Or is it?
I think we've found a way of living the life we love without becoming illiterate buffoons along the way! (Eureka moment)
Of course, most homeschoolers have probably discovered this secret well before we did, but, for us, it's a bit like a light bulb moment - you know, the type of moment when you realise that the answer has been staring you in the face all along.
Unschooling, for us, has been a journey of discoveries. First of all, we found that it made learning easier and more relevant. Then, we discovered it allowed for more creativity and initiative. Unexpectedly, it took on a spiritual significance as I saw how this natural way of learning opened our minds and hearts to God in a spirit of trust and submission.
But, increasingly, as last year drew to a close, I began to get nervous about satisfying the official requirements of the education department. The standards and guidelines of the Board of Studies seemed alien and irrelevant to our own goals of spiritual perfection and Christian duty. A system of record-keeping which was both useful to us and acceptable to the authorities was easy to construct but how to incorporate their requirements into our chosen lifestyle was a tad more challenging.
As we get more experienced, I'm becoming more skilled at recognising real learning moments, as they happen. I'm also more trusting of the children's own ability to teach themselves. But, I have to admit to being a lazy strewer. I have bursts of enthusiasm where I fill the corners of the house with great educational stimuli but, then, I go off on my own little rabbit trails and forget about the environment that I'm trying to create.
Luckily, unschooling, for us, is about following God's will and though I may not have a plan, God always does. So, rather than leave us stumbling around in the dark, my little rabbit trails seem to have led me to a greater understanding of our vocations and how our duty to educate our children should fit naturally into our everyday lives of faith and service.
At the moment, this means incorporating the key learning requirements into our humdrum domestic activities. It may seem obvious but it really excited me to discover that I didn't need to drastically change the peaceful routine of our happy holidays. My rabbit trails are leading us to God and I think that my duty as a parent is to guide our children along the same path of discovery, and to encourage them in their own. Along the way, I can see a host of opportunities for learning in all the different areas of a standard curriculum.
So, this year, we'll learn together and, instead of sacrificing our interests and our freedom to toe the schooly line, we'll live our normal lives with minds open to the amazing truths that God has yet to reveal to us.
Here are some photos of what I - and we - have been busy with, this holidays, and the sort of activities from which we'll derive our learning experiences.