~~The purpose of this list isn't to stumble as a group. It's for people to
see where they want to be as to unschooling, and take direct small steps
toward that.~~

I've been on AlwaysLearning since 2000ish (with an immediate 2 ½ year
absence since the list scared the poop out of me in the beginning). In the
7 ½ years that I have been a faithful lurker, I have only posted about 6 or
7 times. I read, read and read. I'm continuing to grasp concepts, put them
in my pretty basket, and then I read some more in the eventuality that my
basket will one day overflow with the knowledge I seek. In the beginning,
I "stumbled" onto this list but I am so grateful that the list writers keep
me walking "step by step" in the direction of being a better Mother.

Dave and I now have a 12-year-old daughter. She has different needs and
desires then a decade ago. For the past 4 months or so, we have been in the
process of re-evaluating our past and current steps to being better parents.
It is a very deliberate and conscious act to make adjustments in our
parenting. We feel that we've been in the unschooling bubble so long that
we've just kind of been floating (like spit) in the inside. We've been
adding to our delightful life, but we've become complacent in things that we
thought we had down. We "got it", then I think we might have lost some of
it and there is definitely room to "get more" of it. Our goal is to "get"
all of it!

Thanks to recent discussions on this list, we decided to continue to gently
pop our bubble and reexamine if we have become "lazy unschoolers". We've
found that in some ways we have and in other ways we haven't. The
interesting aspect is realizing how far we have come and where we might be
right now if we had not "stumbled" upon this list. Having stepped out of
our little bubble we realize we had forgotten that the world is much bigger
than parkdays & activities with a few select families. We had forgotten
that we chose this lifestyle because we wanted our lives filled with
everything and not just selected pieces because they were "easy" (or dare I
use the world lazy).

This past year, I had become reliant on get-togethers to fill our days. I
found that it can become very "easy" to waist days away at social outlets
when what my daughter really needed was simply me. It became "easy" to use
those outlets as a mask for not Being with my kiddo. Those outlets take up
time so I didn't have to (yes I used Have To) Do anything. I tricked myself
into thinking that I was providing necessary stimulation when in actuality
Sorscha needed less stimulation and my mindful, peaceful presence. Yes, I'm
embarrassed for my lack but I am absolutely empowered because I SEE my
laziness. By being honest with myself, I am consciously back to the Mom I
LOVE being. I LIKE that!

Dave and I now focus on not just being present (whether that's 20 yards from
our kiddo at an activity) but Doing. We're back to exploring new
adventures instead of sitting in weekly routines. It's exciting and so
many new passions have opened. We had forgotten that "this" was what we
started all of "this" for! Talk about a serious parental reality check.

Dave & I have been discussing the areas where we can improve and expand our
parenting. We've gone back to Radical Unschooling Boot Camp 101 and we are
rereading a mass of information. We are really thinking about what we are
reading - We're not skimming through topics because we had already "gotten
that one". We are reading, discussing, high five-ing, and sometimes
wondering how we forgot "that part". It's a very COOL place to be as a
family and Sorscha (now going by Fang) will benefit from our reexaminations
as radical unschooling parents. We look forward to the next decade on
AlwaysLearning - which is an interesting thought because my kiddo will be 22
and Sandra's kiddos will be in their 30's (well, Holly will be 28). Now
THAT makes me want to make sure I'm "getting it" now!

Okay, so I post hardly anything for a decade and now ya'll get a mass of
paragraphs. Be gentle with my grammatical errors. I'm not a writer but a
Radical Unschooling Mama with something to write. I know to the outside,
traditional parenting world that we are attentive, amazing, opportunity
inspiring, imaginative parents, but to us, well, we want more because there
IS way more. Unfortunately though, there is little time.

~Crystal in New Mexico~

Sandra Dodd

-=-We feel that we've been in the unschooling bubble so long that
we've just kind of been floating (like spit) in the inside. -=-

Uh... up to the spit part I was right with ya. <g>

Holly says some families live in "unschooling world" instead of the
real world.

I've seen some people care more about whether their other unschooling
friends are impressed by this or that than they care about what their
kids like.

Glad to have your unafraid presence, Crystal.


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-=-We feel that we've been in the unschooling bubble so long that
we've just kind of been floating (like spit) in the inside. -=-

~~~Uh... up to the spit part I was right with ya. <g>~~~

Let me clarify the spit part – I'm thinking bubble gum here. When I blow a bubble and seal it with my mouth, a little bit of spit gets caught inside. If I continue to blow amazing bubbles and build on my original piece of gum, then each bubble is alive, beautiful and unique. That is what I consider unschooling days to be.

If I envision that bubble just sitting there with no further anything from me (cause you know, I know how to blow a bubble so why should I do anything more - being snarky with myself here), then the spit and air are just trapped on the inside. Since the bubble has been sealed with slowly dying air and originally good bacteria, then I imagine the spit would mold or become rancid somehow. This is not what I consider great unschooling days.

The spit concept in my head is based on the lack of life or moldy life that can consume the bubble. The spit was originally alive!

Or we could just say, "Crystal in a plastic unschooling bubble without an air source." I'm envisioning myself in the bedroom from the movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble with John Travolta. He was afraid to leave the safety of the bubble but he had an intense desire to live in the real world and be free.

~~~Glad to have your unafraid presence~~~

Neo, I'm not afraid anymore.

~Crystal in New Mexico~

Jenny Cyphers

***Thanks to recent discussions on this list, we decided to continue to gently
pop our bubble and reexamine if we have become "lazy unschoolers" .***

I love it when these ideas get cycled through the list! I have a 15 yr old, so a lot of what I see and do, has a feel of "been there, done that". The thing is, I also have an 8 yr old who has not been there done that! I love that these ideas get back out there and in my thoughts...

It could just be coincidence but it seems this feeling coincides with springtime a lot! Newness and re-emergence.

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