An Ode To The New Unschooler
August 22, 2011 § 1 Comment
About four years ago I met Colleen @ TheNewUnschooler through a search for blogs about unschooling. I honestly don’t remember who commented first on to who’s blog but we hit it off right away and really connected. Daughter and I were not quite a year into our homeschooling adventure and the school at home thing really wasn’t working for us.
I was still sort of desperate then to define and subsequently justify withdrawing Daughter, at 11, from public school and the life we began living. And it was a whole new life filled with questions from family, friends and even strangers, experiences we never imagined being possible and amazing opportunities without time restrictions.
Despite the world being our oyster, I still struggled with doubt and feelings of inadequacy when it came to taking on the responsibility of our child’s education and I often found myself flailing having little idea what I was even thinking, let alone trying to do.
Enter Colleen and her blog. To this day, my all time favourite post of hers is one of her first. It’s a picture of a chart she devised that measured her thoughts and emotions over the course of a day or maybe it’s a over a week. Even though I can’t remember, nor can I find it on her blog, it is truly brilliant and I knew right away I was going to keep reading.
The reason for this shout out is that Colleen has decided to retire her unschooling blog. For me, it feels like the end of an era. Where we, who survived the trenches together, let go of homeschooling/unschooling as something marked and requiring definition.
In practice, it just becomes a way of life and not really notable unto itself. This is just the way we live.
But back then, Colleen’s unabashedly honest posts about what it was like to break away from the mainstream and wrestle with society and its out dated notions about education were a godsend and inspired me. It was totally okay that I freaked out now again. It was understandable that I would have doubts and concerns. And moreover, I was not alone in my determination that, while I never claimed to be an expert, I was sure there was a better way.
So my hat off to you Colleen and I sincerely thank you for all your wonderfully real, sometimes tear jerking, posts about what it’s like to try and do what’s best for your family, especially when most people don’t understand what you’re doing.
I hope you’re not giving up blogging altogether and will start up a new one. 😀