I wrote this up as a response on a forum. The more I thought about it, the more I knew I wanted to post it here, too. Mostly for my own self-reference and honesty-check.
For me, unschooling is less and less about an educational choice. If I see it as such, I tinker just as much as I did when we tried unit studies and eclectic methods.
I now believe, for us, that unschooling is about taking away the whole concept of school — the whole fragmenting concept that there is a ‘school’ and a ‘rest of life’ divide.
I believe we (myself and my family) are better served by not buying-in to this dichotomy.
We simple live our lives. If the boys are interested in something, we attack it and learn and do and explore. It’s fun.
I consciously strew the environment with cool stuff.
I am always available for talking about something and noodling about it’s potential and ramifications; I am almost always available to read/help read about a subject.
I am an eager learner and hope to show them, by word and deed, that I am willing to go just about anywhere with them.
So, we spend our days not being child-focused. We spend our days not being education-focused. We spend our days just living. They are with me when I clean (and sometimes help), when I cook (and frequently help), when I grocery shop (usually tolerate), and when I sit and read (a rarity, but still important to me.)
I don’t have it all figured out. I am not an expert and I am so fallible. But, this is what feels good to my soul.
We are all respecting one-another’s needs for things that are interesting and non-coercive. We are learning together. And they do not have the weight of being my ‘life’s work’ on their diminutive shoulders.
+Will it always be thus? Dunno. My commitment is to watch them (covertly, mostly) and make course corrections as they seem needed.
What I do know is that I am calmer and more content than I’ve ever been in my mama-career and my children are learning at a fantastic rate unequalled by any other time in our lives as a family.