What is the one question I get asked more than anything else? What does your typical day/week look like? When I simply tell them we live life as though school does not exist, the idea seems too foreign for comprehension. School has become such a big part of people's lives that most of them don't even understand the concept of living a life where "School" does not control almost every aspect of it. "You can't wear that it is against the school's dresscode", "You have to get up now! It's time for school!", "No, you can't go out, it's a school night", "You can't watch that show, you have homework to do!". Even those parents that have chosen to take their children out of the traditional school setting and homeschool them still struggle with many of these same things. The setting has changed but the methods, ideas, and lack of freedom to just live still exist.
Imagine a home where children are free to get up and start their day when they are rested, free to eat what they want for breakfast weather it be ice cream or oatmeal, the children then have the freedom to decide how they will spend their day, will they read the next book in the Hunger Game Series, practice playing an instrument, or just hang out and play Minecraft. The children are trusted and allowed to dictate how they spend their time, no one is yelling at them to get their chores or schoolwork done but they are free to persue their own dreams and interests. These same children are free to go out during "school" hours and see friends, hang out at the card shop, or go to the park and play. They get to go to museums, zoos, and the movies when it is not crowded on the weekends. They hang out and joke around with their parents, play board games, and persue in everyday "normal" activities like running errands, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, and home repairs. These children may not look like your "typical" child down the street because they are allowed to have lip piercings, purple hair, and holey jeans. There is no dress code or parent yelling at them to cut their hair. 90% of the time the family sits down to dinner together and eats the same thing but the children have the right not to come to the table or fix themselves something different to eat. No one is yelling at them to eat everything on their plate or try a vegetable that looks unappetizing. The children go to bed when they are tired, not because it is 10 o clock or they have to get up to go to "school".
This is what our home is like. We respect our children and see ourselves as their older and wiser mentors along the road of life. We see no need to be in control and force a bunch of regulations and rules on our children. Do we have rules? Yes, we basically have one rule that everyone respect each other each other's property. When everyone abides by this rule there is no reason to have more. Are there times when this rule is broken? Of course, and this is where we try to sit down and talk about what is going on and decide how to fix the problem. The children are very mature and know for the most part if they are the problem. We make mistakes and apologize when we feel we need to, YES especially the parents. Are the children ever told no? YES, and because it is not on a regular basis and we try to explain to them why we said no we are usually met with understanding. Our children know that NOs are met with reason not with a "Because I said so!".
Come January I will open up my home to you my readers. I will allow you into our lives to see the good and the bad. I will become transparent. I will show you the learning that takes place naturally, our unschooling fails, and my often messy and unorganized home! Our family can be fun, boring, and chaotic. I will make posts, share pictures, and video. This series will be called "The Hitchhikers Guide to Unschooling" and will probably last the entire 2014 year. I hope you learn something about Unschooling along the way. I will not say this is what Unschooling looks like or is like for every family but it is what it looks like for our family. So come back, tell your friends and hitch a ride along with us as we share our lives with you!
* Since writing this Patricia has joined me here on the Unschooling Mommas site and would love to show you what her family's unschooling adventures look like as well. You can find her pages HERE*