A little background: Over a year ago, when we were still waffling
about homeschooling and before learning about unschooling, ds (now 4
1/2) attended a semester of preschool. As best we could discern, he
seemed ok with being taken out- though he didn't hate school by any
stretch and had in fact had just started warming up to the structure
of it and participating a lot more when he quit- which I didn't
necessarily see as a positive thing.

Well, several months after stopping he started saying pretty often
that he wanted to go back to his preschool. I muddled through a bunch
of excuses and reasons why we couldn't do that and we eventually
settled on trying a new "school" which was a once a week homeschool
co-op where he does a mixed age Spanish class and then
play/craft/game/activity time- all pretty unstructured. This seems to
have satisfied his need and he seems to like the idea of having
a "school" and a "teacher." Except for the first few weeks with the
co-op last fall and very briefly the other day when he saw his old
school backpack, he hasn't mentioned any desire to go back to the

The other thing I should add is that ds is very perceptive and seems
to strongly sense we do things pretty differently than all of our
family and most of our friends. He doesn't take our word for much-
has great curiosity about the things "everyone else" does and seems
to almost have a "grass is greener" mentality toward many things.

I feel like we've made great strides in re-establishing trust after a
rocky beginning coming from traditional parenting and in really
trying to help him explore the world and making fun, play and freedom
our way of being.

In light of all the above, these are the things I'm trying to work

* Now that he has experienced school in these ways- for better or
worse- how to best frame it in an unschooling way? It feels
inconsistent when people ask if he's in school and I say we're
homeschooling, but then we refer to the co-op as his school. I wish I
could do away with the labels altogether, but I'd settle for
something uncomplicated that helps him feel most like a "normal" kid.

* When/if to bring up the subject of "regular" school- wait for him
to bring it up? Continue to treat his coop school as such until he
expresses a need otherwise? It makes me a little sick to my stomach
to think about asking him this summer if he wants to go to
kindergarten...I feel like I need more time to get better at
unschooling and to just plain keep my baby home a little longer.

* What to say when the questions about "regular" school come- How to
postively frame my beliefs about school and preference for
unschooling in a way most likely to be attractive to my guy? Is is ok
to play a little dirty and really drive home all the bad stuff about
school, lol?

* My primary purpose and experience with unschooling so far has been
to do it for the joy of it...yet I find part of me feeling pressure
and a motive to do it and do it really well so that the contrast will
be sharp and real when/if he decides to go to school. Is this a bad

Many thanks for your feedback,