Creativity to me is a life style need. I don’t think of it as a choice. I’ve lived through short periods of time in my life where I did not create, and the maelstrom of depression which accompanied those times were scary.
I never want to live through those times again.
Then, three years ago I watched as one of my own children started to spiral into a self-loathing no seven year-old should have to go through.
He was struggling in school and it was bleeding over into everything else he did. His teachers and specialists as the school tried to figure out what was wrong. I sincerely believed they did try to help. But nothing seemed to help. He struggled and tried. Homework each night was a cycle of tears, anger, and anxiety. He began to hate school, and I began to hate sending him.
At home he was hesitant to do things, especially anything new. He assumed he would fail. My happy little boy was being replaced by an angry one.
Then, we moved to California.
I had always wanted to try homeschooling. My husband and I read the works of John Taylor Gotto, John Holt, and Rahima Baldwin. We even did it for about a month and a half during the move from Georgia to South Dakota. But never fully. We never fully committed to making a real go at it.
In researching neighborhoods and schools prior to the move to California (mid-school year mind you) we realized that California homeschooling laws and the resources available to us in the South Bay Area made this an ideal chance to give it a shot.
So we did.
I wish I could tell you it was all rainbows and moonbeams, but no. We’ve had a lot of deschooling and trail and error to go through before we found our stride. We chose to unschool and follow our own path since my son was already “behind.” Now I know he was just not developmentally ready for some of the things the schools were trying to make him do. He just needed time. My daughter has thrived with homeschool. She was already doing advanced courses before we left Florida, now she gets to really dig into what she wants to learn.
Unschooling can mean different families, even to different kids within the same family. Indeed, that has been the case with my kids. But I am so glad we made the decision. I wish now we had made it earlier. My son still struggles with a lot of self-doubt and anxiety in new situations, but he had learned he is capable and he has learned to love learning again.
Disclaimer: I firmly believe childrearing and whether or not to homeschool is a decision best left up to each individual family. I wanted to share my reasons here for why we chose to homeschool. Please be respectful of our decision. I do welcome any respectful questions or discussions.