Because you brought up the issue of the other list; I thought it might be good to address that idea about the difference between relaxed, eclectic, etc. The labels can always cause some issues, but we need words to try to have a dialogue, so we work with what we have and hope to gain understanding.
I have seen many dismiss unschooling, even saying they have 'tried' it for a month, a year, during a challenging time when they couldn't manage curriculum, etc. But I think a primary difference between unschooling and other 'styles' comes from a complete shift in one's way of thinking. I recently had a friend say that she had 'homeschooled' her children one day when it was a snow day. I told her that it was more a shift in lifestyle and doing a workbook one day with your dc doesn't give the flavor of what you might do. I think the same about unschooling...it can't be merely dabbled in. It involves a willingness to change into a different type of lifestyle even than 'relaxed' or 'eclectic'. The journey gets turbulent at times (well, it has for me). On the ouside, it may look any different way...busy, hectic, slow paced, relaxed, high pressure, highly structured or loosely structured. The key differences are on the inside.
I know that despite the fact that I read some John Holt when I first decided to educate dc outside the school setting, it took a lot of introspection to see the many ways I still had an agenda for my dc. I still wanted to pour knowledge and information into them; I still wanted to have them love and learn form the great opportunities I would provide. I still wanted them to know their math, how to read
well, spell, etc. And I admit I even hoped they might excel 'early'.
For me, it was a real journey of self discovery in examing all the things about school and how they had permeated my thinking. And a real journey in observing dc and their learning. A real journey of faith...do I trust God to inspire them? Do I trust the diverse gifts given by God can be 'enough', even if they don't follow "what your whatever grader needs to kow"? Can I trust myself enough to really be present with my dc? To accept, and love them on their own life journey.Do I have it in me to actually *be* the example of someone they ought to emulate?
And it is a challenge to be this in a society that measures and looks at results, expectations what have you been 'doing'? Sometimes I don't know - we live, we love, we laugh and enjoy. Sometimes we work through conflict and difficulty, Life brings us so many experiences, and it is all worthwhile.
Isn't that beautiful? A whole different way to look at learning. Well, I don't think he's going to fall asleep, so that wraps up my first blog entry. The mounds of dirty laundry beckon. (My husband couldn't find a clean undershirt to wear this morning!)
Happy birthday today to my niece, Liz!