Hello all you radical unschoolers! I just recently found this site while randomly surfing homeschooler/unschooler's blogs. I made a profile, and have been poking around in the forums. I'm inspired :)
I am not yet homeschooling my kids, but I'm trying to work up the courage to "take the leap." Philosophically, it makes perfect sense to me, a Social Work student. Much of my coursework and reading centers on oppression, cultural competence, etc. It's only a very small leap from the rights of marginalized groups (e.g. Indigenous peoples in North America) to the rights of children.
I am trying to incorporate some unschooling ideas into my parenting style. I'm practicing saying "yes" more, I'm allowing more and more access to video games (not quite unlimited yet...), I'm "strewing" cool books and activities, and I'm exploring what un-coercive parenting might look like (e.g. how do I motivate without rewards and punishment schemes?)
I am the mother of a 2nd grader who is almost 7. I recently married, and my step-son moved in with us 2 months ago. He is 6, in 1st grade. Before his mother asked us if he could live with us, I had made the choice to homeschool my son, as he has struggled with school all through 1st grade, mostly with the structure. He has a tendency to "passively resist" schoolwork, and, in my opinion, he is resisting being "institutionalized."
However, when my step-son moved in, I faced a whole new series of challenges as a mother. I struggle with treating the boys equally and fairly, despite an emotional desire to favour my own child. I know I love my son more than my step-son, and I'm finally letting go of feeling guilty about that. I tell myself, "it's normal! You'll grow to love him just as much!" Giving myself that freedom has provided space for that love to develop.
Now I am dealing with concerns about money and time. In June, I felt I could juggle one child and 30 hours a week of my own University study time. I also felt I had the financial resources to fund childcare 2 days a week while I am on campus. However, now my childcare costs have doubled, and my step-son's mother is not legally obligated to pay any child support.
I am really struggling with the technical details of what it will take to keep both boys out of public school, but I know I'll get there.