' are 7, 9, 11 and 17 years old, all boys), any sex. She talks to adults and to animals. She asks about her friends and family and wants to see them as often as possible.

I am so thankful we discovered unschooling and have relieved ourself of the education anxiety.



  1. Each year our local homelearners get together for a "Not Back to School Picnic". While the rest of the world is scrambling in a mad rush of back-to-school insanity, we are relaxing with our kids enjoying a (usually) beautiful sunny day and thinking how lucky we all are to have avoided that part of the rat race. :-)

  2. that's great! I can't wait until I live near people who un- or homeschool so I can do the same. I get the shivers from their 'oh dear my 2,5 year old can't attend school' attitudes here

  3. I know a family that raised they're girls this way and they are the most grounded, connected motivated women I know! They each went on to college and our pursuing different paths.
    (We just had to share this post on Facebook)

  4. Do you find it difficult to find other children who are home or available during the day in Belgium? We are in Norway and planning to unschool, but everyone here has their kid in daycare or preschool or kingergarten starting at 1.5yr the latest...


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