PAM: Welcome I’m Pam Laricchia from livingjoyfully.ca. And today I’m here with Anna Brown. Hi, Anna!
PAM: Just to let you know, we are back with another unschooling in context episode. I really enjoy these and the idea here is to take these episodes and try to deepen our understanding of unschooling by exploring it in the context of other related things.
So, this week, I would like to dive into deschooling and contrast that with unschooling. So, we’re going to talk about various aspects of deschooling, what we’re learning as we work through them and then what they look like as we come to fully embrace unschooling.
So, just before get started the first thing I wanted to mention was the concept of beginner’s mind because I think it’s a really valuable mindset for deschooling, isn’t it?
ANNA: Absolutely and to me it’s kind of foundational for unschooling. And I think it’s that first place to jump back to, look at your child because kids they are born with this beginner’s mind. I mean that’s it. They’re the template for that.
And so, I think whenever we get too far ahead or too mired in whatever, we can always look back. And even if our children are older remember that curious toddler, remember that child with wide open wonder exploring world.
PAM: Yeah. And I think if people don’t know kind of what beginner’s mind is, I think it kind of speaks for itself. But what it means is it’s going back to that place where you don’t expect you know things, that you don’t understand everything. It’s being ready to question what we think we know basically. And just being open to new ideas, new perspectives and exactly, I love that image. And it’s one I use often. I’m a little kid and I’m really curious about this moment. That is such a great way to quickly put yourself back into that open kind of mindset isn’t it?
ANNA: Yes, and honestly, I always have you in my head when I get stuck and it’s your idea of “I want to be open and curious.” I think of you when I think of that and when I’m faced with a difficult situation, I think, ‘You know what. I don’t want to judge it. I don’t want to be fearful of it. I just want to be open and curious.’ And to me that speaks to the beginner’s mind, I think, because children are just, they don’t think they know and they don’t really have a lot of fear about it. They really are just like “Oh what’s this?” They just want to touch it, feel it, explore it, understand it. And so, it really helps me. It calms me when I’m feeling like a situation is feeling a little bit big for me to just step back and observe and remain open and curious. I appreciate that from you.
PAM: Gee, thanks. For me, it is such a helpful way for me to be open to other people’s perspectives and what they have to say. Because I can be open and be looking at the situation and I can be seeing it the way I see it because that’s all I can see in the moment, right? Even if I’m open and I can be seeing different things and seeing different aspects but being open to hearing how other people see it is really, really helpful. And you know what, after a while as you’ve been practicing this, I think what it builds for us is kind of a trust in ourselves to be able to think for ourselves. It’s OK to think ‘Does this make sense to me? How do other people see it?’ I can value how other people see it because how it makes sense to me is literally the way other people are looking at it too. This is the way it makes sense to me. And those are all completely valid. And I think too, the other thing that it does that I love is once we’re starting to see things from outside of our box, it really opens our creativity, our openness to seeing different ways to move through it and it helps us unattach from the way we were wanting to move through it.
ANNA: Right. And I think it’s a piece of it when we get defensive. So, someone else’s is showing us another perspective. And if our reaction is instead to be defensive it just really shuts that down. We lose that connection with that person and we lose the opportunity to grow and maybe change.
We don’t have to feel like hearing a different perspective means that we have to change our mind. But when I can approach it with that open curiosity, I just feel like it keeps me connected to that person even if we end up not agreeing in the end. Because if I don’t have a defensive stance, it also allows us both room to hear each other and to move forward, to learn and grow. That’s one of the things I love so much about unschooling, that openness and that free flow of ideas between parents and children and friends and the community around us.
PAM: Yes, because that free flow, that openness, that trust with your child is because they trust you to listen. They feel heard. It’s that chance to say and us being open to seeing things differently, maybe shifting things, also gives them the space to do that without feeling like they’ve lost power or that they’ve given up anything. No, we’re all moving forward. Nobody has to move backward by giving up how they thought they saw something.
PAM: Anyway, what I love is that most experienced unschoolers I know also embrace this mindset moving forward. It’s super important to get to that space when you’re deschooling but we embrace it moving forward. I find we approach each day and then days become moments right as we start to focus moment by moment but with curiosity, with openness to people’s ideas, with creativity and that just comes much more naturally to us. Not perfectly, there’s always going to be those fearful moments that come up but you begin to notice pretty quickly when things are off and you can shift back like you said, I remember how would kids see that? How would we be open to this? And you do that because you know in your bones that things just seem to work out better when we approach our moments this way right?
ANNA: Yes. Absolutely. And it just feels better. That’s always kind of a litmus test for me. When I’m get mired in fear or worry about something, that doesn’t feel good. My relationships then tend to get a little bit off because I have this off energy and so when I’m able to ground myself and to come back to that place of open curiosity, things are easier and it just feels better. So, I think that can just be our question, “How does this feel?” Because we’re still going to be moving forward and solving problems and we’re still going to have challenges and whatever but it feels so much better to move through those challenges when we’re connected. And when we are not fearful.
PAM: Yeah. That’s awesome.
I think this was the next step for me in deschooling. It all depends on where people are coming on their journey, but it’ll be a big piece at some point. And that’s deschooling our understanding of learning and how learning happens and how eventually you’ll come to see it happening everywhere.
ANNA: Right. I think it’s so interesting because we’ve always unschooled. So, I didn’t have this deschooling in like my kids had been in school and coming home but this idea of learning that we have as a society is so prevalent. So, all of us have this deschooling to do as we realize that learning doesn’t happen in one particular space. Learning doesn’t happen in one particular way. Learning happens all the time. We are human beings and we’re creatures of learning. You really can’t stop it. But I think what we see as products of a school system because you know you and I both went to school and college, is that we do have to continually let go of some of those ideas They pop up in different places.
This theme will probably keep coming out, it’s that stepping back and watching the kids. Because they’re doing it all the time. They’re learning all the time and you’ll be, I think, amazed. We hear it over and over again when people do step back. How did they learn that? Where did that come from? Look what they’ve done. It’s so amazing when we step back and give them that space. But it’s a process and it’s a process we have to be aware that there are things we need to let go of and there’s time that we need to step back and watch that longer view.
PAM: Yeah yeah. That’s why we often talk about it’s not a life decision. You know choosing unschooling. Choosing school. We can change our minds. But if you really want to figure out unschooling and understand it, give it six months minimum at least. A year would be great because you need that time frame to see how learning unfolds. Like you mentioned, not only just seeing it everywhere, happening everywhere but valuing all of it the same.
And another piece I love is the change of just how I visualized learning. At school it’s very much step, step, step. And when you’re watching the kids, I started to see it way much more as a web. Because there are so many interconnections between things and when you have those months and months of seeing your kid’s learning and you look back you can see how seemingly unrelated topics actually had a thread and now you can see the connection through it. So, I think that is another big piece when you’re deschooling learning. You also see that learning is fun right.
ANNA: Yeah. Learning is fun and something that we seek out, not avoid. My nephew home schooled but in his early years was in school. And oh my goodness, I feel like it was for at least five years, anything he thought was learning, anything that he thought looked like “learning”, he actively avoided. And it was so different with my children and the children that had never had been in that school environment. They were, “Oh, I want to read about that. Oh, I want to do that!” Because we want to take in information but I think school can sometimes make that such a negative experience that we turn off something that’s so human. This idea of wanting to learn. Of course, now he’s 30 and he loves learning new things and he does all kinds of amazing things. But he had to get over that piece of having it been turned against him almost. Which is such a shame to think about learning being turned against us.
ANNA: And the other piece really quickly is that learning isn’t linear, necessarily. And so, I think school pretends that it is. I don’t even think it’s linear in school but they pretend that it is. And I think just that longer view, like you were talking about six months a year, you see this little stuff’s going on here, than this big leap here and then this other thing here and then over here we jump back to something, we revisit it from last year and then we’re over here. It is the web. It is this completely non-linear.
PAM: The time piece of that is important too. Because sometimes it looks like maybe they’re not learning anything, maybe they’re very quiet. What we’ve sometimes called cocooning for a while or just doing stuff that they already know or watching things they’ve already seen. And then like you talked about so often, as they move through it, not on our timetable, on their timetable, but then you recognize the leaps that happen after. It really is amazing to watch.
I think as you’re talking about that learning in school and outside school, I think often as we’re deschooling part of the thing we pick up is motivation. You start to think about the extrinsic motivation of grades and rewards as you think about testing and is testing important? And grades what are the value those? These are all questions we ask ourselves as we’re deschooling and then contrasting that with intrinsic motivation and seeing that in our kids and seeing that unfold and thinking about our school experience and the effect that we discovered on our motivations. I think that’s a huge piece of it as well.
I was going to say there is one thing I wanted to bring up. That I think is really important at this stage and that is the challenge of diving into more structured activities when you first start descchooling. I see it and I understand it because we feel like we’re replacing school at first. Even if your kids haven’t gone to school but they’re hitting school age and you haven’t worked through this. That’s still how we see learning. Because we’re talking about deschooling learning. So, we can give value to these more formal kinds of learning environments. Even if it’s rec classes.
Swimming lessons is famous one that people bring up. But any kind of more formal classes because if you bring it up now while you’re in the midst of deschooling, if you’re participating in those things it can take longer to kind of unwrap that idea. That’s not the only way to learn. There nothing wrong with them per say but if that’s where we jump the first place, we are giving that messaging even without words that that’s more important. That this is the way we learn things. And this is the best way, with a teacher/student kind of relationship. And while your deschooling it is so valuable to see all the different ways that you can learn things.
It seems important to me that part of deschooling is not jumping to those first. If your kid loves a sport or loves something and loves going, that’s OK. It’s not like stop them for the sake of stopping them. You’re not trying to stop anybody’s joy and fun and learning and exploration or anything but be super careful that if somebody expresses an interest that’s not the first place. Let’s not jump to that first. Let’s think of different ways that we can explore it and eventually it will get to the point where that’s one of the options on the plate. But if that’s the one we’re constantly jumping to, that’s going to get in the way of our deschooling, isn’t it?
ANNA: Well, I think it is sending that message that there’s one way. So, I would just kind of offer or even challenge parents in that position to when a child says “Hey I’m interested in calligraphy.” Maybe they saw some fancy document somewhere. Instead of saying, “Oh well, there’s a calligraphy class at the co-op.” You can step back and think where’s that coming from? Because part of that is a fear, a fear of, “Can I help them do this? Can I help them have the resources they need to do whatever?”
But what you realize is a lot of times it’s just an exploration. We’re just wanting to explore. So, it may be that you provide some tools about calligraphy and then maybe they decide they want to see someone else doing it. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be an expert. It could be the neighbour that does wedding invitations and wants to show them what they do or whatever.
We can help our children see the world is filled with learning and the world is filled with so many different ways to acquire knowledge.
It’s just such a great skill and I think that jumping to classes is a fear thing. I think that’s the parents work, to sit back and say “I’m not going to be fearful of this. I’m going to trust and watch this unfold.”
And so like you said, I think it’s important, especially in those early days to not jump there. “I like ballet.” “OK. We’re signing up for ballet class.” Maybe not. Maybe let’s just dance around the living room, maybe let’s just watch a video. Maybe let’s just put a tutu on and have fun with it and see where it develops because again it’s not that a class is bad, it’s just is where we first want to go?
Because what I feel like what can also happen in that situation is that if a child says something and then is instantly enrolled in a class, they can stop saying something because maybe they don’t want it to go there. ‘If I express an interest then that means I have to take a class.’ So, as opposed to I want to share these things I’m interested in and we’re going to explore it together and find it fun and do all of that together. So, those are just some things to think about when those conversations come up.
PAM: Yeah, yeah. I really love that. The fear piece is so much our work, to work through to get comfortable in this new role through the deschooling process. It’s getting comfortable in this new role. And I loved your point about thinking bigger picture too because our kids will have thought about a whole bunch of things. They’ve gotten to calligraphy. But it may be a bigger thing so that when you’re playing around with them you can bring other related things.
That’s all part of having the conversations instead of just jumping to the class. Because as we’ve talked about before so many things are connected. It doesn’t randomly pop in their head calligraphy or ballet. That thought doesn’t just come up on its own. It’s connected to things, it’s gotten there somehow. So, the exploration can include bits of all those pieces that are connected to it for them. So, maybe it is let’s just pick up a pair of ballet slippers and dance around watch them. Go to a ballet. There are just so many things you can do with dancing because maybe they said ballet because that’s the first term they knew but dancing is really it. Dancing round is going to be fun. There’s just so much more to explore than to jump to class.
ANNA: So, I love this because what I think and maybe this will make sense to people. So, if we take the interest and then we plop them in the calligraphy class or the ballet class then they’re sitting there and they’re having information given to them. But what we can do in our unschooling environment is have those conversations. So, we can have this back and forth and find out ‘I like this a little bit. I don’t like this a little bit.’ There’s just no room for that in classes in school. And that’s where a lot of us buck up against that. Where what we find is that I want to do this a little bit more or I want to do more of this or I don’t like this aspect but I like this. So, that’s where this individualized education that they talk about doing at the school, we can do that because we’re having these conversations.
Calligraphy really may have just been this tiny bit that then led them to this other thing that’s the true interest and you’re not going to get there if you’re plopped into the calligraphy class having to do letters that someone else is telling you. We’re not going to know what that is.
I think even if we look at it from a perspective of how to learn most efficiently what we want to know. This is the way.
PAM: Right. Oh, that’s such a great point, to get that may not even be the end point. This could just be something in the middle and if we stop them there, we’re not letting them keep going with what the next thought and the next connection and the next connection.
So, in the context of unschooling, as you’re working through all this stuff we’ve been talking about the bulk of deschooling. I think what happens is you come to see how rich and engaged and fulfilling learning is when we’re following our interests instead of following a curriculum. And that it happens regardless of age because now you know what part of it’s going to be us learning new things. That is definitely going to come up as we’re deschooling around learning as well. Regardless of time of day, location, activity.
To me, it’s important to say that we see these instead of understand these because it is reasonably easy to understand, it makes sense. It’s pretty easy to understand intellectually, early on in our journey that learning is bigger than what it looks like in school. But it’s different as you work through this process, when you see it in action. We keep talking about, ‘look to our kids, see our kids in action, watch what they’re doing.’ Because when you see this stuff in action with your own children, it makes it real like nothing else. No book explaining it, you seeing it in action with your kids and seeing this is the way humans do things. You really see it in action. To me that’s a really important piece too. And I think that’s part of the mindset that you get to around learning once you’ve moved through the bulk of deschooling and have gotten to unschooling.
ANNA: I think it’s so true because we’re talking about it in this way and people are reading articles and they’re watching podcasts and whatever but it really is about just being there and observing your kids because I’m thinking of, we have a Summit participant that shared this really beautiful post of her kids swinging and she jotted down the 20 amazing topics that they covered while the two kids were swinging. They were talking about ancient Egypt and bugs that did this and the life cycle of that and that this. When you can experience that, it’s so amazing and you really are just filled with this awe. This is amazing to be able to talk to our kids and explore and do and have all of this. So, there really is nothing like just actually seeing it.
It’s great to do the research and read, Pam and I did the same thing because that’s how we process information. But wow, the joy and the really sinking it in is just observing and being a part of it and being present in those moments with our kids.
PAM: Yeah yeah. No, it’s a crucial part of deschooling as well.
The understanding is important, but when you see it in action, that’s when you really absorb it into your soul.
ANNA: I think so.
The next thing I want to talk about which I think is really fun is deschooling our language.
I think there are some words that will likely fade out of your vocabulary as you move through deschooling into embracing unschooling. For example, one word is teaching. As part of that whole thing about learning. We’re also probably thinking about the teaching aspect because culturally the word teaching encompasses the expectation that learning has happened. Right now, I’m teaching something and whoever I’m teaching is learning, that’s the way it happens. And if the learning doesn’t happen, we blame the learner. Because the teacher shared the information, the teacher did their part. But there’s something wrong with the learner, if the learner didn’t pick it up.
So, for me as I was deschooling it was really helpful to be very precise in my language because that helped me see things more clearly. So, if I moved away from the idea of teaching and started seeing things again from my kid’s point of view from the learning and seeing the learning that was happening and I could start seeing them as separate acts. So, maybe I said some like, “I showed them how to do X or I showed him how to do X. Maybe they learned how to do it from my demonstration, maybe they didn’t.” Tying shoes or how to make an egg or adding things together, whatever it is that we’re talking about, I show it to them and I can explain it but that doesn’t mean that they’ve learned it. That it’s made sense to them from their perspective. So, I think that it was really helpful for me to just really stop using teaching as part of my everyday language.
ANNA: Yeah. It really wasn’t a word that we used because it really doesn’t apply. Once you’re fully unschooling I think you’ll find you don’t use that. So, again here’s and opportunity, when I use the word teach. Think about that. “Why did I choose that word?” Because I think it can give you some insights into what you are maybe putting on a particular situation or the possible expectations. So, I think it’s just a good little, huh. I just was thinking teaching when I wanted to say this why and explore that. So, it just can give you that little hint to dig a little bit deeper there.
PAM: Yes. I think that’s the great thing it’s not about, when we talk about how they fade out of our vocabulary. But it’s not about, “I’m not supposed to use that word.”
PAM: Because what do you learn from that? When you find yourselves using words that we’re talking about, that’s a clue to say “That’s probably something I should dig deeper into.” Just like you were saying, and “Why am I seeing it from that perspective?” Another one it’s related to teaching that jumps out at me when I see it and I see it being used quite often and it’s the term field trip.
ANNA: Oh. (laughing).
PAM: Why not say, “We went to the museum or we went to the science centre?” Instead of we took a field trip to the museum or we’re all going on a field trip and it may seem like semantics but this is the point of this part of the deschooling process, right? That it’s not really semantics, it’s schooly language. You’re overtly sending a message that a field trip to the museum is more important than going to the park or staying home. Or it’s giving value to something just by the words that that you use.
ANNA: And I think if you take just one minute, 30 seconds to dig into why you use a particular word, you’ll see whatever the word is, there’s energy behind it. And I think with a word like field trip you have some expectations and perhaps agenda. You know we’re going to be learning something, we’re going to be doing this.
We can take museums as a great example, we did tons of museums when the kids were little. Because it was fun. We just enjoy that exploration. But we were not going in with the agenda. We could have spent the whole time in one spot, it was called Discovery Place in Charlotte. They had this chair that, I guess it was maybe a hydraulic demonstration, but you’d sit in it and you’d press these buttons and you would levitate up. But it was kind of this quiet levitation up. Well hello, we could have spent the whole hour and a half just being in the chair. And that’s great because we didn’t come there with any agenda. It was not that we were looking for any particular thing, it was just, “Hey, let’s check out Discovery Place today or let’s go downtown and do some things.” We could just pop into Discovery Place because we have a membership and that made it easier to come and go.
So, I think people can say it’s just semantics, it doesn’t matter you’re going to the museum too and it’s like yes but just check and maybe not. Maybe you can say “No, I just like the word field trip.” OK but check if it has that energy. See if you have an expectation about what a field trip looks like, what comes out of the field trip. Because those expectations can just set us up for failure, disconnection and resentment.
PAM: And so worth taking that moment because back to figuring out how learning happens, because what does a field trip look like for school? There is that whole agenda. The kids have to check off that they hit this exhibit and this exhibit and now they have to move on and everything. And if we just subconsciously got that, we could be standing there at the chair. For me, my enlightenment moment in that area was a bobsled exhibit at the Science Centre. So, they had a little bobsled there and the kids sat in then it was on motors and it would move around and it played a movie of going down a bobsled run. We spent well over an hour there.
Those are our moments, right? It’s like OK I’m done. But I can be patient. I can see that they’re still engaged. They’re having fun. And it was this whole moment for me of coming to realize and understand the value of them staying there and staying with where their engagement is, where their fun is, where their joy is because that’s where their learning was in that moment. If I told them to go somewhere else, half their brain may be thinking about that and may be uninterested and you know what? The next time we go to that exhibit, if I pulled them away, they would have bad memories of that and they wouldn’t dive in and that might have been something that would be a big deal for them. That they would have had a lot of fun with etc. So, following their pace I think is what we learn. That agendas can be so easy attached to the idea of field trip.
ANNA: I think so. The underlying lesson too is that, let me think I want to say this. So, if we take the checklist because you’re right, the field trip has the checklist. You’ve been to each thing. The visit becomes about the checklist. So, it becomes about just checking the box that you saw the monkey thing, you saw the frogs, you saw the chair, you saw the whatever.
When you’re really able to explore it at your own pace you’re listening to what is inside of you, what you are drawn to. So often we talk about people in their twenties and say that they’re directionless and they don’t know what they want, etc. And I think, ‘How could they know?!’ When we’re telling them to check the box and no don’t stay at the poison dart frogs because you’ve already checked that off the box. But they are drawn to the colour or why is the habitat like that or what is that and we don’t know where that exploration would go because we’ve just moved them on to the next thing.
But what we see in unschooling is there might be a deep dive on poison dart frogs. We had a really cool exhibit which reminds me from Discovery Place and oh my gosh we went through a poison dart frog stage. Where had little toy ones, we looked at books, we watch things, all because we spent time just staring at this pretty tiny habitat of poison dart frogs. It then led to all of these other places. And so that pacing is so critical.
But what that is teaching it’s not about the poison dart frogs. It’s about how do we listen to what’s inside, what we are drawn to or interested in? How do we recognize that, explore it and find out more about it? That’s what I love about it. I love that we’re learning how to listen to these messages inside and then get more information about what we’re interested in versus this external check off the box you’ve already seen that now do this. You’ve answered the three questions about the poison dart frog and now you’ve moved on.
I just think that’s critical for learning and for humans and to move forward as adults. I think it’s critical knowledge about ourselves.
PAM: Yeah, yeah. And by us as a parent supporting them doing that, we’re showing that it’s valuable for you to follow, to stay here as long as you need or want before we move on. And another part of the deschooling that’s for us so often we get caught up. ‘Well you know we paid for this admission. We got to see all the things right?’ That will be another thing that you’re going to be working through because imagine what’s more valuable, spending time where they’re getting so much out of it even if they’re in the same 10 foot square area for an hour and a half. That is so much more valuable than dragging them around.
ANNA: Here is something that held their interest for an hour and a half. We don’t know what they’re taking in about that particular thing but clearly, it’s interesting. Because they are wanting to stay there. So that’s great.
PAM: Is there another word that you wanted to bring up before we move on?
ANNA: I don’t know that it’s a word we use so much but its subjects is what I want to talk about because maybe it’s not something we say but I think we chunk things into subjects. So, it’s “Oh look it’s the maths opportunity.” or it’s the English opportunity, we’re going to write our thank you letters or we’re going to do whatever and we’re checking boxes in our head. And I think that’s absolutely taught by our schools and society to chunk the world into subjects. And it isn’t helpful.
Because what we find is as unschoolers and really as learners, as adults is any particular project covers any kind of subject that you want to cover and chunking it out separately kind of just stagnates or stops you because it’s like “Oh wait this is maths and I’ve got to figure out this.” But if you’re just trying to solve how I want to build the treehouse, you’re going to use all of these different things. It doesn’t matter what subject it falls into. And that’s one of the great things about unschooling is we don’t have to worry about that. And some people do for reporting I know. But even in the situations you’ve had some great episodes recently about reporting. You can jot down the things that you’re doing but I would even say in that situation don’t be chunking into subjects when you’re with your child or when you’re doing things. Write down what you’re doing and then later if you have to report in a particular way, you can spend an hour in that zone of subjects.
PAM: Putting it in school language.
ANNA: But you don’t have to do that on a day to day basis because I think when we chunk things into subjects I think we run the risk of children thinking they’re bad at something. Maybe thinking they aren’t good at maths. But what I’ve found is when they’re following their passion and the different tools, we’ll call them, come up in following their passion, they do get it and understand it. This idea, this construct of subjects is just not helpful. So, I think if you find yourself thinking that, just step back ‘Why do I care? Why do I think about it? What does it mean?’ And again, you may not want to change your mind or you’re thinking about it but I think it’s worth that little pause to think. Where’s that coming from?
PAM: And that ties back so nicely when we’re talking about learning and seeing learning as linear because subjects lend themselves to that linear nature right vs. the more web view where like you were saying, building a tree house hits maths, it hits nature, it hits so many different things and so many different topics and you’re going to use so many different skills as you figure it out and research and look at plans. That is the more interconnected nature of everything. And absolutely, even if you need to do it for reporting it can get in the way of our deschooling and in our kids, the way they see learning. The way they learn to see learning.
If we’re bringing that into our conversations because even if we’re not literally mentioning it, we will be bringing that energy to it. Our tone of voice may change a little bit when we get to the maths part of building the tree house. That is so important. Right? Rather than everything being important.
So, just to wrap that up as you work through the bulk of your deschooling and come to embrace unschooling, I think you’ll really find that the schooly language will fade out of your vocabulary.
Now I’d like to move on to deschooling our relationships with our kids. Because for me this is another big one. And truly kids are so much more capable than society in general gives them credit for, right?
PAM: “Of course, Pam.” (laughing).
So, for this part of deschooling, one of the things that was big and which I thought I knew already but as you deschool you get to deeper and deeper layers of this but it is not adults versus children. It doesn’t need to be adults versus children. We’re not two separate classes. We’re all human beings at varying ages, with varying levels of experience but we are wholly and fully who we are in each moment. Right?
ANNA: This is another one of those great opportunities to step back and have that open curiosity lens because we are handed expectations and paradigms about children really from the time we are children. We’re hearing them about ourselves, then we’re being handed them as we get older and then when we get pregnant and then when we have them.
What’s so interesting when you step back is so much of the language around children is so negative. And people are unhappy and they’re complaining about children how hard it is and how they’re lazy or they’re this or that. And I just think ‘Why are people wanting to sit there in that place, when it doesn’t have to be that way?’ Because what we know is it doesn’t have to be that way.
When you’re looking at children as whole people. People who have so much to offer and you have this relationship. It’s so different. This is one of the words and it’s not maybe so much related to school but I think it’s related to this language piece. “Allowing” is a word that we got rid of. I’m not allowing you to watch TV. I’m not allowing you to go to your friend’s house. We are just talking and making decisions and having conversations as two members of this family, four members of this family coming together and that speaks to what you were just saying, it’s this idea of parent/child and especially authoritarian relationship there. When we can let go of that paradigm and those ideas that we’re “granting”, that we’re “allowing”, it changes things.
I guess I’m just saying when you hear yourself say “allow” in a sentence, that’s another time to back up and say ‘Huh what do I mean there? Why am I saying that?’ And look at that situation because it puts you in this paradigm of control over another human being and it really can impact the relationship. Whereas we just never needed that dynamic. We would talk about our needs. We would figure out solutions that worked for all of us and move forward in that way. So, I think that’s so important that we have this belief that children aren’t capable of having those conversations. And yet I’m telling you, I had those conversations with two and three year olds because they are fully formed people that have ideas about how they want to move through the world, now do they know everything? No, they don’t. Do I know everything? No, I don’t. And so, we can explore those things together and they’ll learn as I’m exploring and telling them my needs and how I feel about a situation, what I’ve learned and they’ll tell me what they know.
I think this comes into play when I’m thinking of early examples on the playground where you have parents saying “Don’t climb up there. Don’t do that or be careful or do this.” And they just worry. One of my friends, she met me at this park and one of the first things she heard me say was, my child was way high, she was a climber she was really high. And I was just like “Oh. Wow you’re way up there? How is that feeling?” And just asking her to kind of get into her body about how she felt about it and she’s like “I feel great.” And she did and she was fine. Whereas the other mothers were like ‘Oh my God, they can’t climb up there it’s too scary.’
I trusted her capabilities because I know that she knows how to listen to her body because I haven’t overridden that. And I think that’s an important piece, we can override that. So people will say, OK I think I’m getting off on a tangent again, but people will say, “No, they can’t do that. They make poor decisions.” and I believe as they’re empowered to listen to themselves and to assess the situation and they’re not feeling pressure and not feeling as if there’s an authority over them telling them what to do, they are absolutely capable of making those decisions. But now just like any human being, when we are pushed we will push back and maybe in a way that’s not always smart or safe. But you don’t have to be that person pushing to cause the push back I guess. So that’s maybe a tangent. But.
PAM: I love that that.
And that’s what came to mind for me regarding the climbing thing, if you had been saying, “No, you’re not allowed to go. That’s too high.” And then you turn your back and they start climbing, they’re going to climb because “Look she’s not looking, here’s my opportunity.” They’re not checking in with themselves. That is the difference because when they’re empowered fully to make their choices, they don’t want to push themselves to a place where they feel scared. There’s the, ‘Oh I’m challenging myself moments and I’m going to just do one more and see what it feels like.’ And maybe they do end up feeling uncomfortable and wanting to come down. But then they can ask for help coming down. But those are all learning opportunities and things that they own because they’re making those choices in that moment. The choice isn’t ‘Oh, look she’s not looking. I’m going to just blow past and do what I’m not allowed to do.’
ANNA: Right. And the other piece of that, they know that you are that trusted advisor that you’re trusting in them to make that decision. She also would feel very comfortable saying “Mom I think I’m too high. I do need help.” Whereas I don’t think the child who’s pushing against or who is sneaking around, they can get in a situation where they’re feeling scared or it’s dangerous and they don’t ask for help because they think they will be judged or they’ll be punished or there’ll be other issues.
She knew I’d be like “Okay let’s figure it out. You’re way up there. Let me see what I can do.” With no energy about she shouldn’t have done it or see you went too far. No, I mean you explored it then it didn’t work. I want my energy to be “Yes this is the perfect reaction. You went to your limit and you found it and now you asked for help.” Isn’t that we all need to figure out how to do?
PAM: I know that’s exactly it. And that’s another piece you learn when your deschooling I think too. It comes up in your relationship with your kids but it is understanding that it’s their choices, it’s losing that judgment piece, not seeing right/wrong. Taking that extra step and knowing ‘Oh Mom I need help,’ doesn’t make it a wrong choice to have taken that last step.
These aren’t right/wrong things. Maybe they’re choosing to do things that I wouldn’t, maybe I would not want to climb up that high. But yeah, you’ve gotten to a place where things aren’t right and wrong but people are in the moment making the best choice they can with the information they have and then realizing where they are in the next moment. They’re continuously making choices. They’re not like ‘Oh, look she’s not looking.’ Boom, ‘I going to just dash up here as high as I can make it until I get caught.’
They’re thinking beings you don’t stop thinking and choices aren’t forever. Choices aren’t even for the next half hour because in the next moment you can make a different choice. It’s so big and you danced around it. For me, I think the cultural languages is power struggles, in that we think that power struggles with our kids are inevitable and we think that, as the parent, we’re teaching them, so they should listen to us. And we keep bashing up against that power struggle. The toddler years are famous for it with the with the “Nos” and the teen years are famous for it with wanting to go and do things that parents don’t agree with. But that whole paradigm of power struggles really doesn’t need to exist does it?
ANNA: It’s just a construct. I feel like I’ve talked about this before but from pregnancy it was “Oh, just wait until this and oh wait till their toddlers. Oh, that idea of yours is great now but wait till they’re this and wait till they’re a teenager and wait till they’re whatever.” We just never had the stages because, yes we would all have ups and downs just like I’d have challenging days and they’d have challenging days but because we were partnered together and talking, there was never this power struggle. I mean honestly, we never had power struggles. Because I don’t need power over them.
I don’t want power over another human being, I really don’t. I want to figure out how we can cooperate and how we can meet both of our needs. And so, it’s just a construct and, to me, a false belief that children and adults have to be at odds.
PAM: The way I describe it is, how could we struggle when I am trying to help them accomplish what they’re trying to accomplish?
I mean that’s what I want to do. I’m trying to help them accomplish it. Now I’m involved too, so my needs are in there but my needs are in there as part of the complexity of meeting their goals. You know what I mean, it’s not about, ‘no you can’t do that.’ That’s not the starting place for a conversation. Back to beginner’s mind and openness and seeing things from everybody’s perspective and everybody’s needs and wanting to help them accomplish what they want to do.
ANNA: Even when it’s something big, so you and I have older children so there can be some big decisions, like for you all, moving to another country or for us, we have kids moving out and doing different things. These are big, big decisions. And sometimes I don’t necessarily understand exactly where they’re coming from but my first reaction has to be like “OK, well tell me more about that. What’s interesting to you about that?” As opposed to “That doesn’t make any sense.” Or “No, you’re not going to do that.” I’m never going to draw a line for another person.
I want to have a conversation about what draws them to that. Because those conversations then give us insight into why. And then what we’ve seen and I know you’ve seen it too, is there really has been a lot of thought that’s gone into a decision that maybe to us seems out of the blue or doesn’t make a lot of sense. Then it’s like ‘OK I see. I see why they’re drawn to it. I see what’s going on.’ And then I can go inside and say ‘OK so what are my issues? Why am I feeling this kind of reaction against it?’ And then I can address those pieces and I try to do that internally and so when I’m taking to them I am calmer, “OK but I’m kind of wondering about this piece or can you help me figure out this piece?” And again, we’re having a conversation. There’s no power struggle, there’s no power dynamic there. It’s just a matter of two people who love each other trying to understand and work towards this goal because like you said I want them to do what they want to do. I want them to do it safely and I want to feel okay about it too. But in the end, it’s their life. They’re going to be making these decisions and especially for you and I, our kids are adults.
I love that the foundation has been laid from the time they were toddlers. For us, where we had conversations and they want to do things like, “I want to climb out on the into this branch.” “Well, OK tell me more.” So, we have this foundation of how to have these conversations and that’s what I think is so fun. I do love, also this is from the people from the Summit again just talking about how “I didn’t know it could be like this. I didn’t know that we could all relate in this way and be so happy and joyful and figuring things out.” And again, that doesn’t mean you’re not going to run into struggles. Life brings challenges but oh my gosh they’re so different when you’re together as a team working through those challenges.
PAM: Yeah, I love that. And sometimes when something’s going and you are freaking out, and you take the time yourself to process a little bit because there’s no need to bring that to anyone. I don’t bring it to my husband. I don’t bring it to anyone because I haven’t thought through it yet. I don’t know what I’m thinking yet. You know to even have had a conversation but sometimes, even lately it’s like the realization is ‘Wow I would never in a million years have made that choice for me but I am so impressed and love that the choice feels really good for you.’ It’s your moment to appreciate how different they are as a person. That they’ve had the space to grow into who they are.
I don’t want them to feel like I need them to be a person that makes me feel comfortable.
So, just to wrap that piece up I think when it comes to relationships with our kids as you work through the bulk of your deschooling and I’m always saying the bulk of your deschooling so I guess now’s as good a time as any to mention that. I say that because even now you and I are running into moments. There are moments that you’ve never encountered before. It’s like ‘Oh geez I never thought through this for myself, to see what I think. We’ve never had a situation.’ So, there’s always going to be moments along the way where you’re going to bump up against something new and you’re going to be thinking it through.
On one hand we sometimes say deschooling never ends but there is that first six months, a year, two years where you pretty much hit most things and you’ve worked your way through them. So, that’s what I mean when I say through the bulk of your deschooling. And you really know again in your bones because you’ve seen it in action and you’ve lived it not just understood intellectually, that children are real people in their own right. They’re capable of doing things. They’re not adults in the making and you can have a fully wonderful connected relationship with them.
We’re getting a little bit more esoteric as we dig deeper and deeper into the deschooling process. Another thing I think that we do a lot of work deschooling around is our values.
Because that’s part of who we are and part of who we bring to this and now we are kind of changing up how our relationships are going in our family and how we want our relationships to be. When you opt out of very conventional things like the school system for example, you are really redefining a lot of things for yourself. All of a sudden, it’s not grades that your family or your children are shooting for and it’s not degrees or things like that. We’re really redefining how we see our family, how we see success, what our priorities are. All this through redefining our values and what we hold dear.
ANNA: I think there’s a few layers I want to touch on here but I’m just going to start with this one because I think it’s like you’re saying, there’s some constructs that are helpful to let go of and for me one of the big ones is the idea of right/wrong.
And we touched on it a little bit before but I think I want to touched on it here because for me personally, when I was younger, before I had children, I was very, I am still pretty left brained but a little bit softened to do a little bit both now but I was very right/wrong, black and white when I was younger.
That there is one way and that concept of right and wrong has been the most helpful construct to let go of. And I can hear people watching going it “But there is a right and a wrong.” In my experience, there just isn’t. What has helped me is to let go of the idea. So, maybe we can say there is or there isn’t but that idea when I bring that idea to a situation, it just stops everything. Because if one person’s right, the other person’s wrong. Then the idea of a subjective reality comes into play. Because we can look at simple things like hot and cold. You and I can both walk into the same room and one of us is hot and one of us is cold. We can approach an activity and it’s easy for one and hard for another and somethings are fun for people and not fun for others. Stepping outside of our experience to understand that other people experience things differently.
We’ve talked before about introvert/extrovert and my best friend, Pat, is the extrovert and what literally brings her bliss and joy is just a living hell for me. And she could not understand, “Why? Why do you not love the big party and the thing?” And I’m like, “I do not love the big party.” But it was so great for the two of us. And so here we are, at the time in our late 30s/40s learning that “OK, people really can see the exact same thing completely differently.” And so just letting go of that whole construct of right and wrong and there’s one way, I think it’s a critical piece to unschooling. I think it’s because we’re living in relationship with other people. And so, we really need to be able to see that they can see things very differently than we do.
And so that’s one of the things I want to say but I’m going to let you talk and then I may have some other ones I want say.
PAM: This piece that I had that I wanted to mention ties very nicely into that right/wrong piece and it’s the piece that most of us will bump into is when we hold strong beliefs about something. When we think this is right, when in reality it’s right for us. It doesn’t mean it’s not right for us. Like dumping the right/wrong thing absolutely 100 percent but it doesn’t mean giving up who we are. That’s why I use the word belief. These are the things that I believe and I believe they work well for me. It could be anything from religion, it could be food based, a way of eating that works really well for you and makes you feel really good. Does not mean that it will have that same effect for your children. They have a different body. They have different taste buds. It’s just a wide gamut.
That big shift from there not being a right and wrong to understanding that things that are super important and valuable to me, that are a strong part of my identity, don’t need to be parts of the other people in my family’s identity.
I can live them. And you’re living is an example of living in your own beliefs. You’re still showing your kids a great thing if you’re a vegetarian and you continue being a vegetarian but your kids want to eat meat or whatever. When they get to the point where they realize because maybe you’re making vegetarian meals when they’re little kids and you know everything’s tickety boo. No problem. But maybe they discover hotdogs when they’re out or whatever and they want to try them. That’s when it becomes a question. But them seeing you still saying no I don’t want to have that. In conversation explaining why, what your choices are etc. but not presupposing that those are the best choices for them and letting them discover what those choices are for them.
So, being in them without judgment, holding onto your beliefs without judging other people for theirs, is a wonderful example for them. Lissy, I think she’s decided to eat vegetarian around eight or nine something like that. And she still is and she’s 25 now. That is a strong belief for her. We never belittle her for that and she never belittled us, again back to the power and the kind of relationships that we’ve developed and just helping people do what they want to do. When it comes to deschooling things about our values and our family that is like you said a huge piece of it. Go ahead.
ANNA: Well, I think you’re explanation brought out a nuance that may be important to reiterate and that is we’re not saying that there’s not a right and wrong, it’s that we can’t impose it on others.
That we really only know what’s right and wrong for ourselves. And that’s kind of a big concept, to really only know what’s right and wrong for us. I only know what’s best for me, that’s it. A big thing that parents will say “I know what’s best for them. I can see, I have more experience. I know.” But what I learned very early on is that I really don’t know what’s best for someone else. Now, I do have experience and I do have my perspective which I can share but I still don’t know because this is another human being. Be it my child or my husband or my friend that’s going through this situation and their perspective may be very different from mine.
So, it’s not feeling like “Oh I have to give up these ideas or these beliefs that are important to me.” Not at all. But maybe examine and say ‘OK these are important to me, here are these things that are super important to me.’ And then I think you can share joyfully why you made those decisions versus needing to impose has a different energy about it. And I think we can see in our broader society, we have some issues with this. And so, I love the idea of us empowering children to have their own personal beliefs without needing to push them onto others because I think if we’re all checking in with ourselves and our heart and our values, that’s just going to be a better place to live. And so, I think it’s a nuance but it’s again these are things to pause, when you want to have a moment to kind of think about something for a little bit. These are important places I think to start that really can impact your relationships in your family. They can really make some huge changes that people didn’t even believe are possible really.
PAM: Yeah. And just going back and forth and back and forth. And when you are helping your child explore something, like Lissy and her vegetarianism, it could have just been a month or two. Who knew when we started? But you’re helping them explore something so that they better understand themselves. Right? It’s not a right or wrong choice if they change their mind in the near future. Again, you’re helping them explore and the trust that you’re developing with them. The trust they have in you that they can count on you to help them explore something when it’s important to them. They can trust you.
ANNA: And doesn’t this speak back to what we talked about before, the pushback. So, if you allow that space without this idea of dogma around a diet or whatever, it allows you to truly then check in and not have a reaction or make a decision because of a reaction. “Well she’s saying that I can’t do it or that it’s this or that, so I’m going to do it even though my body maybe doesn’t feel better. I’m going to keep pushing through that because I’m going to prove to them that I can do it.” Whereas if you don’t have that dynamic, she might have said “Oh I don’t feel great this way or she can say I feel great this way and I get that you guys don’t. That’s OK.” Do you see how different that energy is when you’re both just open and exploring versus if people are locked in this defensive position?
PAM: Because the minute you’re locked in, the choices are outside of the person. The choices become about the conflict, they’re no longer about the person figuring out messages from themselves.
I mean there was a couple months that Lissy tried vegan and then, she decided it wasn’t working for her and decided to go back to being a vegetarian.
As soon as you bring a power struggle back to it, as a component of any of these explorations, the decisions become and the choices become about that and become about being in reaction to that because and that just starts clouding the whole thing. And then that needs to be worked through before they can again hear their own messages from themselves and to really process the feedback that they’re getting when they do it. Because the overriding feedback, “See I CAN do this.” And they stop there. Instead of actually seeing ‘Did I feel good about it? Did I really enjoy it?’ Kind of the spite factor gets rolled up into it.
ANNA: And I think that’s where the misperceptions come into play though. Because that’s what’s happening with most situations and most society, mainstream society. And so that’s why they’re pointing to, “But see they’re spiteful or they’re this or they’re that or they’re bucking against a system or they’re this or they’re just causing problems.” Or whatever. And we’re saying but that’s the system and the environment not the innate person. Human.
PAM: Yeah exactly, exactly. It is and when you think about kids in school and all the assumptions that society makes about kids- that learning is hard, that kids will avoid learning. All those things aren’t there because they’re innate to children. Which is what society at this point thinks. It’s innate to children in that system. Well, not even innate, that’s the wrong word because it develops.
PAM: When they’re in that system. So, as you’re working through your values, just in general through the bulk of your deschooling and you’re moving to embrace unschooling, in my experience and lots of other experienced unschoolers that I’ve connected with over the years, I think you will find that it really boils down to your relationships and focusing on building and maintaining those strong connected relationships. It really just trickles down into everything else. It trickles down into supporting their learning because when you’ve got a strong connect relationship, they’re going to come to you and talk about the things that they’re interested in and they’re going to talk to you to process through things. Relationships with friends and anybody else in the world, mentors, that kind of stuff, they’re going to come to you. And if you’ve got that strong relationship you don’t have that pushback. That, “Oh, I don’t want to go have that conversation because I’ll just get X Y Z reaction.”
Once you have that all the other things bubble up so nicely don’t they?
One other thing I wanted to talk about and this is really interesting, so, in unschooling groups I often see some version of this kind of question posted. “What is the correct unschooling answer to this situation?”
PAM: When you’re asking that question or you’re seeing that question, it’s a great clue that that person is still deschooling because look, we’re still using that right/wrong language. What’s the correct answer? Doesn’t mean it’s not a good question to ask.
You are deschooling. It’s helpful because it means we’re open to looking at the situation from other perspectives. We’re asking, what am I not what am I not seeing? What are other ways to look at this? So, it’s a great question. It’s also a great clue that you’re deep in the midst of deschooling and I want to look at this through the new lens of unschooling. And the answers from experience unschooling parents can really help open our eyes to the possibilities.
ANNA: It is such a big paradigm change for people. And so, it can take time and that’s what we talk about, that’s why this whole deschooling thing is even a thing that we talk about and then it goes on. But I do think the question, I agree, it’s that time to say ‘OK why am I needing to know the right answer?’ Why am I needing to kind of put it in this form?’ But I do think it’s really natural because you have this new paradigm, you’re testing it, you’re questioning it, you’re wanting to look through that lens and maybe you’re wanting to back it up and look at through the other lens.
Everybody’s path is going to be different some people are really just going to go full force and feel it and be right there in the relationships and do it and other people are going to need to step into it slowly and really process all the different aspects by looking at it through the lens. ‘OK well how do I feel about this through the unschooling lens? How do I feel about this through the unschooling lens?’ No bad questions ever. I think again, it’s just a clue to, I’m still thinking in this kind of schooly term of, there’s one right way. There’s one answer.
I think I’ve mentioned it before but there is not one right way. There’s a right way for me to move in that moment and it might change in the next moment and that’s OK. Keeping things open and flexible and curious like that really allows us to grow so much faster than when we keep ourselves stuck in, ‘But this is the right way and I’m going to keep trying to make it fit. I’m going to make it fit.’ That keeps us stuck versus stepping back and recognizing that isn’t really working, I’ll veer over here and try this and try something different.
We grow so much faster when we have that open, curious mind. And so that’s part of it. And the parents that are here even asking this question, they’re doing that. They’re opening their mind, they’re growing and it’s exciting and it’s an exciting change. I love seeing parents come through this and in this stage and then come through it. And how excited they are. Because I think you get there because somewhere in your heart you know there can be a different way you know you want to relate in a different way to your children and you’re trying to figure it out and you’re hearing these voices from society or your family or whatever but you still have this niggling feeling like it can be different. And so, moving towards this and getting there it’s really beautiful. Lovely to see people move to that place and see how excited they are to have found this way to relate to each other.
PAM: I love that and I think that’s a cool thing too when they ask the question and you get various answers. Again, back to giving it time. Giving this process, this deschooling process the time that it needs to percolate because what you’ll see over time, is the same kinds of situations come up and people will be answering from their perspective. It’s from their family, what worked for them and you’ll really see in action that there’s no single correct answer right. There’s not an unschooling answer. You’ll come to see the answers can vary quite wildly depending on the family and the individuals that are involved.
That’s what you’re talking about, when you’re in that moment with your family. I think as you work through the bulk of this kind of stuff deschooling through this and you move to embracing unschooling what you’ll have picked up through asking this questions or seeing the question asked or just seeing conversations or participating in conversations about all these different aspects is you’ll boil down to and discover really what the basic unschooling principles are.
It looks different in all sorts of different families. How one would approach it is different in different families. But at the root of it, the essence of unschooling is still there. Those principles are still there. And it’s so beautiful when you realize what those are and then it’s so much. . . is easier the right word? I don’t know, but possible to take those principles and to realize in your situation when this comes up. Now you can see how those principles relate and how even though it looks very different in my family.
You’ll see that this is how works for my family. And every time some little issue comes up, I don’t need to go running off and ask questions, “What should I do now? What should I do now?” Because I understand the principles well enough to see how those principles weave into all sorts of choices.
ANNA: Right. Because just as you’re talking, I’m just thinking if there is one answer to this question it’s always connect and talk to your child.
Connect and have a conversation, that is the answer. If we’re going to say there’s an answer because that’s what shows you that it’s different for everyone. Because if I have that conversation with this child about the same situation their needs in that situation are going to be different than this other child’s needs in that situation. But it’s always going to come back to that connection. Have that conversation and together you’ll find the “right” answer for you.
PAM: Exactly. Finding those roots. I love that.
Last one I wanted to touch on, because this is a question I see once in a while too. It’s the whole idea of, “Am I finished deschooling?”
ANNA: Yeah and you kind of touched on it a minute ago. But I think for me because again, we didn’t have kind of the traditional deschooling coming from school or whatever but school and school culture is everywhere and a part of our daily lives. And so, for me, I do find it sneaking in over and over again and it’s just for me and just the way I process things I step back and think, ‘Huh, where is that idea coming from?’ And then I can kind of see, “Oh, OK that’s coming from this idea that school is the right way or that this is the one way to do something.” But like you said just a minute ago, what I think you’ll find for those that are kind of deep in deschool and saying “This is tough and it’s hard to have to question everything all the time.” You’ll find the time period stretching out. So, it’s pretty intensive at first as you’re peeling back all these layers and letting go of these ideas but you’ll find that you don’t even give school a thought for months and months and then suddenly something happens that maybe triggers you, an interest that may involve the class or they get to be college age or they do these different things and things can come up where we have to re-examine. So, maybe the short answer is never. But I think it isn’t as intensive as it is right at the beginning when you’re having to let go of a lot of ideas that you’ve held on to.
PAM: Yeah. And that’s perfect. That’s exactly it. You know the bulk, the intensity, you can definitely get through that. I think for me one of the clues is, as we were talking about our values and all that kind of stuff, I think for me anyway that being done, kind of just disappeared as a goal. When you start it’s like “Oh I want to deschool. I want to just be unschooling like everybody else.” Get through this, get through that but eventually it’s just a judgment piece. I’m no longer judging myself. It’s no longer a race, we’re living. And we’re engaging and things go wrong and we’re moving through it. And it just kind of faded away as a question for me.
PAM: So, I think I think that if you’re asking yourself that question “Am I done? Am I done?” I think that’s probably a good clue that you’re not because you don’t quite get that things will come up again in the future and you’re still seeing it as something that needs to be done.
ANNA: As a box to check. It may be that you’re still in the paradigm of checking the boxes. “Look I’m unschooling and checking the boxes.” And it’s just not about that. It’s just about living and learning and things come up and layers and feelings and doing and all of that comes together but again it isn’t something that weighs on you at all. It’s just part of it.
PAM: Exactly. Exactly.
Thank you so much Anna for taking the time to talk to me!
ANNA: It’s always fun.
PAM: And this one was was super fun. You know to start, I hadn’t really thought of it before in this way looking at deschooling in the bigger picture context of unschooling. So, that was really fun for me as well.
ANNA: Yes. Loved it. Thank you.
PAM: Have a great day. Thanks.