Flipping the Order of ‘Schooling’

It’s interesting atm, with our 7 year old.  He’s never been to school and we’ve been doing our best to nurture his interests.  Right now all he wants is to be physically active.  Give him the choice of doing some kind of active thing and it’s an immediate yes. Gymnastics and football are the things that drive him at the moment.  Though he happily does things like Forest School, JuiJitsu and swimming too.

As unschoolers we feel it is daft to go travelling during peak holiday times.  And whilst we realise we need to get better at actually travelling (or switching off from day to day things of life) we believe between us, as parents,  we need to plan for chilling at home during the holiday season, and plan for going away during the school season.

This doesn’t mean we will be constantly away during the school season. It is more the idea of: if we want to book time away then we should do it whilst kids are at school – because we can and because it is cheaper and because everything isn’t so packed.  We are an introverted family – so the idea of being around crowds does not excite us.

But I now realise it works so well.  Yes, it has taken us time to get to this realisation, despite 5 years into unschooling.

Despite our efforts, our two eldest boys have shown little interest in holiday/summer clubs.  Once the left school they did simply not want to join any holiday clubs.  Fair enough, we didn’t push it.

But our seven year old is all up for it.  Not sure if not going to school has something to do with it.  Honestly, in my heart, I think it does.

But whatever.  I don’t want to go suggesting things that could work for others.  This is simply what is working for us right now.

No school during term time, because we home educate / unschool.  Then come the holiday and we can sign up our 7 year old to clubs that are of interest to him.  This means, during the summer school holidays, he is spending roughly 3 of those weeks attending summer type schools focused purely on things of interest to him – in his case gymnastics and football.

There is a simple beauty of this.  No long term commitment.  It’s actually quite affordable. He gets to try stuff out.  Then as parents we get a bit of a break.  And of course, there is choice – he chooses all the things (that we can find).  We only sign him up to stuff that we feel he wants and is interested in.

Perhaps, best of all, there is no guilt on our side.  He is at holiday clubs during the school holidays,  when he is not at holiday clubs he is not at school and therefore (mostly) spends alot of time with us, the family.

As a very busy family, where us, the parents, run a business to support our income/lifestyle, we feel it is important to try to find the balance of family time, personal time and work time.

Our unschooling is forever evolving.  I hope it has been be useful and perhaps important to share the day to day of how we are managing the ‘education development’ of our unschooled kids.

I guess, most importantly, is that we are trying to look at our lives, and society around us and trying to figure out how we can make our unschooling life work (better).

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