Saturday, January 14, 2012

Why We Chose Unschooling

I was asked this today and really wish I had the whole clip of our interview with Lisa Ling. It boils down to one person...Joaquin. Joaquin is our now nine year old son. He was born on a hot August day in 2002. I was so ready to have this little boy, two weeks earlier they stopped my labor with him.
Joaquin was so different from his older brother when he was born. He was the polar opposite from him. I knew in my heart, he would forever be so different.
Joaquin had been diagnosed with Autism, Epilepsy, Sensory Integration Disorder, and some digestive issues. He is also, heat sensitive. But, if you look at him you'll just see a sweet boy, thank you goodness you can't see the meltdowns.

When Joaquin became school age, we were homeschooling Dexter through a charter school. Joaquin had a hard time with the reading curriculum as he had mastered one the summer before. We had a very strict daily schedule for the kids, as we were told this was best for Joaquin. We adhered to it as if life itself could not exist outside of it.
There were times when we had to break from this schedule, appointments, field trips or mom wanting a park day. The melt downs were horrible and he was uncooperative. Something had to give. It was heartbreaking to think, he would never learn that sometimes you have to break from the schedule, and life would be okay. Thoughts of, how would he be as an adult or even a teenager when life was even more out of his control, for work and play. We had to break from the schedule completely.
We had a pocket schedule on the wall, times and subjects on it. We took it down and put it up. He kept bringing it out, we left the charter and ventured out on our own. It was a bit scary, the unknown...but, nothing is ever certain. We had him throw the schedule into the dumpster and move on to a new life, where he could learn what he wanted (really all of them) and no day was the same....and that everything would be okay.

Today, this is Joaquin...happy, healthy and full of life. A lot less meltdowns and able to go at a whim (most of the time). He plays, he laughs and he is still very shy around new people. I won't lie and say he warms up to everyone he meets but, he is open to meeting new people. He loves animals and wants a bird.

He is why we chose unschooling...and he is why, it's be so so wonderful.

Momma and Joaquin


  1. Love this so much. Your guy sounds like mine in a lot of ways. Thanks for writing is an encouragement to many, I am sure :)

    1. I just write it as I see and feel it. I honestly hope, what I write is an encouragement.

  2. Why did you choose unschooling for the rest of the family as well?

  3. I understand this heart and soul. We also believed the experts about our son, schedules and treatments, experiencing the inflexibility and meltdowns. Unschooling, my dude learning in real life has made such a huge difference for him and our whole family. Your blog is just so great, thanks for writing.