unschool monday – weakened resolve

We moved from Wonderland at the weekend. We’re temporarily camping in the spare room at the outlaws place until we finish The Shed & can move our stuff up there (a whole 100 metres!).

Being that we were busy, we didn’t have a lot of time to really focus on the sproggets. They helped pack things & they amused themselves with the ramp up to the trailer when heavy things weren’t being loaded on it, they were involved, but we were all mostly preoccupied with moving.

Last night, when we had finally flopped in to bed after moving everything & cleaning Wonderland, The Bubble told me she needed to chat, not sleep. I asked her what she wanted to chat about.

“When I’m a big kid I can go to school.”

My heart stopped.

I believe so strongly that unschooling is the right approach for our family, and yet I know we’re not “doing it” to the best of our ability at the moment.

I know. I know. There’s no way to “do it” right but in this new town where we know no one, where there is no prominent unschooling community, where even the general homeschooling group doesn’t meet regularly for unstructured play, I have to admit I’m very worried about socialisation.

The  Bubble is lonely. She wants to play with other children. She wants to play with the same children regularly. She wants to make friends. Real friends, who know her by name, who she knows by name, friends who she can get to know.

I take them to several program days. We go to “play in the park” Tuesdays, Rhyme Time at the Library (more for Babyman’s benefit – he LOVES it) Wednesdays & Fridays, story time at the Library Thursdays, the monthly museum program for 1-5 year olds (this Wednesday is the next one) but it just doesn’t feel enough because there’s no other unschoolers there.

After the sproggets were asleep last night, with heavy hearts Bean & I spoke again about our family’s future.

We’re both in agreeance that this place doesn’t feel like the right place for our family long term. Right now, it is probably a good place, with our new plan to live (rent free) in The Shed we’ll be able to wipe our debt, which will make a huge difference to our wellbeing. We’re keeping open minds & open hearts, we’re open to the possibility of that sentiment changing, while also very much looking forward to the end of Bean’s apprenticeship.

We are looking forward to traveling, to looking for “our place”. Maybe traveling will show us that this is our place? I have a feeling I know where our place is though, & that place is not here. It’s not even close to here.

I know, wherever our place ends up being, it has to be a place where other unschoolers are easy to find. It has to be a place where the sproggets can find community, because they really, really need it. My poor, lonesome children.

While I know this isn’t enough (yet?) to kill our passion for unschooling, it’s certainly weakened my resolve. I don’t want my children to feel so lonely & isolated.

The learning is still happening, naturally. Most of the time I don’t even notice it until The Bubble makes a statement of fact & I wonder where, when & how she came to know that? Babyman’s vocabulary is expanding daily. He’s able to express his needs & wants very effectively both verbally & non-verbally.

I just wish there wasn’t such a big void where community could be.


Unschool Monday inspired by Owlet.

posted by wildecrafted in education and have Comments (8)

8 Responses to “unschool monday – weakened resolve”

  1. Lyndz says:

    I know that feeling! We travel constantly, and now that K is older, we’re finding the whole unschooling thing presents a big socialization void. He has started to ask for friends…and it makes me nervous. I don’t want him to be lonely!

    We are aware of it though, and we’ll be moving on soon enough and setting up a home base in some spot with a more intune community.

    • Kimberley says:

      Oh thank you for hearing me!

      I hope you find the like minded community you’re seeking, I believe it’s so important to have mutual support when unschooling.

  2. Jo says:

    Hugs Kimberley. Being so isolated from others with a similar outlook and lifestyle can be so hard…But you are doing your best to get out and meet people, and i know you will. They may not be unschoolers, but even if your kids just have a couple of other kids to play with semi-regularly, it is enough…I know about worrying about socialization – i have a very outgoing only child who asks to see friends most days, when, quite frankly, i could do with just having a home day! But we all know that school is not the answer to socialization issues – and it would just bring a whole lot more issues to the table! Hang in there – things WILL get better! x

    • Kimberley says:

      True. We’re off to play in the park tomorrow. A woman there invited me to a playgroup a couple of weeks ago which I was quite excited about, another day out for the kids, but I forgot the name of the hall so we didn’t go! It’s hard trying to find my way around here too…
      I’m really hoping she’s there again, she was very friendly.

  3. Lauren says:

    Huge love to you, K. We’ve found a bunch of local kids who definitely do NOT unschool, but they get along just fine with my girls and, well it fills a gap on bored afternoons. I’m so looking forward to when you find your place, wherever that may be. xx

    • Kimberley says:

      First place we’re looking is in your neck of the woods! xx

      Thanks for the comment. I’m feeling a little better now after a lovely play with a family in our (new) street & an invitation to the local ABA meet next week.

  4. Hayley says:

    Firstly just want to say, i love your blog, very interesting posts and you write so well.
    I am considering unschooling down the track when my children are older and also worry about the socialisation thing. I also wonder whether play dates etc will be enough for children to actually develop true and long lasting friendships. I’m in my 30’s now and my best friends are still the people i met in primary school. We had many years at school to develop true bonds and we have such great memories of our school days spent together. I wonder if my kids might miss out on that?
    Its a dilemma and i guess the answer is to try and develop a strong and consistent network of people around you and yr children.

    • Kimberley says:

      Hi Hayley,
      Thanks for your comment!
      I believe play dates have the capacity to be more than enough to develop true & lasting bonds. In the same way you had many years at school to develip bonds with your friends, your children can have the chance to have many years to develop bonds with people outside of school.
      My situation is the polar opposite to yours in that I don’t keep in touch with anyone from either primary or high school, I still have best friends though 🙂
      I do believe a community is very important in raising children, especially when homeschooling because you don’t get the instant community that comes with schools. I hope you find your network. Enjoy researching for your unschooling/schooling decisions!


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