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Follow homeschoolers Nadia and Aidan as they travel the USA! Each book in this series explores a new state and a new research topic. Along with their parents and pet turtle, they find adventure and learning everywhere.

...and just what is that mysterious device of theirs?

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Topics: education,empowerment,games,homeschooling,mindful parenting,photographs,relationships,sleep,top ten,Unschooling,words

Top 10: Reasons Why I’m Glad We Unschool

This is similar to my “Top 10: Reasons Why I’m THANKFUL We Discovered Unschooling“, but different and current.  In no particular order:

  1. SMILES; Happy children learn more than unhappy children.  When was the last time your child declared that something was “the best ever” or “I love my life” or “this is so cool” or similar?  If it’s been a while, then you need to do something different to shake things up.  Children shouldn’t be dreading their lives — neither should adults, but that is a different discussion altogether.
  2. SLEEP; When was the last time you slept until you woke?  Waking up every day to an alarm clock isn’t natural.  While we all go through project phases where we don’t get as much sleep as our bodies need, our normal every-day living should be restful.  The unschooling lifestyle allows this to happen naturally.
  3. ORIGINAL THINKING; “They” say there aren’t any original thoughts…  Have you listened to any Unschooling children lately?  Wow!
  4. PEACE; For the most part, my family gets along really well.  Why is this?  How is this possible when so many other parents of “preteens” are hating their kids? Are we just super lucky? Well I do consider myself pretty darn lucky to have such a great family, but it’s because we have always respected our kids from before Day 1 and we aren’t about to stop now that we all get along so well…  I also never talk about them being “horrible” or “brats” or “going through a phase” in a negative way about any of them.
  5. CHORES (or rather, lack of chores); We’ve been crazy busy remodeling our house and coming up with fancy supper ideas has not been happening.  I’ve also fallen by the wayside on keeping up with the dishes and laundry.  My kids’ responses: they’ve been picking up the slack.  I came home the other day (from an outing with my younger daughter) to find that two loads of dishes had been done and one load of laundry – all by my 12 year old.  Plus, the two of them have made my husband and I supper quite a few nights lately.  Did I demand this, or even ask it of them?  Nope!  I’ve just modeled this behavior their whole lives and they want to do these things – for all of us and our home.
  6. LIVING IN THE NOW; Living for today without freaking out about the “what ifs” of the future might at first seem irresponsible.  Yet, it’s the opposite of that.  When we live for today, following our true passions, we pick up the important things and it enables us to pursue our dreams fully and completely instead of half-way while doing the chores and busy-work assignments that others deem important.
  7. PASSION; Allowing my kids to really follow their interests has opened up opportunities for my husband and I to do likewise.  If I believe that they have the birth-right to dream and live those dreams, why wouldn’t I, too?  It’s allowing myself to get passionate about my beliefs and activities and interests that has made me really come into my own.
  8. TOGETHERNESS; I love being in close physical proximity to my family (and I’m as introverted as they come).  While we all do have individual interests, it’s the coming together in every day living that gives us our strength.
  9. CRAZINESS; If I come up with the crazy idea to make hot chocolate at 4 in the morning, or take a nap and watch a movie under a homemade fort at noon, my kids are happy to follow me in my “craziness”.  We’ve gone to great lengths (and put our money into) to pursue our crazy ideas — we have random spur-of-the-moment hour long brainstorming sessions quite regularly.  It’s these ideas (whether fulfilled or not) that fuel our desire to live fully.  Without a bit of craziness, we’d be living in a pretty boring and flat world.  My kids have helped me shed my fears of showing my crazy side — who cares what the world might think when we’re so darn happy?  Funny thing is, the world is a lot better off when we all follow our “crazy” ideas…
  10. TIME; Over the holidays in December I heard other parents either dreading their children being home so much (how sad is that?) or loving the time they finally got to spend with their kids.  While I’ll agree that time is moving by way too quickly, I can honestly say that I’ve given my children all of my time that they’ve wanted and needed.  Allowing them to grow at their own paces has allowed them mature on their own time frames.  Giving the gift of my time to them has made me have no regrets.  If you have regrets about the amount of time you’ve gifted your children, you have it in your power to change this today.  This, above all, is the most important thing you can ever give your loved ones.
  11. BONUS ONE (that is probably the most important of them all), AUTHENTICITY; How many people can you say are themselves no matter the situation or company?  Well, unschoolers are!  My kids never put on an act around anyone.  They are always true to themselves.  I know many people believe their kids are, also, but I’ve seen those kids without their parents — they are completely different people.  They’ve shown me that I, too, can be me – always.  I am forever grateful for what that has brought to my life.

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