Carnival of Unschooled Life—September 2010 Edition


Go to life, not school.

Soon, very soon, the leaves will begin to fall and dry out and get crunchy, and the breezes will get stronger and cooler, and the days spent outside will be gloriously brisk and the evenings spent inside deliciously cozy. And the children represented by the blog posts here will not be “back to school” or “back” to anything. They will simply be continuing—carrying out the ongoing cycle of experiencing and learning, living and absorbing, with loving families around them and new things to see, smell, taste, touch, and hear everywhere they go.

One little unschooler in autumn.

Let’s check out this carnival’s examples of the cycles of life.


Life at Home

Once Upon a Family presents Spark’s Imagination. And to think that some people believe kids will only “waste” free time!


Out in the World

Laura Grace Weldon discusses Transferring Enthusiam. It’s a powerful essay about passion for learning.



Laura Grace Weldon graces us once again, with Strong Enough to Be Ourselves. Laura also has a new book, Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything. It’s on my nightstand right now.


Dark Nights of the Soul

Rana at Free to learn an lovin it continues to grow as a thoughtful, dedicated unschooling mom. You’ll find proof of that in Knowing Your “Inner” You.


Encounters of the School-y Kind

I recently got grilled about whether my daughter has an education foundation, by which I believe the well-meaning questioner meant a “What Your Tenth-Grader Should Know” kind of thing. As the queen of non-confrontation, I have a difficult time trying to say that I don’t believe in the linking of knowledge with ages or grades, when I know that the person I’m speaking with holds very tightly to that linkage, as a way of defining what raising a child is all about.

I do believe every person should have a foundation, and I think that foundation includes being able to read, communicate, do arithmetic, act with kindness, exercise forethought, and—above all—think independently. The linkages that the school-y world worships are, I believe, impediments to independent thinking for many children.

That does not mean, however, that, as unschooling parents, all we have to do is avoid those linkages. We have a responsibility to provide experiences and opportunities and encouragement, so that our independent thinkers can expand their minds and build on their foundations in unique and meaningful ways.



Theodora at Travels With a Nine Year Old presents Unschooling. Or Learning as You Go. Keep going, Theodora!



I have been going through a passage that is beautifully, creatively,  and intelligently described by Sandra Dodd. But then, Sandra is a beautiful, creative, and intelligent thinker, so what else would one expect? As her chart shows, I am spending less and less time with my child, as her life becomes more and more about her choices, wishes, and goals—which require my being at her side less and less. Which is a good thing. Because I trust her completely. And I hope she reads this. And I hope she feels good when she reads this. As do I.


Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.  —George Eliot

Enjoy your autumn, everybody!


My deepest thanks to everyone who contributes and everyone who reads this for supporting The Carnival of Unschooled Life. Words are beams of light. Let’s continue to shine them on the things we believe in.


The carnival will return on October 1, 2010. Submissions will be due by September 30, 2010.

To contribute a post, please use the carnival submission form.

Live, laugh, play, learn, talk, walk, hug, dance, sing, and shine—until we meet again.


7 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Laura Weldon said,

    I discover something wonderfully fresh and new every time I click through the the links you post Susan. Thanks for all the ways you share and spread information. And thanks for mentioning my book!

  2. 2

    Rana said,

    Yeah Susan! The Carnival is back on! I’ve been waiting patiently. Can’t wait to dig into these reads. Thanks for sharing mine too.

  3. 3

    ital mama said,

    Good to read what others are living!

  4. 5

    Cristina said,

    Thank you for an inspiring carnival! You have some wonderful links here!

  5. 7

    Maris Maglaya said,

    At the end of the day, no matter numbers you choose will not essentially make any form of difference until they
    really come up .
    Whether or not these are seen as tricks largely is determined by the familiarity of
    the learner to the mathematical ideas.

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