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UNschoolers?

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We are just starting out in this crazy but exciting unschooling thing and curious

Anyone else here who is an unschooled? 

Any tips for me? How do you manage when you are feeling anxious or worried? 

Managing all the various interests too .. I am excited but nervous as well. 

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I'm not an unschooler but I tend to be an extremely relaxed eclectic schooler with a classical bent. I try hard to work with my kid's interests and let them have free time to explore and minimize book work. I'm interested to see what sords of tips you get!

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We try to be as relaxed as possible; more child led I think - Still have to do some book work because, yes, anxiety comes when I am too free with my boys. haha 

 

right now my oldest is studying computer programming, and design hard...my younger one is learning about woodworking and guns/hunting (almost hunting season here) and my girl are always loving painting and reading and dancing ... Using these as a guide of course. 

 

Always hoping for more connections though to be able to see and hear from others.:_) 

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Oh I should throw in my kids don't do well with too much unstructured time. Lack of structure leads to problems around here. 

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We are a lifeschooling, sort of unschooling type family, feelings of anxiety... had lots for the first several months, but keeping a record journal helped me to see how much the kids learned...every day, just by being interested in something and going after it with everything that comes with curiosity! If you have questions, I hope I can help, here in New York, we have strict rules, but the way we school is acceptable, you just have to be kind of creative in how you do your IHIP and quarterly reports! But I almost forgot to share what life-schooling actually is, because it goes deeper, into the call of God, in each of your children's lives. For a longtime I was reading up on everything I could about unschooling, but felt conflicted, so I kept talking to the Holy Spirit, asking for understanding, into why I didn't exactly, fully, agree with how the unschooling mentality would work for my kids. I agreed with it being more child led, but without the leading of the Holy Spirit in my life, I knew for myself, I tend to get sidetracked and when the Lord doesn't have a say in our lives, we know where that has, and can, lead....somewhere that can scare us! So I kept talking to the Lord and slowly I started to see that my way of schooling was to live life together, letting our days take us in all sorts of wonderful directions, and discoveries! But I was also learning how to have balance, we still needed to be responsible and take care of our home and the things that were our blessings (The kids rooms and toys, etc., my room and stuff! :) ). As we took care of what needed to be taken care of at home, and were more relaxed about life and schooling, stress seemed to disappear, very slowly, but it wasn't a struggle to lead or facilitate a discussion or talk about something of interest anymore. We still had time in the day with the Lord, it may not have been the first thing we did when we got up, but it was so much more relaxed in our schooling, that discussions about Jesus, Father God, the Precious Holy Spirit could happen and did happen, more frequently! We now are pastoring at a local church because we kept talking about the vision the Lord has put in our hearts, for our area, when we got married 11 years ago. The kids are part of the worship team, when they want to sing, my daughter who loves to rhyme and sings with her cousins for church service, is now practicing piano with our church piano player and just told me she was writing some lines tonight to her own worship song! I am amazed, because the Holy Spirit was the One who kept speaking to me about how stressed I was a year ago, when I called it quits to the old way of homeschooling (which I had been doing for our first two and a half years). Last Christmas was when I just felt at the end of my rope and I felt the Lord tell me to slow down and start doing meaningful, more Kingdom minded activities. It was our best Christmas ever, so I hope for this one to top that! We did so many fun things that were educational on such a deeper, more meaningful level! My kids faces were the happiest i had seen them in two and a half years of homeschooling! The beginning of this year, when the fun of the season started to wane, I again had a discussion with the Lord on what to do next, and that is when I actually started to read up on unschooling. But, like I said, it didn't completely sit well with me, it was more of the world's approach (though I know the Holy Spirit is speaking to the people in the world all the time, wooing them to the Lord, so they hear Him, but don't know His voice clearly, because they don't know it's Him....yet!). So I just kept talking it over with the Lord, letting Him lead me and fumbling sometimes along the way (like us kids, God's kids... do!), and eventually the term 'life-schooling' began to stick in my head. Of course, I needed some confirmation that there were some other, like-minded brothers and sisters in the Lord, who may be thinking this same thing, which, funny how the Holy Spirit knows us so well, I like to research, like really do some in-depth research if I'm going to do or believe a certain way! So the Holy Spirit knew, after He had gotten my attention with this new word and way of schooling, I was going to do some more reseaching, and find out if anyone else thought this way. After a quick search, I found, the Lifeschooling Conference, which is held in North Carolina by a mom who was drawn to the same scriptures and name for schooling, along with ths Same thinking about how to school, as I was! I love it when I get confirmation from the Holy Spirit! It's encouraging! I said all or that, to just share my experience and see where the Lord takes this journey, with a different approach, for you! Your children are given the gift of learning, as well as so many other, wonderful gifts, it takes so much time to explore who they are, the Lord will help you lead them, so that you can also enjoy their giftings, right along with them, and get to enjoy who you are! Your children will be Encouraged, ae You also will have time to explore who you were created to be, it will further excite you all on This journey of doing life(schooling) together! ;) I pray this helps and blesses you to keep walking this journey, with the Love or the Lord, to reveal the path He has for your family! Ang Cobb <3

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Oh I love this! I am going to look for that LifeSchooling conference you mentioned. I need direction! My oldest is just "dead" in that sense of being curious and following interests beyond a moment or two. He was an early reader, an advance, "gifted" child and when he was younger perhaps I expected more - In my attempt to feed his so called brilliance I think I put out his light.  How desperately we need to get that fire lit once again. Right now he is very stubborn and rebellious - wants nothing to do with formal learning- loves audio books (Loves Heirloom Audio especially) and so we are trying to let him follow that. Learning by listening and watching (although I detest screens! LOL) In the meantime, as you mentioned trying to find order, peace at home. So that I can enjoy them; so that I don't feel worry and anxiety whenever we ponder a day trip to a museum ,or the library or what have you. I started reading unschooling books and websites and I felt much as you said, so much "world" in there - I love how you said all that you said above because you really have inspired me. In this season, busy and bustling and crazy - to slow down. to take the time to think and pray and wait on His lead. I would love to talk more if you would not mind (if off here feel free to email me anytime mommybugg238@gmail.com)  I am so curious about the rules you mentioned you have in place (I think that could be helpful although my oldest sees rules right now as things to battle against)  Very much in a research kind of place myself. I do so appreciate your wisdom and anything you care to share (recommended reads, listens, etc.) 

Many blessings to you!

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That idea of "life schooling" but I'm curious about in the older grades....what does that look like? Are you there yet? My younger kids have a very very relaxed "school" as far as formal schooling parts. I'm not sure how to make it work for math or my jr high student though. I mean I would still do some life learning and student lead stuff but some things she needs to learn even if she doesn't think it is interesting or important. Just pondering but I definitely lean toward a more relaxed, life learning style.

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Hi Sabrina, I'm not yet at the middle or high school years yet, but I keep having to ask the Lord to lead me on this new journey. It's shaping up to be something pretty fun, restful and God led in their talents and giftings, because I'm just starting to really see... His ways are higher than mine and His thoughts. What He intended for families, His children, is not the stress laddened work of the world, we tend to veer sometimes toward what is known ( I did it my first 2 1/2 years because someone else had walked that road and it was easier to see by their successes and failures, I guess, to try to avoid the pitfalls), but the Lord has made me have to walk this out like that beautiful old song, "...one day at a time, sweet Jesus, that's all I'm asking from You..." . I don't know what it will look like for us yet, and it sure sometimes feels scary, but actually, really exciting, and I feel the anticipation of what He is going to do next, in our day, and in our lives, everyday!  What the Lord will do with you, your precious children, their talents, abilities and giftings, including your very own that are still yet to blossom, are for you all to enjoy learning about, along this amazing journey. That is exciting! I hope and pray for the peace you need and the strength to do whatever the Lord is leading you to do, but it looks like you are definitely feeling the drawing to a new, exciting season for you and your family! Blessings and if you do want to know some of the things the Lord has helped me to do to transition, let me know, I will definitely be willing to share whatever may help you, no one around me does what I do, so I was very dependent on the Holy Spirit, but I think that is the way it's suppose to be. I believe we are in our brothers and sisters lives, to share what the Lord has done and then let the Lord take it from there, so He can help shape and mold that special calling on your families lives, each of our families lives, in the way He sees the most benefit and the greatest Glory to His Holy, Loving Name! The Lord richly bless you and your family Sabrina! Ang Cobb

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I do love the like minds here as well!

Its inspiring because for us - we are really trying to light that fire right now .

Good to know where others are who have gone before.... or come alongside :-) 

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Ang, I would love to know ANYTHING you can share! About transitioning, about figuring it out. Were there any books that particularly helped you?  I can't make it to a conference in NC even though it sounds wonderful but I'd love to look into this more. I just re-read your first post in this thread and it really resonates with me. THIS Christmas I feel at the end of my rope. I feel like everything is in chaos and I'm just constantly putting out fires or scrambling to "get caught up" and honestly formal "school" hasn't happened for my middle kids lately at all (I know they learn from everything so I'm really not worried) and for my oldest it has been a struggle and I see the stress starting to effect her in so many ways. We need a change. I need a new vision. And the tone of our house needs to change. I'm open to new ideas right now for sure!!

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Hello Sabrina, I will share what I can!! ? You definitely sound like me last Christmas though!! So I hope I can be a sister in the Lord that can be of some encouragement for you. The Holy Spirit will have everything else that is specific to your family dynamics and needs, desires, passions and callings, so I pray you feel His peace right now, as you are feeling this need to make some changes. I don't always like when the Lord puts me in that place when He is breaking me free from the old and leading me into a new season of freedom, kind of feels like giving birth (in the spiritual sense), but there is rest coming, and that is what I look forward to for us, for you too! If you would be fine with emailing me, that works for me too! 

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I will say this, everything I did read, led me further away from unschooling, and schooling altogether! It kept leading me to a new way, but not the ones I was reading about, that is why I felt the Holy Spirit gave me this new word "Lifeschooling" and when I researched it to see if it was already a word for a type of schooling, the lady in North Carolina was the only one I could find, and a YouTube interview with Kirk Cameron talking with a Christian radio broadcaster about homeschooling and how he felt "lifeschooling" was what the Lord led him to! When I told my husband that Kirk Cameron was talking about the same term that we had been discussing for a couple of months, I was pretty excited, because it wasn't just the word, but about the idea of focusing solely, everyday, on building our children's desires to develop their God given talents, with our life together, and that every where we've gone together was a chance to learn and grow! The same scriptures that I, and the lady in N.C., were using to lead our "school" day, were confirmed as well, by Kirk. It really helped me to push through some thoughts about this new way, but as we have continued to do life(schooling) this way, the Holy Spirit has continued to confirm it over and over again! Even though life sure has its difficulties, this area (school) has continued to see freedom and all the kids are growing in every area I was afraid they would be behind. I hope that encourages you! ?

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Thank you so much! I would love to connect by email as well :) or on Facebook if you are there. My email is Sabrinascheerer@gmail.com. This sounds like what I am drawn to and trying to figure out!!! I do have some ideas for direction but it is sort of all a jumble in my head and since I feel like I didn't do much the first semester of this year I am having some anxiety that I will "waste" the spring semester as well trying to figure it out!! 

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Sabrina - I am so much where you are. Sorry to jump in this later on the conversation but I would love to connect as well - perhaps we can encourage one another too! This is very new to me and I know I have talked with a couple people - I feel very led to this way myself - yet I know its all the freedom that can be overwhelming. Support and walking together is always a good thing. I am on FB as MommyBug or you can always email me at mommybugg238@gmail.com I would love to have some "friends" of like mind in this as well. :-) And certainly it is always good to come together and reason. As for books, most are pretty "worldview" in themselves but I found a book called Christian Unschooling that I finished recently and really enjoyed. Gave me some great food for thought, and I am beginning to read and study more onLifeschooling on their website/blog.  So much to consider and ponder - :-) 

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Sabrina, that is wonderful! We can definitely connect, I am glad to know that the Lord is healing this part of our hearts, freedom is always scary, but when we finally start to see what the Lord is doing, a grateful heart is all that remains! Jennifer, that is a great idea, to have encouragement, I believe it is the desire of every family that homeschools, to find connection, since we are part of the family of God! We are walking this together and "Christian Unschooling" was a great book for me, the only one actually that I ever heard that led me to see that the Lord works in every family different, but it all is based on freedom to follow after the gifts, talents and callings of each individual child we have, and the greatest freedom was when I realized the Lord was telling me, that it was the same for my calling, gifts and talents too! That I didn't have to wait years from now to start pursuing what was His calling on my life, but that it fit so nicely in with my children's! He is an awesome God and Father!?

Edited by PhilangCBll@protonmail.com
Fix words, "calling" & "fit"
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This is exciting, I'm glad to know I'm walking this road with others!! I was starting to feel like we hijacked this post then I realized MommyBug was the original author :). Yay!! Happy to connect with you ladies. I put Christian Unschooling on my wishlist. I know I can't make it to NC this year but maybe sometime. In the meantime, I'm going to go look at the LifeSchooling blog. I am holding off a bit on my own pursuits because I have a toddler and baby and realized I had overcommitted myself and all of the things I love were stressing me out but I'm still doing a bit. But then I realized one thing I'm REALLY good at is coming up with ideas, business ideas, project ideas, adventure ideas, all sorts of ideas and I can come up with ideas FOR MY KIDS based on their own interests. This morning the kids and I talked a little about things they want to learn and I am looking at resources I already have (schoolhouse teachers website, curriculum we own, free downloads etc) that we could use but we will use them in ways that work for us. 

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Ohhh Did you know you can buy the videos from last year's LifeSchooling conference??? I am so excited, I just bought them and am downloading them now. Going to put them in my itunes to watch on the way to my mom's Friday!! They are 60% off ($20 instead of $50) for like another day! 

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Sabrina, lol, to your first post, that is awesome what you and the kids are doing, I remember when I first read about unschooling, that deschooling was the first part of the process. I took it as a very long, extended vacation with my kids, so rest and family time are a treasured part of healing from the mindset that has held us for so long. I started with my resources I owned too, but just very casually, because the deschooling, I felt, was really needed after my nervous breakdown in December of last year! My son Elisha, later told me, after I had thrown the books on the ground and was screaming because I had lost it, I felt literally, that he prayed the Lord would help me not want to send them back to regular school! I knew I didn't want to ever take my kids and put them back in school, I'd miss them way too much, so I knew the Lord has a better way to do this life and schooling together. Since that led me on this journey, deschooling really helped. I said that to say, with a toddler and baby, you have a lot going on already, so rest and the peace of God cover you, it is so special in this season you are beginning, with lifeschooling and your family dynamics, to just be together and have lots of play time, field trips to whatever places interests you all and anything the Lord lays on your heart to do for you all, and with friends and family. You will find your children's natural gift of curiosity eventually draw them back to favorite books, games and such (repetition is always good), and the learning will just happen, the mind will just be soaking up whatever it likes to focus on and your mind will be blown away by how the Lord made them such amazing learners, of everything, eventually, without you pushing in any direction. I would add that when I saw a natural desire (calling of God kind of drawing in many different ways, in each child), I would buy the things that they liked if it was reasonable ( thrifty shops are great for second hand stuff that is in great shape!) ? I like to facilitate, as I've begun to call it, discussions on those things that they enjoy, to encourage them on those days they get bored, and there will be days they will get bored! But I read a quote by Sarah Janisse Brown, "Freedom, liberty and lack are the key to creativity (inventiveness)", so I just tell the kids on those days, think of something they want to read or create and even though they may fight it at first, because you may be taking care of the needs of the little ones, you will eventually see them playing and creating, happy and their minds developing wonderfully, peacefully! This is what I saw when I was going through the beginning stages of deschooling/unschooling, lifeschooling. Now I just look back and am amazed that the kids are understanding so much, my son Elisha, when he was in 2nd grade (last year) was a struggling reader and hated to read. When I deschooled him and my daughter Faith at the beginning of this year, after all the pressure I put on him for so long and pushed him to keep up with his work, (I made up my own curriculum so I wrote a lot of his work out, meaning lots of hours every night, away from my husband, to prepare for school) and he continued to struggle. Fast forward to today, he found a book at the library book sale, recently, and decided he wanted me to buy it, it was "Adventures In Odessey- Imagination Station, The Red Coats", and 132 pages, plenty of text on the pages, not really any pictures....he read it in two days! He reads every night now, and will come down to my room when he wants to share the interesting facts about something he just read! He knows words that I don't even know for things and because he wants to be a missionary someday to Asian countries, he knows facts about countries and early explorers who founded places like Victoria Lake in Africa (a discussion we had the other night on our way home from picking daddy up at work!). It will all happen naturally, the way the Lord designed us to be and it will be fun, and restful! You will definitely have your days, like how when the kids get on each other's cases and fights, bickering, etc. happen, but there will be time to focus on their character, which is more weighty and a treasure, since it takes so very long to develop a good, firm foundation! ?

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The old school supplies will become fun once they are not required! I found that out too! So, we play "school" a lot because they want to, not because I told them we're doing anything in that direction! It became a lot more interesting and fun! I somehow still get to be assistant teacher, they must think I have something important to say, since I get to be second man in command! Lol! But really, our family needs come before any exploring outside the house. We still come together in the morning, eat, read the bible or private times with the Lord and journaling, watch a movie (since we don't watch regular t.v. or even own one, but own a computer and it works for movies that we have found to be educational and Christian based), and then plan our day according to needs of the house first, then our interests or grocery day. Grocery day, I would say is another stickler for me, I like to give them a taste of real life, so I call it grocery math or applied math for life. They have to add up, multiply and subtract, estimate, round, and do percentages when grocery shopping, because someday, they will need these skills. It seemed, at first, to be hard, but once I was able to help them understand my thinking on the matter, and then help them with my knowledge of math, they have grown and do their math problems from memory, using hands if necessary, but are very quick at it now! They have to make sure we don't go over budget and so sometimes have to really think of what is essential, what is a most needed and what is a want, that fits in our set money for food. It has been one of the only things I have kept a must, but that is because, again, it is more about growing together as a family and learning skills, character and working, living together that we felt were the most important. The Lord knows your family dynamics, what you need and all those different wants for each of you, so it could look very different from mine or even another lifeschoolers day, because it's between you and Abba Father in Heaven, the Precious Holy Spirit and Jesus, how these things will look. I'm just sharing what happened and how it worked for us, the way I feel the Lord leads us on different days, in different life-seasons, even seasons! It will have its ups and downs just like life does, but it takes learning into a deeper, more important part of your family and the whole being, will be satisfied!? Talk with you soon!

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Oh, and one more thing, the lifeschool audios are great, Rhea Perry might be of value to you for your entrepreneurial skills! Have a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends! Jennifer, You also have wonderful Christmas! We will talk soon, too! I have been crazy busy with the Nutcracker play, just finished my two daughters tulle skirts and matching tops, if you want to see some of my gifting at its finest, let me know, I will show you a picture of them, I love art!!! And crafts and anything creative! Lol!

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All great advice Ang!! I find the TJed material to be helpful and in line with what you are talking about as well and they really stress focusing on "truth, goodness, and beauty" before academic things. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!!

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