Today our family went to our semi-local monthly unschooling support group. What a recharging experience! If it weren’t for this group, and maybe a few of the online communities and blogs that I read, I might think that we were the strangest family in the world.
My contribution, today, was the worry about whether my choice to unschool was isolating M. I was reassured by the realization that my child is not the only young child that has trouble making friends. It’s not as if sending him to school would instantly change that anyway. Plenty of school kids have trouble making friends, and plenty of them end up feeling isolated or ostracized. It also helped me to realize, with input from others, that there is value in having quiet days at home sometimes. Sometimes kids need a little peace and quiet, even a little boredom, in order to be creative. So maybe a little bit of isolation is good for the soul.
I was also gently reminded that there might be some advantages to going to an unschooling conference. We skipped the unschooling conference that happened in September due to a few different reasons (financial, and generally being overwhelmed by planning our trip to Costa Rica). But I think we are really going to make an effort to go to one of the future conferences. M is a kid that needs long periods of time to really get comfortable with others. That has been a hindrance to his making friends. From the stories I heard about the conferences, it sounds like they might be an excellent opportunity for M to meet other members of his “tribe” and make real connections, something that just isn’t possible when he has widely spaced, short play-dates with his schooled counterparts. And I’m positive that I could really use some more support myself! In the meantime, I’m heading off to a LLL conference for the weekend, where I get support from my other tribe.
Gotta love the unschooling support group!