Please introduce yourself.
I am Bonnie and married my high school sweetheart Stephen and live in NM. I have 3 wonderful daughters 12, 8, 3 and we unschool!! I also am a foster parent so unschooling works very well with all the changes that take place in our home. We can take the time to get to know each kid that comes to us and fit them into our family pretty easily.
What does your typical day look like?
There is such a thing as typical??? My days are as different as each kid and we love it! We let life lead us and my kids know they are free to ask any question about what is going on and I will answer it to the best of my ability or find someone who can!
We love food in our home. One of the kids is always finding something to create in the kitchen. They have free access with supplies. (Of course they have help with stove and oven.) I love how they come up with new foods to try together. Some work out and others do not. Their imagination truly does guide them.
What does the term “unschool” mean to you?
Unschool means that we do not do what people think of as typical school. There are no workbooks that have to be done on a schedule or testing to “see” what my kids know. I spend time with my kids doing the things each family member is interested in doing and sometimes things we have to do, LOL.
Have you always unschooled or did you, like many, gradually move from traditional homeschooling (or public school) towards unschooling? If so, where are you in the process and how did you get there?
It took us years to get to the idea of unschooling but none of my kids have ever attended public school; we started homeschooling when my oldest was ready to start school because of issues with our public schools here. Over the years we moved away from traditional schooling and have just kept right on going!!
What interests do your kids have that you never would have guessed they would develop?
My oldest loves to draw and she is good at it, not sure where she got that talent at but we give her the support and guidance she needs to go after whatever God has called her to do!
My 8 year old is very sensitive, a whole new ball game from my oldest, and is really into dance! We watch lots of musicals and take her to shows whenever possible. Money is tight as I am sure lots of you can agree with so dance lessons are on hold right now.
My little one loves to learn and will try anything once, yes that means lots of booboos and cuddle time but she will be strong! She loves for here sisters to read to her and enjoys being outside.
What are some of the benefits of unschooling that you have seen?
Everything, I know you want specifics but really everything is a benefit! With our journey to unschooling we have been called to help others and are doing foster care. It is a challenge but well worth it, my kids are learning that not everyone has parents that are dedicated to them and willing to spend time with them.
What are some of the negatives?
I would have to say the #1 thing for me is pressure from others to keep up with what someone has decided is the normal. My kids are learning and growing with God everyday what someone thinks they should know is not really my concern.
Tell us about your best day (or your worst).
OK, I am going to have to go with the BEST!!! The day my oldest finally decided she could read!!! We struggled with reading and she would not even try one day she just jumped right in and did it!! That celebration was a blast (just so you know she was almost 9 and in the 3rd grade).
Favorite definitions of unschooling:
Deuteronomy 11:19: Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Thank you, Bonnie, for sharing this unschooling portrait with us! If you’d like to share YOUR family’s story, find out how here!