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I've been travelling a lot through the blog-o-sphere this week. Spending lots (too much?) time reading people's adventures in homeschooling, unschooling, parenting, unparenting, and...err...running. And I've been trying to sort out some my thoughts swirling through my head...and you, lucky readers, get to read my thought sorting!

Even though I would not call us unschoolers (yet), I really enjoy reading blogs of families who embrace that style of educating their children. It's a big thing to question the status quo and homeschool, and even bigger to say "you know what? The "system" doesn't know everything" and trust that you don't have to plan out a whole bunch of "curriculum" for your child to receive a meaningful education.

And I think that (generally speaking) the families that opt for the unschooling path (or natural learning, or whatever you want to call it) tend to have a different parenting style. Some call it "un-parenting" - where they place more trust in their children to make their own decisions (with their own consequences). But I think the amount of freedom they give their kids is perhaps not the common theme, but rather that their style of discipline is not based on expectations or conditions...not so much "if you behave this way, I will love you more" or "if you make these mistakes, this will be the consequence", but rather "I will love you and talk to you and help you through no matter what you do, or don't do".

Rather than rewards, punishment, star charts or time outs, this parenting approach appears to be let's talk about it, tell me how you feel, let's see if we can find a better way to deal with things, this is how it makes me feel. It's about loving the child unconditionally and parenting by working with your child. It's about helping your child grow into caring, responsible people.

Now, mostly, these blogs don't say "and you should be doing this too", but they do provide food for thought. And I know I am more mindful of our schooling approach and my parenting approach.

I take the opportunity to say "yes" more often (and am surprised at what we learn when I do!).

I try not to judge over-emotional meltdowns with "consequences", but try to talk to my kids about how they are feeling and how I can help them deal with those emotions.

I try to trust that they will learn if we follow their interests and passions.

I try to inspire my kids with my interests (because you never know, Mum might know and do some cool stuff too!).

I try to love my whole family unconditionally (I don't always succeed) and hope that we can all become more caring and responsible people.


  1. Thanks for putting into words what I - not an unschooler now, although we gave it a shot at one time - find valuable in my favourite unschooling blogs.

  2. I think I have an eaten comment...sorry if this posts twice.

    I just said yes - I love finding ideas in blogs whether people are unschoolers, homeschoolers or in between. So much inspiration and great connections!

  3. This is lovely, Ingi. I always love reading about your discoveries and thoughts! I feel like we've had similar epiphanies. For example, I know my life has become much fuller and happier since we started living a life of Lots and Lots More Yes :)

    It's beautiful to think how other peoples' words have fed you as a parent and homeschooler. I know that all my reading has helped me so much. I am all the better for everything I've read, and I mean everything, because it ALL helps me figure myself out. What resonates—and what doesn't— help make my own path clearer.

    I love the vibrant and vibrating community the blogosphere creates! Thank you for being a part of my little community, Ingi. :)

  4. Thank you ladies - yes! I am loving gathering new ideas and (dare I say it) LEARNING!! And it doesn't really matter if I agree with the words, or don't feel it's for me - it's all helping with the thinking, learning.

    Loving being part of your community too :-)

  5. Ingi, This is a beautiful post. Your children are lucky to have a mom with such an open mind. This is exactly it for me:

    "I will love you and talk to you and help you through no matter what you do, or don't do".

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)


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