**Guest Post by Nadine Lebean of The FoodHumblings
Unschooling to us means living. There is no separation between life and learning. There is no set time to learn, it happens all the time. We do not use a curriculum, there is enough substance in life alone that we do not need to. Instead we focus on what we are passionate about and are free to go deeply into those subjects. Learning is actually the by-product of living this fantastic life. My partner and I are just as absorbed in learning as our children. They are so curious and want to know about everything!
Our Unschooling days look like what I imagine a family looks like on a weekend or a vacation. We hang out, do yard work, have picnics, go to special events, ride bikes, do puzzles and read books together. Sometimes we have things planned but many days we wake up and ask “What shall we do today?!??!”. It is possible for life to be exciting and joyful.
Unschooling has made so many opportunities possible for us that we would not have if our children were in school. We are free to take off anytime to see a concert or go camping. We can be quite spontaneous in our decisions to go to drop-in gymnastics, swimming, an art museum or the park. When someone in our family is sick or sad, we have the freedom to stay in bed all day reading books and watching TV. This re-energizes us for the next days.
I love the security and flexibility of Unschooling. My children are secure in knowing that mom will always be around to help them or to just read a book. Instilling feelings of love and security in children, especially young children, helps them to be confident and compassionate adults. With Unschooling there is no rush to get kids into bed so they can get up early for school. Bedtime is the most joyful time of the day in our house. I often hear of horror stories about parents trying to get kids to go to bed, we have no idea what that looks like. We talk, read books, watch tv and laugh a lot. It is the time of day that my partner and I really get to fully appreciate and love our children. Nobody complains about going to bed, often it is the children who ask to sleep!
The best things about this life are the time we spend together and the trust we are building. Living this way has allowed us to become very bonded. My children feel that I have their genuine best interest at heart. I do not force them to do anything. I make requests and explain why it is necessary. Life flows from one thing to the other. My children trust me and are most often cooperative. I do still appreciate when they express their desires to do something different than what I am asking, and Unschooling allows me to be flexible to their wishes. We are all learning about compromise and living in community, along with negotiating skills. We always look for the common good, something that seems to be missing in our society of “take all that you can” mentality.
Nadine LeBean is a mother of four Unschooling children ages 2-11. They live in Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan, Canada spending their days together exploring life. Her second passion is making and eating traditional and cultured foods.