unschooling: regret

Today has been a little blah. Feeling a little burdened by the thought of leaving friends and family in just 79 days for a country we love, but where our future is mostly unknown.

Feeling overwhelmed by all we have to do/buy/wrap up before we go.

And also regretting that I “signed up” to blog for 31 days about unschooling.

I guess I’m not really regretting it. Just aspects of it. For one, unschooling is not my whole life. And I’m getting a little tired of focusing on it exclusively.

For another, there’s a reason I haven’t talked about it a ton in the past. It’s because it can be alienating to people who have chosen a different path.

Another reason: it’s so easy to be misunderstood. And the thought of expending all sorts of time and energy to clarify/justify/defend myself? Exhausting.

For example, I regretted Tuesday’s post (“pros & cons“) soon after I pressed publish. The list didn’t sit well with me for several reasons. 1.) It just felt a little lame, kind of boring. And incomplete.

2.) My cons list was more tongue-in-cheek than anything (but I didn’t really explain that). I mentioned that there is no test to see how my kids compare to normal ones, but that’s not really a con, because I don’t care. I mentioned that my kids might be behind on fashion trends. Again, couldn’t care less. (and so on and so forth)

3.) As one reader pointed out, all of my pros could’ve applied to regular ol’ homeschooling as well. True. I purposely didn’t pit unschooling against homeschooling (or public schooling, etc). I just shared some of the things we love about unschooling. Honestly, I didn’t share some of the things that uniquely apply to unschooling, because I couldn’t figure out how to say them without offending people who’ve made different choices.

Such is the dilemma-ridden life of someone who blogs on the big wide Internet.

I’m often torn between clarifying things I’ve written & asking myself, “Really? Do you really think you can clear up everyone’s misconceptions of your writing? And is that what you want to spend your day doing?”

No. No, it’s not.

I will say this in response to a reader who was unhappy that I’m being “unfair and dishonest” about homeschooling at large when I’ve only been doing this for a few years (she’s a long-time homeschooler):

I have never claimed to be an expert. On anything really. I had Amazon reviewers angry that I’d dared to write a book about sex when I was too young to know how menopause affects your sex life with your husband.

As if we all have to wait until we’re 50 to say something of value.

I am a FIRM believer that one can write about her personal experience at any point on her journey. And most of the time I’m fine with sharing that journey with others.

Other times (like today), I’m ready to throw in the towel and say, “You know what? Life would be much simpler if I just lived it instead of blogging it.”

Since when did I think it was fun to be an open book?

So. I may take a break.

Or, who knows? I might find fresh wind for my sails come tomorrow.

Actually, I feel a little better already.

11 thoughts on “unschooling: regret

  1. Ruth

    As a long-time homeschooler (8 years with my own kids, and 17 of my own years homeschooling, then graduating from homeschool a year early, then going to college at 17 & graduating a year early from there), I think your blog and your list of pros and cons was just fine. I disagree, though, about all the pros being for all homeschoolers. I know some homeschooling families who aren’t flexible at all & some of those pros will not apply to them because they have to follow their schedule, curriculum, etc. So that list is not for all homeschoolers. Anyway, no one will fault you if you stop writing this stuff, because it can be exhausting to defend yourself against naysayers (I am a very misunderstood person in life in general and it sucks), but it sounds like you’re doing just fine. You’re sharing your story on your blog. Anyone who wants to rain on your parade (or “correct you in public for no good reason”) needs to rethink what they’re getting ready to type before they push “submit”. It does no good to be negative & they don’t know your heart. I love you, Marla. You’re amazing.

  2. Pingback: unschooling: check this out | Marla Taviano

  3. Cheryl Pickett

    One line stuck out for me on this one, that you didn’t share some things because you didn’t know how to say it without potentially offending. That’s like saying I didn’t tell you why I love Pei Wei because I thought some people who don’t like Asian food might not want to hear what I have to say.
    Garbage.
    Ranting without concern for what you say, swearing or other gratuitous language just to rile people up is potentially offensive. Sharing positive things about something that’s important to you and your family, is not offensive. I think I’ve said this before, if you are being honest, polite, professional and simply expressing your thoughts and opinions, if someone takes offense, that is on them not you.
    Here’s another way you might think of it, by not sharing things you really do feel compelled to share, what are those who do really want to learn missing out on? That’s the audience you need to focus on serving, not the one who either doesn’t care that much or just likes to find reasons to nit pick or pick fights.
    You do good things. Just do them.

  4. Sharon

    I haven’t been offended by one.single.thing you’ve said. But, then again, I probably am not one who could be offended since I’m not 100% set in my ways of schooling (sure helps when I don’t have kids old enough to be in school – huh!) So, you can take my view point with that caveat. I don’t think you need to take the time/energy to defend yourself. I am loving this series. I’m in a situation where I very well could change what we end up doing as far as schooling our kids. So, I have no reason to be offended by anything you say. As for the others who do find offense, I think it’s because they are dead set that what they are doing is right (at least for their family) which is fine. I really don’t know how much you need to address that. I think those people are already set in their ways (not saying they are wrong, just a point I think is valid) and will not be swayed. I know you aren’t trying to sway anyone, but I hope you know what I mean. Anyways, you have to do whatever you feel is right and that is manageable in the way of posts. But I do hope you won’t be discouraged. I know I’m not the only one who has greatly enjoyed and benefited the series so far.

  5. Sarah Farish

    Tis true…I’ve asked myself often…why do you blog, Sarah? I love to write, so why not just write and keep it on my computer. (Because people can wear me out!)

    But.

    We need your voice. We need to understand those who are different from ourselves. My life looks very different from your life, yet we are still friends. You make me better, but I do not feel I need to move to an apartment and unschool. I take parts of what you say and apply to me – some parts I even pray over. I learn from you and (I hope) you from me.

    So…you keep blogging to share Him and help others self-reflect and become better – drawing them closer to Him. It’s the same reason your pastor takes the stage each Sunday even though he could find a higher paying job and not deal with all the stuff that comes from teaching. For Him – for us:)

    I love you:)

  6. Teresa Henry

    I agree with others. Write if you want but take a break if needed. I I love reading what you write. You are real and honest and I love that!

  7. Laura

    I haven’t read this whole thing (today’s), but felt compelled to comment first!

    You are doing your girls an injustice by not having them keep up with the latest fashion trends. (this cracked me up so much when you posted it yesterday or whenever it was!!! hahahahahaha!) You are so lucky they don’t care! Gahhhhhhh! Sooooo fortunate! Fashion, smashion! Blech! Nothing worse than a 12-13 year old who won’t wear your super duper garage sale finds because “it’s embarrassing” or “nobody wears this style”. maddening! You rock, Marla. And your girls rock. (and Gabe, you rock too)

    And, fully agreeing with Bethany. Nobody would be in the least bit upset if you unschooled yourself with this unschooling blog commitment! Shoot girl, do your thing! Make your next blog October 18-28 all in one day (one sentence even!). We all love you and care about you and your family no matter what. Anyone who thinks otherwise and even thinks about giving you a hard time can just go pfffffft!

    I do have a question. Can people send you guys stuff when you’re over there?

  8. Bethany

    Tomorrow’s post could be: Reason #187 why I like unschooling–I don’t have to stick with anything if I’m tired of it because there are no rules.” So no more blogging about unschooling. 🙂

    (I like reading your posts, but I thought this would be helpful for you. It’s okay to stop if it’s weighing you down. )

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