Secular unschooling

When my hubby and I started homeschooling, we never gave a thought to the curriculum. We never envisioned an environment so totally saturated with religious doctrine!  Even the groups we sought out were religious based. We quickly discovered that we just didn’t fit in.

Neither myself nor my husband are religious people. We don’t believe in going to church or any organized religious venues. We just don’t. That’s not to say we aren’t spiritual because we are. We just don’t go in for the brainwashing that so many religious sects do.

So we ran into the issue that we never thought would be. Religious teachings in just about every homeschooling package we looked at. We were, needless to say, a little put off. So, we went to the local teachers supply store and wandered the aisles for a while, looking, I’m sure, quite lost. While perusing the little readers, I came across a woman that was grumbling under her breath about exactly the same thing. We got to talking and eventually came to the same conclusion. Everything we found had overt religious tones and we didn’t want that. We joined together and wandered about, picking out things that were fact based and not religious (or minimally so). We exchanged emails and went on our seperate ways.

Fast forward 2 years and I get an email from her. She’s gone the same route we did, electronic schooling. As well, her daughter didn’t do too well and got bored quickly so they started “traditional” homeschooling. She wanted to talk since she knew I was of the same non religious persuasion.

She came over, with her daughter, yesterday for coffee and our kids played while we talked. She vented her frustrations for a while and I did a lot of nodding and agreeing. Then, at one point, she looked around and cocked her head. “where’s all your books?” I laughed and started to reply when my youngest popped off with “we don’t use books, we use real life!”

I explained that we are now unschooling and her attention was grabbed. I drew her into our lives with stories of adventures we’ve had and lessons learned with a lot of very animated input from my youngest. She left with a look of wonder on her face and a new idea on how her child could be taught.

Since I’ve started unschooling the boys, I’ve come to wonder why more people DON’T. It’s amazing, even with my fibro, how much I’m able to teach my boys. Why ANYONE would think that people can learn about life by sitting in a peer saturated room for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week is beyond me. Even though I was brought up in traditional brick and mortar school, I learned the REAL lessons, AFTER I left school. I learned that not everyone is a bullying asshat that only has their own desires in mind. I learned that there’s more to life than sitting in a room and studying. There’s an entire WORLD out there! Now, I’m hoping, I’m teaching my boys that exact thing. There’s more to life than reading about Mount Rushmore. It’s an actual PLACE! There’s more to looking in a book and seeing poison ivy…. It’s real and ITCHY!!

I truly feel sorry for the children of America now days. Most are missing out on the best times of their lives because their parents are too busy working and trying to scratch out a living instead of being with their children, learning amazing things they missed when they were younger. I know many parents of older age with a lot of regrets. The only one I have thus far is I’m not physically able to do more with them. If there were one thing I could be granted, it would be the wish that I were perfectly healthy and able to be with my kids to the fullest extent!

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