Unschooling One Through the Storm of Adolescence


Reprinted with permission from the blog Homeschool Atheist Momma

Maybe it seems like I’m lowering the bar over and over again for my daughter, Doctor Who.  And, maybe I am.  But, if so, it’s not as simple as expecting less from her.  In fact, when I see what she is doing, I see her working hard on things that matter to her.

Does unschooling seem like lowering the bar to you?  Sometimes it does seem that way to me.  But I know her.  She is committed to herself to work on several stories that she is writing.  The more she writes, the more her ideas flow…  The more her inspiration truly looks inspired.

So, in unschooling her, we are making the choice to allow the zeal and eagerness to write to lead her.

But can you tell that I am a bit uncomfortable with unschooling?
Has it been obvious as I struggle with what to do with her?
Has my ambivalence been clear to people who read this blog?

With regards to “lowering the bar”, maybe I’m not lowering the bar at all.  I’m removing the bar all together and replacing it with… something else…  (It DOES feel like it matters what you call things…)

I vacillate between feeling like I’m letting her off of the hook or ignoring some important skills to feeling delighted as she follows her bliss.  I’m not exactly sure where I stand with it.  Unschooling is a total leap of faith both in her and in her innate appetite for learning and in unschooling itself.

But I have to choose unschooling for her.

Does anyone else out there have a challenging teen?  If so, you understand.
The storms she brings on herself!  The storms we all weather together.  It’s tough.  And I feel like the choice to unschool is the choice that gives her the freedom she needs in order to not lose it all together.  It allows her to let go of trying to please me or to meet my expectations and encourages her to embrace her goals and to find her own way to meet them.

Green Arrow RightView other special needs articles on LetsHsHs.com

Doctor Who and I talk so much about how to make things work for her.  Although she isn’t always happy, OK, she is seldom happy, she knows that that matters to me and she knows that I will continually adjust our framework in order to suit her better.

At this moment in time, she is happy to consider herself unschooled.  

I’ve always known I needed to give her a huge amount of freedom as well as needing to provide her with enough structure to not get lost.  Homeschooling Doctor Who has been a huge balancing act from Day One. With a lot of love, our relationship has saved us many times and, now that I think about it, I’m happy too!

Karen is a peaceful, loving, neo-hippie in the Burbs, homeschooling, atheist mother of two wonderful children, and regular blogger about atheist homeschooling.  I’m THAT blogger.
Read more of her blog posts at: http://taytayhser.blogspot.com


June 23, 2012

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