This is something I wrote back in December, but just wasn't ready to post it then. After rereading it and making a few small adjustments, I am ready to post this now. I apologize that this is out of order from everything else. Happy Homeschooling, friends.
Although the boys have been on hiatus for the past few weeks, and may continue until after Christmas, I am constantly doing research and trying to learn more about homeschooling and different learning/teaching styles. I started out thinking we would be more traditional in our style, but in looking into other styles, I considered unschooling.
One of the tools I like to use for information is Facebook groups. I have joined several homeschooling groups of different types, two of them were unschooling groups. I did find them very informative and am glad that I joined them. I learned that although the unschooling philosophy, in regards to academics only, does have its merits, I might still use a curriculum to teach math. I also learned that I would not be a good fit for radical unschooling. I do not want to have to give up who I am as a parent just to fit a philosophy.
I found that radical unschoolers (RU) are very all or nothing with their thinking. Basically, it's not just letting children learn what they want to when and if they want to, it is letting them decide when they want to go to sleep and wake up. What they want to eat and when they want to eat. What they want to watch, for how long, etc. Or what games, internet searches, etc. It is trusting your child to know how to make the best choices for themselves. My problem? Even the best child has a tendency to want to look up porn or watch a show that isn't appropriate for their age. RUs do not tolerate limits or worksheets or anything that looks organized by a parent. Or at least that is the perception I am getting. Here's the thing: I have no problem with anyone who makes this philosophy their family lifestyle. Good on ya mate. Just don't get mad at me for not doing things exactly like you do.
In the end, I left one of those groups and then came to the conclusion that we are more eclectic homeschoolers, integrating different styles and methods that suit us as a whole. Some how, that feels liberating. Like by knowing and accepting this, I can accept that how I do things may not be how someone else does things and that does not make us wrong or them wrong. It just makes us different. That's all right. I will not look down on a fellow homeschooler or unschooler or even a public school family for their preferred style. I hope that I will gain the same respect from others that I choose to give them.