Ronnie Maier has two daughters now in their twenties, who unschooled after leaving school in the early grades—plus a niece who has stayed with them part-time over the years. In a fun twist, Ronnie was the working parent while her husband Frank was the at-home unschooling parent. Ronnie has shared her family’s unschooling experience for many years, both on her blog and speaking at the Life is Good unschooling conference. I really appreciated her joining me on the podcast to deep dive into the challenges of shame.
Questions for Ronnie
Can you share with us a bit about you and your family?
How did you discover unschooling and what did your family’s move to unschooling look like?
Your children are older now, can you share a glimpse with us of what they’re up to?
Now let’s dive into our topic: dismantling shame. Shame is very popular tool of control, especially in the conventional parenting toolbox. Let’s talk for a moment about why we even want to do the hard work of removing it from our lives. How does the shame that we experienced as kids get in the way of unschooling? How can it hurt our relationships with our kids?
As we talk about so often on the podcast, when we find ourselves facing a challenge, the first step is often to dig into the roots of the issue. Can you share with us some of the roots of shame? Where do our feelings of shame come from?
The next step that can be helpful as we work to dismantle shame in our lives is to begin to recognize the kinds of situations that trigger feelings of shame for us, right now. It helps to know when shame might be clouding our vision, doesn’t it? Do you have examples or tips you can share with us about this step?
Now that we’ve identified the roots of our shame, and are starting to recognize situations that trigger our shame, what are some tools we can use to help us begin to heal from shame?
Looking back, what has been the most valuable outcome from choosing unschooling?
Links to things mentioned in the show
Ronnie’s spoken numerous times at the Life is Good unschooling conference
Byron Katie’s exercise, called “the work”
Christine Kane talks about becoming an imperfectionist
Unschooling moms Laura Endres and Colleen Paeff are embarking on a project called Second Best Self on Instagram.
Ronnie’s Blog of the Zombie Princess