Welcome to my little unschooling corner of the world. I’ve had lots of blogs and websites over the years, so now I’m settling into this colorful little spot. 🙂 I’ve been married since 1987 and first became a mom in 1989. My three grown homeschoolers have been off on their own for a little while now. I’ve struggled a little with them leaving the nest but I don’t know what I thought was going to happen! Of COURSE they’re off on adventures of their own – because that’s how they were raised.
We had a few spoken and unspoken guidelines (the closest thing I can get to rules):
- Life is an adventure!
- Live each day to the fullest – you don’t really know how many you’re going to have.
- Be brave – don’t let your fear hold you back
- Don’t be afraid to fail – you’ll just start over, bruised but wiser.
- Kindness and compassion are 2 of the most important things
- Do things because of who YOU are, not because anyone deserves or doesn’t deserve something.
- Always laugh at the jokes people younger than you tell – you were that kid once too, and we laughed at yours. 😉
I’ve had several careers over time, and we moved frequently with the Air Force over 20 years. Ron and I were married in Dallas and quickly started a string of moves. We’ve lived in:
- Austin, Texas
- San Antonio, Texas
- Greensboro, North Carolina
- Eagle River, Alaska
- Anchorage Alaska
- Dixon, California
- Wichita Falls, Texas
- Pflugerville, a suburb of Austin, Texas
With each move, we had the wonderful opportunity of meeting more kids and more parents. We joined support groups and started our own when none fit us.
We went to conferences all around the country, listening to speakers, meeting other families, sharing our stories with each other.
We dove into so many different community activities wherever we lived. Sometimes we dabbled and sometimes we found our callings! I have learned so much from all of it.
Most importantly, I’ve always known that I raise my kids differently from most parents.
I didn’t start out as someone who knew she’d be a homeschooling mom. I didn’t read any books about it or subscribe to any other than mainstream magazines. This was 1995, and the internet was just starting out. For all practical purposes, I was a soccer mom from the suburbs.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that school was not going to work for us. That’s a story (or two or three!) in itself, but after Michael finished 1st grade, and Katie finished Kindergarten, we were convinced that homeschooling was right for our family. And then, not long after that, we ditched the boxed curriculum and moved into what’s called unschooling. There was no such thing as “radical” unschooling, really. We unschooled for our academics and discovered the priniciples worked well for parenting too.
Our particular parenting style grew from simply prioritizing communication and creating a trusting environment. I wasn’t interested in establishing my authority or trying to catch my kids doing the wrong thing.
I was interested in being a guide.
Someone who had been there before.
Someone who only wanted the best for them.
Someone who would love them and listen to them.
At the base of all communication, we’re simply trying to get our point across. But it’s not a one way street. Parents have to learn to let their kids say what they think. Even if it might change in an hour. Even if it might scare them to death!
“Not Being heard” is the lament of children and teens, generation after generation. What prevents us from remembering that? What prevents us from trying to fix that situation?
I was a child of the 60’s and 70’s. I did a lot of things wrong. I hope my children never have to live through some of the experiences I chose. But I’m going to be there with them – whether they choose it or not. I’ll offer my suggestions, my insight, my guidance. And I’ll come here to talk with you about how it’s going, what we’re doing – what works and what doesn’t. For us.
Sue’s Coaching/Mentoring If you need a little help overcoming some of the obstacles in your path, feel free to set up an appointment.
My Book: Homeschooled Teens After years of interviews and compiling information, I’m ready to share what I’ve found! You can order it straight from the website, at CreateSpace (my self-publishing page), or Amazon.
Speaking Engagements If you’re attending any of these conferences, be sure to say “Hi!” to me!!
Our Fabulous Facebook Group Changing the world one family at a time, our collection of unschooling veteran moms answer questions and share insights for new or struggling unschooling parents. If you’re worried or discouraged, bring your questions to this group.
My Giant Unschooling Website: Unschooling Mom2Mom This website is a collection of the BEST unschooling advice out there. All of it centers around the most common questions and concerns parents have.
Read Also… November 2011 – My Interview about our Unschooled Lives Follow my PhotoJournal at Tumblr: Sue Patterson: Here’s what’s happening…