This blog explores unschooling with a critical feminist eye, meaning that when I talk about learning from life and trusting my children, I also talk about gender, class, race, geography, the environment, culture, and labor. I believe that childism is at the heart of these abuses of power. Refusing childism means seeing my children as autonomous. This also means seeing my autistic daughter as autonomous and not someone who needs fixing.
What is unschooling?
Unschooling is “delight-driven, inquiry-based, self-directed life learning.” —Idzie Desmarais
Sounds nice, but the implications of that statment are mind blowing. I also like Sue Patterson’s explanation on Unschooling Mom2Mom:
Unschooling is trusting yourself and trusting your child; and that takes a good amount of nerve. When a parent sends a child to a school or even decides to go with a particular curriculum, they are handing over their trust and their child to the school/curriculum. A “leaving it to them!” mentality sets in and for many families, this is a relief. Unschooling families don’t want to go that route. They are willing to shoulder the responsibility for the education of their child, because they have faith that learning is something that humans naturally want to do – and their children are no exception to this rule.
I call this blog Seedling Song because even though these growing children are so new, they’ve shown me their voices and their amazing, unexpected ways of being in the world. I learn new songs every day and try to write them down.
Another focus of this blog is my passion: books. Especially non-coercive, beautiful, and inspiring children’s books. Why books that save your life? I’ve had so many friends and family experience life-threatening depression, anxiety, and addiction. I believe that the reflection, beauty, and joy that books offer can help grown ups see their children and themselves. And I think we need books and movies to see where we stand, how others see the world, what injustices we enable, and how our suffering is systemic and not our fault.
I have a PhD in English, but have turned away from the entrenched hierarchies of academia and towards the abundance and exploration of unschooling. Everyday I’m learning about myself and my family, seeking peace and generosity in part via critique of coercive and damaging cultural norms.