Saturday, March 9, 2013

Catholic Collage Unschooling

"The edge of unschooling is not a solid line. It will depend on the principles by which a family intends to live, and the philosophy of learning and parenting through which they see the world."
--Sandra Dodd

I am awake with stomach discomfort, so I am up early. Checking my email, I found this gem from Sandra Dodd's blog, Just Add Light and Stir. I must say, I really admire the brevity of her posts! They're daily meditations that say something meaningful in a small space. Another blog I recently found, Stories of an Unschooling Family, has also been key in helping me to assimilate this concept. Do you ever ask God for a sign? Last night for no apparent reason I went to one of my bookshelves and opened a journal that I began writing in March of 2009. At the top of the first page I read this:

Educating a child for life


Four years ago I wrote this? My daughter was four years old, and we had decided not to send her to preschool, but to plan on homeschooling. I commented on the Montessori precept of "follow the child" and how it would gel nicely with John Holt's unschooling philosophy. And four years later I am just now coming back to this? I thought it was curious that since unschooling has come to the forefront of my mind, I have also been thinking more about the Montessori method and getting back to some of those principles. It is all coming together, and I think it's time to stop doubting and just trust the Holy Spirit in this. It's all well and good, and even necessary, to think through making such a change and evaluate all the angles, to use our God-given faculties of reason. But at some point comes the time to "leap, and the net will appear."

I also think it no coincidence that I will be entering into full communion with the Catholic Church at the end of this month. I will officially be a Catholic! This has been a long journey, and I already thought of myself as Catholic before beginning RCIA. I wrote a lot about my new religious path, and eventually I realized that after a certain amount of pondering, it is time to put the elements into practice. I think this is true in regard to unschooling. I have been reading and writing and talking about it. I have been testing the waters. Now it's time to jump in, or at least to wade out and really explore life away from the safe shore. So what do I want to call it? For now, Catholic Collage Unschooling. For me, this ties together the use of Charlotte Mason, Montessori, John Holt, and any other approach that is effective for my child with the teachings of the Church. There is truly no line between life, learning, and the Faith. If we believe, we can walk on water.


  1. Rita,

    Maybe you are about to leap into a wonderful adventure! I think there does come a time when we need to start 'doing'. We can continue to read and think but we need to experience unschooling too, if we are to really know what it is all about.

    Will you be entering the Church at the Easter Vigil? What a wonderful night that will be! I am a convert married to a cradle Catholic. It's 22 years since I converted but I can still feel the excitement of that unforgettable occasion.

    God bless!

  2. Sue, yes, I will be entering the Church at the Easter Vigil! Thanks so much for your support. My husband is a cradle Catholic too, but mostly non-practicing (though I hope that will change). I think you are right--time to dive in. I'm so glad I found your blog!


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