This week I’m sharing part four of the audiobook edition of my book, The Unschooling Journey: A Field Guide.
Last week, we entered the deschooling phase of our journey and found ourselves on the aptly named road of trials: a series of tests and challenges that the hero faces as they begin this personal transformation in earnest. On our unschooling journey, this is when we find ourselves challenging so many of our existing beliefs around learning and parenting. And these areas are distinct and meaty enough that I created a separate stage for each.
In Stage Six, Challenging Our Beliefs About Learning, we confront some fundamental truths about learning. Depending on where you are on your journey, some of them may seem a bit “out there,” but just begin where you are, with the openness of beginner’s mind, and start asking yourself questions.
In Stage Seven, Shifting From Control to Connection, we explore some truths about parenting. The parenting truths that are so valuable for unschooling to thrive are those that see the child as a unique and whole person. It’s about moving away from control tactics and toward the rich soil of connection that nourishes a trusting relationship between parent and child. Between two human beings.
Be sure to give yourself time to ponder these truths. To see what they look like through the lens of your lives. If you try to race through these stages, you’ll miss so much of the value of the journey.
This week, we’re diving into stages eight and nine. You can think of your deschooling story to this point as working through much of the nuts and bolts of unschooling, the hands-on details of living unschooling day-to-day.
And now things are going to get really interesting!
Inspired by Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey framework, ‘The Unschooling Journey’ is a weave of myths, contemporary stories, and tales from my journey. It’s not a “how to” book—no two paths through the world of unschooling have the same twists and turns—yet having a general sense of where you are on your journey can bring valuable insight as you navigate the challenges that will inevitably appear. I share this book as a field guide to the stages and characters you are likely to encounter in some form on your unschooling journey.
And the print edition is also a journal! In the print edition, you’ll also find plenty of room to document your journey along the way. Hema Bharadwaj’s illustrations are printed full page for you to colour as you contemplate your journey, there are journal pages for writing down your experiences and clarifying your thoughts, and even blank pages for doodling and sketching.
You can purchase the print edition on Amazon, or find it on most other online print book retailers.
And for listeners who prefer interview-style episodes, this week I’ve selected episode 154, Unschooling Dads and Documentaries with Jeremy Stuart, first released in December 2018. Jeremy is an unschooling dad and video editor who also directed and co-produced the documentary films, Class Dismissed and Self-Taught, which looks at the question, “What happens when they become adults?”
I really enjoyed our conversation, which included this gem from Jeremy:
“I think as we go through this journey of life, things tend to get narrower and narrower—or they can. We are forced into these little funnels. To me, the challenge is to break that funnel down and actually get bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger and let more and more of the world in. Let more of the world in, not less. The more of the world you let in, the richer your life becomes.”