Unschooling Portraits: Bonnie

unschooling portraits

Please introduce yourself.

I am Bonnie. I married my high school sweetheart Stephen and live in NM. I have three 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.

bonnie-family

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.

bonnie-girls

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 number one 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 every day. What someone thinks they should know is not really my concern.

bonnie-colorful-experiments

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!

Unschooling Portraits: Melinda

unschooling portraits

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Melinda Crown. I am wife to one and mama to 3. My crazy dependable hubby works long to make us comfortable. The kiddos are 9, 7, and 3. Our dog Ranger is the size of Clifford and we truly adore our turtle Steve. We live a simple but exciting mid-western life. Our family has climbed many mountains with health issues. We have learned to embrace the moment and share as a family every aspect of life. I love to write and keep account of family drama at lovelylittleladybug.blogspot.com. Continue Reading

Unschooling Portraits: Victoria

unschooling portraitsPlease introduce yourself.

Oh, where to begin? Hi there, my name is Victoria and I am mom to four (soon to be five!) pretty amazing kids, ages 6, 5, 3, and 2. We’ll have a newborn sometime in February and we are excited! I have been married to my God-loving husband, Eric, for 9 years this year. We live in Northeast Ohio and so we have absolutely zero faith in weather reports! Continue Reading

Unschooling Portraits: Jenn

unschooling portraits

Please introduce yourself.

Mile High Howdies! I’ve always found it difficult to sum up 47 years of life in a few paragraphs, but here goes. I’m Jenn, married to a mechanical engineer and commander in the Navy Reserve (same guy here, I’m not a bigamist!) who never ceases to make me laugh. I married him because he was the first grown-up I dated and he was the only guy I didn’t get bored with after a week! He continues to surprise me after 21 years. We live in our dream house in Northern Colorado with our 15-year-old soprano pop-culture queen and our 13-year-old engineer-in-training, also known as The Burp-o-matic, Beeper, Burrito Boy (don’t ask!). Continue Reading

Unschooling Portraits: Robyn

Please introduce yourself.

I am Robyn Parker and I have two sons, ages 17 and 14. I am 45 and I actually was an elementary school teacher from 1989 to 1999. I live in East Tennessee; close to the Smoky Mountains National Park.

I have been at home since October 1999. My oldest went to school grades K-2 and my youngest went to a day school Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon when he was 4. Other than that he has never attended school.

What does your typical day look like?

Continue Reading

Unschooling Portraits: Missy

Please introduce yourself.

Hi! We’re the Bell Family. We are a family of four: Michael, Missy, Jonah, and Maeryn.

Michael is a QA guy for the Department of Defense, layout editor at ArtsVine (our family business), and a songwriter and musician (Michael Bell’s music). Jonah is an eight-year-old Minecraft lover who also engages often with Legos, dragons, unicorns, ballet, drumming, archery, and more. Maeryn is a four-year-old artist in all kinds of media. Her work is often posted at What Maeryn Sees. She also enjoys dance, horses, faeries, movies, and the Laurie Berkner Band.

I’m Missy. I’m the creative and content editor at ArtsVine. I blog at Redefined Juliet, cook interesting vegetarian dishes, make art, act, direct, and run a few miles on occasion. Continue Reading

Unschooling Portraits: Naomi

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Naomi, I am 31 years old, and I have been married to my best friend, Joel, for 10 years. We have the three most amazing kids in the world (although I may be biased); Ella is 5 years old, Liam is 3, and Gavin is 1. We live in British Columbia, Canada, right near the lakes and mountains. We are blessed beyond measure! We are new to unschooling, so I have started a blog of our journey at growing. loving. living. Continue Reading

Unschooling Portraits: Melissa

Please introduce yourself.

I’m Melissa. I’m a proud police wife. My husband and I have been together 17 years. Our children, ages 10, 8, 5.5, and 3, have never been in any daycare or schooling type setting. We have three girls and one son. We discovered homeschooling as a viable option when our older daughter was in the hospital. She went into liver failure shortly after a vaccination, which required her to have a liver transplant at the age of two. After her transplant we knew we could not send her to school and expect them to keep on top of her medications correctly, and we didn’t want her to be exposed to illnesses on a regular basis with her immune system being compromised. We are blessed that she is eight years post transplant and doing wonderfully today. Though her transplant opened the door to homeschooling, all the amazing reasons to homeschool the children beyond just medical reasons were soon discovered by our family. Continue Reading