unschooling; a story and a story


me and my son at the beach .

It’s a real story.

I was a young girl who wanted to be a scientist. I wanted to go into medicine… to search for cures for diseases… to spend my days looking at cellular life and discovering clues to the mysteries of existence. My Mom wasn’t sure it was a good idea. She was not socialized to think like that, and the women’s movement had not yet arrived… so my Mom said that girls were not supposed to become scientists but were supposed to marry them.

I did okay in school, someone with great potential they said, but mostly I would read books I had cleverly disguised or hidden inside a dry school text as the teacher droned on about subjects or skills that did not fill me with much except boredom.

Time went by and my life took a turn I had not imagined.  I found myself far away from my roots on another coast with a rock n’ roll husband and a penchant for budget friendly recipes and singing backup harmonies.

I wanted to have kids but that idea didn’t fit easily into the rock n roll lifestyle so we waited. Then when I finally became pregnant, I was sure I could have a baby and very soon thereafter would get back to the work of supporting my talented husband and bringing the baby to day care every day… just like that. After all… I was a liberated woman who could do everything… work like a man yet still do the dishes and be a supremely accomplished wife and mother. You know the drill?

Nobody told me how I was going to feel about my son. Our days were spent in a rhythm underscored by the deepest feelings of attachment and love I had ever experienced in my life. The idea of leaving him somewhere and going off for the day filled me with great anguish, but I forced myself to do it when he had reached six months. Dammit I was liberated.


Ah, but the rip I felt as I left each day was debilitating. I would cry jagged tears that began as soon as I turned for the door, and they quieted only when I reached work. At every break they would begin again… and all the way to pick him up in the evening I became submerged in pain until we were reunited. I was reassured that these feelings would pass.

They didn’t.

I quit the job and became an apartment manager in deepest darkest Hollywood so that I could be home with him all day. I became quite focused on reading about the science of human development and pursuing a degree change; from English Lit to Child Development.

Then I became a pre-school teacher and was able to spend every day with him until he reached kindergarten age. I got him into a half day program and was able to pick him up at noon and bring him to be at my school with me for the rest of the day.

The day he walked away from me and into a first grade classroom was an incredibly painful day. I soothed myself that school was not the end all and be all and that home was his real teacher… I was the one responsible for making sure his life would be all right… that the light in his eyes would not go dim. It is a huge responsibility you know…another human being…

He is a fine, thoughtful, smart and sensitive adult now.

However, if you can unschool, do it. Try it out. There are some things to consider before you make the decision.

This story of a woman who took the challenge and remains on the journey, is interesting and inspiring.

It’s a real story.



About cthebean

Educator, musician, social justice activist...and now a blogger. Children deserve unflinching support from adults.....they deserve nothing less. All kids . Everybody's kids. Everywhere.
Aside | This entry was posted in news and views, thoughts and radical reflections and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to unschooling; a story and a story

  1. cthebean says:

    Thanks for writing Grace. I will be interested to hear how your unschooling project is going.


  2. Grace says:

    What a beautiful post you wrote here. Thank you for sharing. My heart ached the same way as you therefore my husband and I have decided to try unschooling with our two little boys. We don’t know anyone else that is in our circle that has experienced homeschooling/unschooling but our hearts are telling us that we must try it out.

    I loved the part when you said: “I was a liberated woman who could do everything… work like a man yet still do the dishes and be a supremely accomplished wife and mother.” I too thought this way in the beginning – 6 years ago…NOT ANY MORE!

    Nothing is more important to me now than to raise noble, gentle, courageous, empathetic and loving men – god knows how much we need more of those, non?!

    I now spend almost all my spare time studying Child Development too and the more I learn, the more I know I need to be with my boys.

    I’m grateful to have stumbled upon your blog. Looking forward to more!


    Liked by 1 person

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