Living Joyfully
Can you talk about how unschooling is about appreciating living in the moment and not worrying about what's going to happen in the future? (living joyfully)

Karin Curtin:

I do worry about what's going to happen in the future. I mean, I'm still a mom, doing the best that I think I can be doing right now, given my circumstances. I think most moms do the same whether their kids are in school or not.

Do you ever stop worrying about them? I think it goes along with the territory of parenting. I know my MIL really worries about her adult children (all in their 40's) and my kids to boot (much to my dismay). So, I guess I have a choice. Do I choose to spend my valuable time worrying about my kids and their future or do I *trust* that everything will be okay. I choose to trust.

That doesn't mean that there won't be challenges for us in the future. Doesn't everyone face challenges or hardships at some time in their life? I don't think going to school or not exempts you from that.

I'm sure my boys are somewhat concerned about their future as well. I remember feeling that way when I was a teen. I didn't know what I wanted to do or be but that worked itself out as I grew older. I'm thinking it will be the same for them.

One thing I'm sure of is that we'll always be there to support the boys with whatever interests them. That's what we do now and we'll continue to do that in the future.

So how do we live joyfully? Very simply, we just live life and try to have fun. As I've grown older, I've learned how important it is to mindfully think positively whenever I can. It doesn't come naturally for me, but does get easier the more I do it.

I don't try and see the learning that my boys have accomplished in a day. Do I reflect at the end of every day and say "Hmmm, what did I learn today?" Some people might do that for themselves, but I don't. I don't think my husband does that either. Why should I do that for my kids?

Remember, we are UNschooling. To me, the easiest and quickest way to get to that place in my head is to pretend that school doesn't exist.

Sometimes that's hard, I know. With everything you're faced with in the media, from friends and family, (maybe) from your spouse and even from yourself and your own struggle to forget school.

But that's all it is really - a choice. It's mind over mind - your own! You say it is so, and it is so. Period


Sandra Dodd:
Holly, my youngest, is 16. This week on MySpace, on a survey, she responded to this item in a very sweet way:
What do you want to be when you grow up?
As happy as I am right now.
One of the first articles I ever wrote about unschooling was about joy. Here's one paragraph and a link:
Here's a little paradigm shift for you to practice on. Perhaps happiness shouldn't be the primary goal. Try joy. Try the idea that it might be enJOYable to cook, to set the table, to see your family, rather than the idea that you'll be happy after dinner's done and cleaned up. My guess is that such happiness might last a couple of seconds before you look around and see something else between you and happiness. Joy, though, can be ongoing, and can be felt before, during and after the meeting of goals. Rejecting a Pre-Packaged Life
I just linked it yesterday (and used the Holly quote too): Happiness, Freedom and Peace of Mind
HENA Conference 2009 (keep checking that page...)