12 April 2010

unschool monday :: me time

I must be mad... or brave, or just really love hanging out with my kids... That's what people often tell me anyhow... The truth is yes, no, no more than the next person. I used to think I could never home educate. What about when they are five and they go to school and you suddenly get your life back again? You have earned it, right? Oh what could I do with all that free time? Maybe start sewing children's clothes to sell at markets, or study, or choose a new career... Home education would be way too hard. They'd be with me all day. There'd be no me time.

When I pictured home education, it was always school at home. Me at the kitchen table with the owlets, teaching them. Maybe we would go on an excursion once a week. From 9am - 3pm each day, we'd be learning. It sounded exhausting, repetitive, not fun. I'd have no time to myself at all. Well, maybe in the evenings when Huz came home. I'm so glad I found unschooling.

Our days are long, yes. We do loads of stuff together. But there's a certain amount of floating and moving through the day independently which comes with being comfortable with each other and knowing that there is no plan. Each day offers something completely new and is whatever we make it. This also allows for each of us to achieve the things we need. There are pockets of time where I'm suddenly doing my own thing. Enjoying a quiet moment, reading a magazine, having some me time. Then there are the times when Huz is here, or the evenings, or the afternoon where the owlets are spending time with their grandmother. Those are the really quiet times and are completely my own. I make children's clothes to sell at markets, occasionally study and think about if I really want to have another career... Really there can be so much me time. There are times when I need more and the important thing is to communicate that. Ask for help. Change things around a bit. Acknowledge that things can change and not everything is set in stone for the next 18yrs of my life. Perhaps someday Huz will decide that he doesn't love his job after all and we'll swap for a bit. Its just family life and its fluid and often messy and sometimes you want to tear your hair out, but every family experiences that. I must admit to the odd jealous pang when I spy a neighbour wandering home from school alone, heading for her studio for the day and the peace and quiet and creative space... But really, we have the best of both worlds, I think. a perfect balance, with just the right amount of flexibility to change things if we need.

These photos were taken while I enjoyed some me time on the weekend. It was my birthday on Sunday and we treated ourselves to a weekend away. A new environment for owlets to explore and a bunch of lovely places to sit and knit, or read, or snooze. Lovely.


  1. Your opening paragraphs could gave been written by me. I am not the home schooling type and yet the more I become a parent (we have a four month old daughter) the more I realise that I am not as mainstream as I thought I was.

    Lots of bits and pieces that I have been reading, including this blog, have been opening my eyes to how good unschooling could be. I want to do it, except for all the reasons you list in your opening paragraphs.

    I will keep reading, we have years to decide what to do. (I am a Teacher too btw)

  2. Happy belated b'day! We started out homeschooling for academic reasons - I was 'brainwashed' into thinking that I'd get my life back once B started school, but when we started looking at schools, I knew I couldn't do it. We too fell into unschooling, and now hubby is working from home too - life couldn't be better!


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