In Pursuit of a Passionate Life
Growing up, many of us were advised to keep our passions at arm's length and become more practical so we could lead a normal, successful life. For our family, though, unschooling is all about having the freedom to find, celebrate and pursue our passions so our children can think for themselves, make their own assessments of good and bad, and see the world in terms of what makes sense to them. This freedom of choice helps our children learn a lesson in all its nuances and subtleties, and therefore learn it deeply and permanently—and be able to decide, therefore, where their own boundaries are. But in helping foster the pursuit of passions in our children, we must not put our own passions on the back burner. We need to break the habits formed by our own experiences and model the pursuit of passion for our children—not the passions themselves necessarily, but the joy of having and expressing them. In this presentation we'll discuss the benefit of passions, the role they play in an unschooling family, some common obstacles to identifying and pursuing them, and the importance of modeling them both at home and at work.
Jeff was raised in the traditional "Doctor Spock" way, was a victim of Connecticut public schools, got a couple of college degrees, and spent 8 years in the Army. But when he got together with his wife, Ginger, they quickly realized that they wanted to live and parent in ways that felt more natural. With their children Annie (19), Kai (10), and Kade (7), they have spent the past 10 years following their hearts and exploring various parts of the US, including Monterey, State College, Nashville, and Austin. About four years ago, they discovered unschooling through the readings of John Holt and Rue Kream, and have been learning and growing with unschooling ever since.
In addition to his primary job as a partner and father, Jeff has had a day job in the corporate world for most of the past 10 years as a Human Resources Manager. He writes a blog
(www.freeboysdad.blogspot.com) about the challenges and learnings that come with balancing an unschooling lifestyle with a corporate career. Jeff and his family currently dig their toes in the sand in Carlsbad, CA.