For this compilation episode, I gathered clips from sixteen different episodes/guests where I asked some version of this question: “Looking back, what has been the most valuable outcome from choosing unschooling?”
EU002, Pam Sorooshian
PAM L: Looking back now, what for you, has been the most valuable outcome from choosing unschooling with your family?
PAM S: The close relationships that we have. Absolutely. No other thing could come close to that. There is nothing that could come close to that. There is nothing more important than relationships. That’s it.
PAM L: That’s it. Yep.
PAM S: So, we didn’t go through awful teen years where we battled. We don’t have that kind-of-thing were the kids are like, “Yeah, I like my family, but I like them 3000 miles away.”
We just don’t have that kind-of relationships. Like I said, my kids they talk to each other constantly. I hear from them every day. I see them frequently. Our lives are still as completely fun and intertwined. The most fun we have is when we are all together. So that kind of relationship is the best part.
EU005, Sandra Dodd
PAM: Looking back now, what for you has been the most valuable outcome for choosing unschooling?
SANDRA: I’m supposed to name only one thing? Okay, “the” – you said “the”…
PAM: No, you can go … I did say “the.” You can have a tie. (laughs)
SANDRA: Kids know that they have options. My kids know in their adult lives that they can make choices, and that they can get help from their resources, and that we will try to help them.
PAM: That’s beautiful. That really is so different, isn’t it?
SANDRA: I think so.
And none of my kids have college degrees and all of Pam Sorooshian’s do. That was an interesting set of kids, because we met when Holly was four and Rosie was five, and it’s like every other one, they line up: Roya, Kirby, Roxana, Marty, Rosie, Holly. And it was fun to see them grow up so differently and know each other so well and to follow them along as they grew up.
But all her kids have college degrees—it was really important to Cyrus that they go to college. I totally understand where he’s coming from with that. And Pam worked at universities, and they have other adult friends who are professors too, and they were around those places and it was easy for them.
My kids have always had jobs and been doing other things. And while they’ve all taken classes—and Holly’s talking about maybe going in and taking a two-year business degree at the Northern New Mexico College where she’s living near now—they aren’t in a hurry. They don’t have the idea that they might’ve had if they were in school that they’re too old now to start college. They don’t have that at all. And Marty, when he goes to UNM, will be a junior. He’s also 27.
But Keith, who did go to school, changed in and out of school, changed majors. He didn’t get his degree until he was 29. So, they have that example from in the family, only Keith’s parents probably thought he was kind of a slacker and a bum. So, all of my kids have made more money in younger years than either Keith or I did, because teaching didn’t pay diddly in the 70’s.
So, there’s no sense in us shaming them and saying, “You need to get a college degree or you can’t make any money.” Because they could say, “Now tell us again what you were doing when you were 23?” (laughter)
SANDRA: They know, because they don’t have the prejudices to ignore people without degrees or to worship people with degrees, that there’s a huge range of success in life, and that happiness is more important than paper, and blah blah blah.
They know a lot of stuff that I thought would just help them as unschooled kids, but it turns out it helps them as real adults.
PAM: That’s true. And tying it back to your choices, that’s precisely it, right? There’s no timeline or expectations—they make the choice that works for them at the time.
EU009, Amy Childs
PAM: Looking back now, what, for you, has been the most valuable outcome from choosing unschooling?
AMY: Well, the most valuable thing to me has been the relationship with my kids. They’re all very smart. They all ended up wanting to go to college and they all got ridiculously good grades and honors and awards and scholarships and things like that.
I sometimes don’t even want to say that because I think a lot of unschoolers think that, ‘Oh good, if I unschool my kids then they’ll go to college and get really good grades.’ I just don’t want people to think that that has anything to do with it.
My oldest, I loved it that he got a 4.0 grade average, he was magna cum laude as a mechanical engineer but then after that he threw it all the way and went to go live on the farm and make $8,000 a year. Just because somebody gets a college degree or a fancy job doesn’t mean that they’re going to do that.
But now, I think what they would say about unschooling is that it’s not that they got into college or what they do for money, it’s that they have confidence that they know how to make a good life for themselves. And part of why I know that this is what they feel is because of this last season of working on the podcast interviewing them. It’s been really interesting to hear them talking about their self-confidence. Not that they’re always happy or always confident. They still do things that terrify them and they struggle with anxiety and depression and uncertainty and heartbreak and stuff like that.
But they have such a deep respect for their self—just a deep, inner resource that they know that they can get through anything. They can figure out anything that they have to. Not only do they believe in themselves, but they have their siblings and they have me and they have this wide world that will help them if they know how to ask for help and they know where to ask for help.
That is what’s so reassuring about who they are as young adults, for me. They just don’t feel that there isn’t anything that can’t figure out, or what to do about it or how to have a good life. And that goes back to the very first question in how we discovered unschooling. That was my original hope. If I can make resilient kids and self-aware and self-confident and know how to be happy, what do I care what else they are? What do I care if they know algebra, or if they know all that. Turns out they all know algebra way better than I do!
So, the most valuable outcome for them is their self-reliance. Well, that makes them sound really isolated. Their self reliance but also their understanding of how they fit into the world and their confidence that they fit into the world. They have a community or family or just resources with and around them.
But for me? Selfishly? My outcome is my relationship with my kids. But I got to share their growing years with them and then I get to share their years now as adults. They share questions with me, they think out loud with me, they consider me their ally, and because of that they entertain me. They’re better than TV and I don’t even really like TV.
That’s been my best outcome for me, my relationship with them. They feel very well prepared for life. And they feel sorry for us people around them who they see as not that well prepared for life. I think they sometimes see that as a result of unschooling. I think sometimes they don’t even know how or why they’re self-confident or self-aware. I attribute that to the whole attitude and lifestyle of unschooling and putting my relationship with them and believing in them as the most important part of raising them.
EU014, Joyce Fetteroll
PAM: Looking back now, what for you has been the most valuable outcome from choosing unschooling?
JOYCE: Well, this is a short answer, it’s definitely the great relationships that we have. I think because I learned so much on my own outside of school I didn’t worry about the academics. I was concerned about interest driven learning being enough as we were going on, but I wasn’t worried that she couldn’t learn.
The best side benefit of unschooling is growing great relationships. She has a great relationship with her dad. They watch, talk, and do sports together. She and I have a great relationship. We talked about writing and drawing and Starbucks. What I learned with her kept the relationship with my husband strong too.
It’s just been one relationship win all around!
EU018, Jennifer McGrail
PAM: Looking back now, what for you has been the most valuable outcome from choosing unschooling?
JENNIFER: This is the easiest question for me to answer. There’s obviously so many benefits to unschooling: seeing the kids learn, to have freedom and be happy, not going through the angst I see other kids go through.
All of that is great, but far and away the best thing is my own relationship with the kids. I know regular homeschooled kids and public school kids can have good relationships with their parents, but I think unschooling and radical unschooling in particular, relationships come first in the unschooling journey.
I have a wonderful relationship with all my kids from nineteen down to eight and I credit unschooling for that. We live and work together and operate as a family. I couldn’t imagine not having a close relationship with my kids, my teens. The societal mindset of, ‘Wait until they’re teens!’ is terrible! I am enjoying my teens so much. They’re so interesting, all the ages.
I’m finding I enjoy my kids as they get older and are able to talk and do different things. They’re are my best friends, even though society says you are not supposed to do that. They’re amazing and we have such a close relationship.
You go through different seasons, times that are harder, but you work it out as a family. The relationship is always first and I couldn’t ask for a better one with my kids.
That to me has been the most valuable part of unschooling, by far.
PAM: I love that. I found the same thing too. When we first started I had no idea of the relationships that would develop but those are going to last me a lifetime and they have been the most powerful thing that’s ever going to come out of it.
JENNIFER: I see the focus of being the meanest parent and I wonder what those relationships will be like in the future when you’re spending your time in an ‘us versus them’ mentality.
I don’t want to be adversaries with my kids; we’re partners. Like you said, those are relationships we’re going to have the rest of our lives. I look forward to being strong when they’re adults, but I’m also enjoying the ages they are now.
EU022, Lainie Liberti
PAM: Looking back now, what for you has been the most valuable outcomes in choosing unschooling?
LAINIE: It’s the relationship I have with my son and the beautiful relationships that I’ve been able to forge with all the teens that have come into our lives. I don’t think I would have been as open and respectful and approached life on such a partnership with this group of people, including my son, of course, had I not discovered unschooling as a philosophy.
And, I have to add, the permission to be a lifelong learner. It gave me back the permission to learn to go back to the natural learner that we’re all wired to be.
EU037, Carol Black
PAM: Looking back now, what for you, has been the most valuable outcome from choosing unschooling?
CAROL: People probably say this, but it’s like they always say, people on their death bed don’t say they wish they had spent more time at the office, they say they wish they had spent more time with their kids.
I really feel just the time you have with each other as a family and the time you have to be out in nature and to read books together and think and talk together, it’s just the most precious part of life. To me, that’s the most important thing.
There was a guy who made a good point about how we raise or educate our kids. He was a proponent of the idea that kids pretty much turn out to be who they are and we don’t really have that much control over them, actually. He told that to one of them and she just felt despairing because she was like, “But if it doesn’t make any difference then why does it matter how I treat my kids?” And his answer was, “Well, of course it matters how you treat your kids. You don’t get to pick how your husband turns out, but of course it matters how you treat him.”
I think that that sense that it’s not about molding your child or doing something that is going to make your child into necessarily a different kind of person, but it’s just about treating each other with respect and living together in a way that feels mutually respectful. It’s a work in progress for most of us, obviously.
Unschooling isn’t a panacea and it doesn’t solve every problem in life. The way I kind of look at it is, I think our society is way off course in a lot of ways. Of course, we’re completely unsustainable. I think the way we’re living right now is too socially isolating and fragmented and our communities have really kind of broken down and disintegrated. The levels of mental illness and depression and anxiety are really epidemic. Unschooling doesn’t solve all these problems. I see it as a transitional stage in gradually developing or rebuilding better ways to live on the earth, kind of a step in the right direction.
There’s this Lakota man who does a traditional horsemanship program with at-risk youth. What he was saying, for the Lakota people, who are maybe less far off course than we are, he said it’s taken us seven generations to get this far off course, and we have to expect it may take seven generations to get back. So, I kind of look at it that way and explain it that way to my kids and hope that they will understand whatever failures or things that didn’t work well in their childhood as this kind of transitional process.
My parents were born into a world that was racist, sexist, authoritarian, colonial, with a lot of very negative values. And we’ve tried to change a lot of those values in our lifetime. But it’s a lot of work in progress. My parents tried to raise my brother and me in ways that were more respectful and less violent than the ways they were raised. My husband and I have tried to move that process along by questioning the institutional setting for learning and trying to give our kids the respect to learn what they want to learn when they want to learn it. That’s just sort of the next step. And then this next generation will be able to see ahead. We can’t see what lies ahead but they’ll see what the next step is and then they’ll take.
I think there’s a good chance what we need to do is rebuild our communities to be both more sustainable and healthy and hospitable for children and families, and rebuild ways of living together as communities that are really more workable for both people and other species and the planet.
I look forward to seeing what the next generation is going to come up with!
EU044, Jennifer Andersen
PAM: Looking back now, what for you so far, has been the most valuable outcome from choosing unschooling?
JENNIFER: Well, that is the perfect lead in to this question. There are a lot of things that I love about it, obviously. We were on a trajectory with our family to be that harried, crazy family, who went to school, did sports, played musical instruments, required it all, had expectations and it would have been busy and crazy and miserable. That’s been a great thing to not have in our lives. I’m also so glad that my kids and I aren’t forced to separate everyday and miss each other, so, all those kinds of things.
What we were just talking about, that is ultimately, at this point anyway, what has been the greatest part of being exposed to living this way. Living this way ourselves is that really understanding what unconditional acceptance and unconditional love is. At least understanding it more than I ever had to this point. Really appreciating people for who they are, and my kids especially, because if we had continued down the path that we were on, I wouldn’t even know my kids. How could I have possibly known them if they were told where they were going to be, and what they were going to think about during school hours, and then they were going to be to told what they had to play?
My son doesn’t even like sports but he would have been required to play a sport and probably required to play some instrument instead of learning the part about music that he really likes. So I wouldn’t have even known them because they would have been forced down a path of who other people thought they should be, so that really has been the greatest part of all of this, is really getting to see who my kids are. Just when I think they’re going along one way, they completely change direction and are turning into these different, awesome people who are thinking about and experiencing things so different than I do, or ever did. It’s definitely been the best part.
That of course, applies, as we were just talking about, for me, for all of life because once I could start appreciating my kids for who they are instead of who they were supposed to be, I could start doing that with myself which is not just a gift to me but a gift to my family. You know, that fact that I don’t enjoy small talk. I could finally say, “Ok that’s not a bad thing, it’s just a thing. It’s just who I am.” And a million other things.
And I could start appreciating that with everybody who I meet out in the world. I really get to see people more for who they are than for who I’m forcing us to be in a relationship. I don’t know. That’s not very clear but it’s been huge, HUGE, for me.
EU057, Akilah S. Richards
PAM: I was wondering, looking back now, what for you so far has been the most valuable outcome from choosing unschooling?
AKILAH: It would go right back to that liberation mindset. That all of these things I believe in as a social justice believer, as an intersectional feminist, all of these things I believe in, unschooling for me has truly been the vehicle that allows me to live that. To live my politics in that sense.
To afford that same right to my children—and not just mine, but I have more of an influence with my children in terms of what they can and can’t do. That’s the most important thing. I now get to practice liberation and I get to extend that space to my daughters.
PAM: It’s amazing, isn’t it? Coming from kids who were in school, at first, I thought if I take them out of school, what am I going to replace school with? In that first six months to a year, I realized the extent of what this was about. I loved your whole liberation mindset. It’s why we talk about unschooling becoming a lifestyle because it just permeates everywhere. It’s just an incredible way to live.
And you just realize how many constructs were defining your actions. Those constructs are toxic and they don’t even align with who you are. It’s like, I don’t want that. I don’t want to make anybody do anything. That just didn’t dawn on me before. Now I have all of this practice and language. All this compassion, this love/harmony/partnership approach to life and living and that really empowers me. It started about helping my kids to “learn good,” and now it’s about living in harmony with my spirit.
PAM: That’s a good point. It ends up being a lot of our own work, to figure all this out but it’s just such a growth vehicle for us, as people, right? And we learn so much from them. They haven’t been so controlled. They recover so much more quickly because they are still in touch with that open mindset. Just watching them we can learn so much.
AKILAH: Absolutely. I’m sure some folks listen to you out of the space of curiosity, those who aren’t immersed in it but know what’s not working but don’t know yet what to replace it with. I would say unschooling—really, self-directed education—is a philosophy. It becomes an approach to living.
That the box of learning, which comes from the schooled mindset and the pervasiveness. You realize how naturally things can work when you use love and trust, these “woo-woo,” esoteric terms, that sound like yah, I don’t do yoga. We start to understand the practicality of these ways because trust and love are practical things. They really are.
EU066, Pushpa Ramachandran
PAM: Looking back, what has been the most valuable outcome so far from choosing unschooling?
PUSHPA: I would have to say hands down the most valuable outcome for choosing unschooling is to rediscover the joy of learning. And how learning is really the most important part of anything that you do. And how learning is constantly happening whether I decide to pin up a board on it and display it and shout out, “Oh we are learning, we are learning!”
Whether I choose to or not, it is still going to happen. I have no control over learning. It will happen no matter what I try to do or not do.
PAM: I love that! That was something that took me a while to see because I had my own expectations on what it should look like, but as soon as I got passed that, it is happening all the time. Whether or not we see it. Whether or not we even know what they are learning in the moment, they are always picking up something. It is so fun to watch, isn’t it?
PUSHPA: The biggest outcome also has been kind of trying to learn—and I am still learning to do this—not to do what you just said about what you think learning should look like and then box your child into that and get upset.
Sometimes they are not learning what you think they should be learning, but then you get surprised and you literally have to eat your own words because you realize that what you thought they were learning, not only have they learned that, they have learned above and beyond that which you have never even considered so.
PAM: I know! One thing I learned that was really valuable is to sit back and not jump in with comments, because I would direct things in places where I thought they would go, because if it was me that is where I would take it. But the places they would take it are so fascinating and different and so interesting to see, but I had to be careful not to jump in there or else I might take over or knock it off their course.
PUSHPA: I also have to say, I am human. I do make all these mistakes that I am so eloquently telling others—I definitely do not want to sound like I am preaching or anything. I can eloquently talk about it, but I do not necessarily know how to do it all the time. I am still learning how to be a facilitator rather than a director.
PAM: Yes, and I don’t want to give the impression, like you said, to anyone that we are “perfect” at doing any of this. It is all about engaging with each other and you get signals and clues and it is like, “Oh, look, I am putting a little bit too much energy into this, I can tell by their reaction it is time to step back.” Or, “I can tell by their reaction they are wanting more.” It is just about the dance of a relationship, I think that is Pam Sorooshian’s phrase.
I think it just works so well because it always is, even with my kids now as adults, you know, it is still that dance. It is still watching out for the clues of whether I should step right, left, backwards, whatever. You know, sometimes we do step on each other’s toes, but that is another clue and we acknowledge it and figure it out. So yes, it is all part of living together.
PUSHPA: If I could say one thing like at the homeschool meetup that we just had, one of the mom’s did a session on Do Nothing. That was the hardest part for most parents, to ‘do nothing’ sometimes.
PAM: Yes. We are very productivity-oriented, is what jumped to my mind. That feeling that we always have to be doing something. It’s so important to just leave that space for things to go where they are going to go or not. Like you said, we are still learning.
PUSHPA: I am still learning how to do nothing sometimes.
EU074, Robyn Coburn
PAM: And, looking back, what has been the most valuable outcome so far from choosing unschooling?
ROBYN: Well, that is a really short answer. I have a very happy daughter with no school damage and a close connection to her parents, to James and me. That is the outcome. That is it.
PAM: The relationship.
ROBYN: A very happy daughter who seems to be completely aware of the world and history and culture and science and, if she wants to find out about something, she knows how do that. She is still determining her career kind of path. The problem is not that she does not know what to do but that she has too many choices. There are so many different interests and ideas about her future that she is not yet sure which path is going to appeal to her most.
PAM: But that is okay because that is the nice thing about not feeling like you need to stick to a particular timetable, right? You were talking earlier about her being confident however things work out, you know, however they turn out.
So, being able to know that, “Oh, gee, I have all these interesting things and to be able to continue pursuing them all to see.” Then eventually, she will see, maybe she will come up with a way to combine them moving forward. Maybe one will start to stand out, but having that space is awesome.
ROBYN: Yes, as time goes on she just has seen more and more to add. (laughs)
EU089, Jan Hunt
PAM: Looking back, what has been the most valuable outcome from choosing unschooling, for you?
JAN: Just to look at Jason and know that he is happy, very secure, that he is amazing. If something goes wrong, he always sees the humour right away. I see the humour six months later; he sees it instantly, so he is always really quick with a cute little joke. He jokes about things but in a very kind way and very helpful, that helps me to see that I was taking something too seriously or that something is not as dire as I had thought. He keeps me in perspective because he has such an incredible perspective on life and in every way. Every interaction that he has with people is just so appropriate and kind.
PAM: I love that point about the perspective, because you know what? When I think of that, it is so true. I always say that I learn from my kids, and it is still true. Mine are age twenty and up now, and still I learn from them in how to approach situations. Their perspective and ability to roll with the situation is just amazingly fun to watch, so when I start getting caught up…
JAN: And it is so important to stay calm in difficult times, because anybody can stay calm in good times. It is how we treat each other and ourselves when things are not going so well. I am still trying to learn that, and I have this wonderful teacher right here.
PAM: Exactly, right? Like you said, I love chatting with them, I love being with them, and hanging out with them; they are fun. They have such a fresh perspective on so many things in the moment and in the world and with information; how they have creatively built their unique picture of the world. Their picture and view of the world is so fascinating, isn’t it? To just hear them talk about something and share the connections and what they see and what they take from things is just so interesting.
JAN: Well, all of that went into this article, and I want to mention is again, ‘Creating a Peaceful World Through Parenting.’ He and I spent several months going over every sentence with a fine-tooth comb; we did not want to hurt anyone’s feelings, we just wanted to be heard, you know, and clear, and this is all of the things. If we had only one article on our website, it would be that one to show people how we can have peace in the world. It all comes down to the early years and the way we treat children.
EU111, Jan Fortune
PAM: Looking back, what has been the most valuable outcome from choosing unschooling for you?
JAN: I think the biggest thing that is, is that if you relate to your children as autonomous creators of their own stories and people you can pool creative with, that relationship goes on throughout life.
So, the most valuable thing for me has been these ongoing relationships of trust and support which are now with a group of young adults who are on all different kinds of journeys. Just the fact that that goes on and on and develops and the excitement that it’s now developing with a first grandchild, it’s absolutely amazing to have that much trust and support with these incredible young people.
It’s also given all of us the mindset that the whole of life is about learning and that’s really helpful, I think, in a world where flexibility is essential. For myself, it’s meant not getting stuck in any role that’s no longer working for me because I know I can change it. It’s always possible. So, the benefits are just ongoing.
At the moment, as you said in the beginning, I’m shifting the balance of my own work from being largely editing with the press that I’ve set up to being more about my own life writing and sharing insights into writing and the writing life and the new blog on Medium.
So, unschooling has taught me that I can make changes in my own life at any age and that I will always have these amazing people in my life to share that with and that the creativity just goes on growing.
PAM: I love that. And what a shift, right, when we first start or choose unschooling we think that it’s about our kids…(laughter)
JAN: Absolutely. It’s about all of us together.
PAM: Yeah, and it’s about learning how to be a human being. Just embracing life—it’s beautiful, isn’t it?
JAN: Absolutely. I mean, I think that is the absolute crux of it. Actually, unschooling is exactly what it says on the can: we don’t need those school models, we need to talk about how we live well and we need to share that with people most important in our lives and when we do that, the magic is extraordinary.
EU130, Ronnie Maier
PAM: Looking back for yourself, what for you has been the most valuable outcome from choosing unschooling all those years ago?
RONNIE: Relationships. Definitely. I wanted to say something more original because I’m sure you’ve had people say relationships quite a bit. Having grown kids who enjoy your company, who call you when they’re feeling sad and want to go shopping with you or have you come visit them in Minneapolis. It’s huge and it continues to be work.
Having grown kids is an interesting challenge. How much do you say? How much do you not say? It’s constantly walking this balancing beam trying not to interfere too much, trying not to give advice when they’re not looking for that. You kind of feel your way. And that’s another one where you just keep shining the light on what you’re trying to do.
Like MJ, the older one, I leave her alone a lot. She’s fiercely independent and of the two of them has more baggage with me because she was that kid who experienced, before peaceful parenting, lot more bag baggage, so I leave her alone but periodically I check in. I send her cute cat photos on Instagram. Things like that. And I check in and say, “I’ve been leaving you alone, is that what you want?” And she’ll say, “Yeah, I appreciate it.” She knows what I’m doing and recognizes that I’m giving her space that she wants.
And then, totally different relationship with Chloe, but still needing to walk that line. She and I talk almost everyday, joined-at-the-hip 1400 miles apart! But then there will be days when she gets quiet and then it’s like, ‘Okay Chloe’s having some mom-free time. I get that!’
Anyway, but the foundation that we have that allows us to do that kind of checking in with each other and trusting each other to listen if we’re getting it wrong, is gold. I could not have imagined how happy a family could be before unschooling. It’s just not something you’re told. It’s not something you lived, the bonds that you have and the fun that you have.
EU131, Maria Randolph
PAM: With your official unschooling years behind you now, looking back what has been the most valuable outcome you think from choosing unschooling?
MARIA: Oh my goodness. I have to pick just one? (laughter)
I would say the most valuable outcome to unschooling is that I was able to take my time and look at our relationship differently.
I think we have always had a fine relationship I really do. You know, I like self-improvement, but I had to do that at a younger age with homeschooling. I feel like because of that we had a stronger bond and a more respectful relationship between two humans than I think we would have had otherwise. Because I began to see her not as the child, but as a person who needed guidance but fully had her own ideas, her own thoughts whether she was verbalizing them or not.
I could give her the information and guide her in whatever it was she wanted to do and I think that has then played its part as she has gotten older. Just kind of has connected us on a level I am not sure we would have connected on before. Because I truly see her as a human fully capable of making all of her own choices and her own decisions.
EU135, Anna Brown
PAM: Looking back, what has been the most valuable outcome from choosing unschooling?
ANNA: I think it really has to be time because, as I mentioned, we didn’t know how much time we would have with my oldest and really, the truth of matter is, we don’t know how much time we have with anybody.
Some people don’t like to think about that, but it’s the truth. I knew early on because of our experience with her that I wanted to enjoy every moment. I wanted to be able to live with no regrets and if it all ended tomorrow that I could say we had the most awesome time together and I’m so grateful. That’s where I wanted to be and that’s what we did. That’s what we’re still doing. I still do it today all the time because you just never know and that’s what guides my decisions and my spending time with people that I love and my doing the things that I enjoy.
How does that look? I feel like unschooling was such a big part of that. It allowed us to build these relationships and visit amazing places and explore these things that we love and, oh my gosh, the magical people we met along the way. I wouldn’t trade a second of it and I am so grateful for all those things that happened and sometimes it’s hard to be understanding.
I’m even grateful for the things that happened to my oldest because, wow, did it change the trajectory of everything. Had that not happened I wouldn’t be here today. It’s just understanding that those are the choices. I just feel like unschooling—I’m so grateful.
Oh my gosh, it goes by really fast! Bloop-bloop, it’s all over!
Even with that, so now I’m in this age where my friends—their kids are getting older and going off. A lot of them are upset and I don’t feel that at all. We have savored every stage. We continue to be grateful for the time we have together now but I’m so excited for them! I don’t have regrets about not having time or now they’re going and we’re losing time. No! We’ve had so much time and what a gift that time has been. I feel like unschooling was a gift and it helped us step off a treadmill that we were definitely on before all this happened.
It gave us, as a family, so much that I will always be grateful for.