Fun-Schooling Pep Talk! (Part 1)

When you first started Fun-Schooling with Thinking Tree Books you were probably feeling kind of overwhelmed with all the options to choose from, not sure how to build a curriculum for your child. You just look at all these beautiful books and wonder what’s inside and wonder…

Will my child be able to embrace this style of learning?

Is it enough?

Is it okay for children to have fun and study what they love instead of staying on the tried and true educational path set years ago my the experts of yester-year?

Is it really okay that they are not learning all the sames things the grandparents studied in the 1950’s?

Can Fun-Schooling really provide a well rounded education when the whole point is for the child to dig deep into their specific passions and interests?

So many questions, fears, worries all mixed with the joy and wonder of discovering a way of learning that makes total sense!

So you dip in your toes, and maybe your child just gets it and is already diving into the deep end.

Or maybe you get it because you read Brave Learner and Unschooling Rules and The Unhurried Homeschooler and it all is the perfect fit for the homeschooling plan of your dreams… But your child has been so scarred by “kill and drill” learning methods that they resist EVERYTHING.

Or maybe you were so relaxed in the past, and gave your soul over to radical Unschooling, and now your child scoffs at your efforts to get more organized with Fun-Schooling… because they would rather play Fortnight, and doesn’t that matter anymore? They fuss and cry at ALL structure.

So we plan, we dream, we fight, we cry, and we let go, and then we hold on tight because that’s motherhood.

And all you know is that trying to be a teacher is no fun, because your child actually can not sit still, and you know in your heart your child was not created to sit still… Children need to be free within safe boundaries, to learn when curiosity sparks, to discover who they are, what love is, and to learn to think deeply, live passionately, to grow through the growing pains and to learn to navigate this Earth, with wisdom.

And so you balance freedom with responsibility.

You measure out the boundaries of purpose and pleasure.

You walk the path ever-changing, never knowing where this road will lead… because it’s full of wonder, and questions, and struggle, and newness, and growth. And just when you think you mastered the game, the rules change, the seasons change, the relationships change, and life happens…

And it’s oh so messy.

And you wonder how you could ever prepare a child for the unknown future of a changing world.

You study the child. You seek to understand their individual gifts, weaknesses, passions and learning styles. You adapt your strategy to their personality and everything keeps changing. And then they are gone.

Go ahead and cry, because this is every mother’s journey and even more so when you take on the great responsibility of giving your child an education that was dreamed up, just for them.

I hear you. I see you. I’m on this journey too.

And I hope that all that I have been through raising 15 vastly unique children, each with gifts and problems all their own, and dreams so diverse it’s enough to make you crazy. And somehow, after about 16 years of doing this Homeschooling Mom thing, I quit.

Come back soon for my next post, to find out what I did next!

Raising Employees?

Joe does passion-based homeschooling. He is in charge of his education and uses Fun-Schooling Journals, Tuttle Twins Books and a lot of Usborne books.

Real life has no instructions. All children grow into adults who encounter situations and opportunities where no one explains what to do. We want our children to think and be innovative. Almost all normal schoolwork is based on following instructions and memorizing information. At our house we don’t do that.

When I created all of my homeschooling books I created them for my kids. I am specifically designing a method of learning to inspire thinking, problem solving and innovation. Because my kids have dyslexia and Asperger’s (like me), we are not going to follow a normal path. My kids would never make good employees so I don’t expect any of my children to be employees. I expect them all to have an awesome work ethic and to be business owners and managers of their own families and homes. The public system is training millions of children to be employees – who have a very watered down work ethic. I would never choose to hire common core kids. That’s not our goal, so we are traveling a unique path. Each child is unique and so we focus on their gifts and interests.

Now, they will learn to be good workers because I am giving them all opportunities to learn by working in the home and the family business, and they serve with missionaries and in church. When they volunteer, they really shine.

I never actually expected so many other people jump in and use my books, but I think that your children will really be blessed and your families will enjoy homeschooling with these methods.

I wasn’t creating school books that will help the children to fit into a mold that prepares them for “higher education”. SORRY! My goal is for my children to be innovative business owners with steady incomes by age 20, who do not need “higher education or an extended adolescence” to prepare for real life. If your child needs that, go for it! No shame! It’s all good! We need all kinds of people in the world. Just don’t plan your child’s education based on an antiquated view of what education should be.

Knowing our goals, I try not to waste my children’s time, brain space, and energy on schoolwork that doesn’t prepare them for real life. I am a bit of a rebel, and sometimes I worry that my kids might miss something… but they are proving me wrong. Whenever my teens need to learn something simple or complex, they get it done! They rarely ask for help anymore (unless they are trying to open a bank account, need a new computer, need an investor, or are filling out forms to become Amazon Associates).

Our kids are all excelling in their own way, developing their own talents and starting their own businesses – often before I even have a chance to show them how. They all have strong faith and family values.

One thing I have them do is read popular adult level books on marketing, business, and leadership. I also have them building websites and creating real books at a young age – check out our “Notebooks for Creative People” on Amazon. We don’t use textbooks, we always use well-written and interesting REAL books by passionate experts on every subject we want to study. We don’t just unschool, (though it works on many levels) because I really want to pass on my favorite books, family values, faith and traditions.

Sometimes I wonder what will become of all these creative thinkers and innovative children who adore my books. I would like to know what your children are passionate about, and how you are helping them to learn!