Having established that I could be a radical unschooler, I have decided that this is not the best fit for my family. I have learned so much from all of the reading, talking, writing, praying, and even sometimes obsessing (who, me?) about unschooling since February. I do believe that the Spirit is leading me toward a gentler approach to parenting and homeschooling. Mostly, I think I am being called to more fully engage life. To follow passions and make relationships a top priority. To avoid doing things because I should. To experience more joy.
Those things of which I have written about unschooling that resonate with me are the same ideas that attracted me to Montessori and Charlotte Mason. Many adults that I personally know are disrespectful toward children. I am guilty too, and this is the biggest thing that I want to change. Following my natural rhythms, and giving my child the opportunity to discover hers--this is important. But freedom without limits is nonsense.
The Virgin Mary is my role model exemplar as a wife, mother, and disciple of Jesus. With her guidance, intercession, blessings, grace, and protection, I cannot fail. She knows best the will of Jesus for my life. Jesus and Mary know what is best for my family, and I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit has and will continue to light my way.
All along I have defined Catholic unschooling as a uniting of the Faith, life, and learning into a seamless whole. How that is accomplished will be unique to each family. The concern I have is that "unschooling" is the negation of school. It is "not school". That doesn't give me something solid to embrace. If unschoolers are living as if school does not exist, why use the word school in the description at all? Life learning, natural learning, and organic learning are some examples of a worldview similar to unschooling, but without the baggage. Without the rigidity of "thou shall nots".
So I am taking a break from books and internet searches on the subject of unschooling. I have done my studying, and it is time to get back to making the Catholic faith the center of day-to-day living. I think I'll ditch coffee while I'm at it. Unschooling has given me the permission to free myself and my family from unnecessary shackles. Jesus said, "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." I owe unschooling a debt of gratitude, for it led me to my "little way of the fleur de lis". My home is a domestic church, and our educational lifestyle is Catholic Natural Learning.