Close My Eyes and…. LEAP!

I wanted to homeschool Keilee since pre K.† I was scared.† She was in her first week of 2nd grade and I picked her up one day and said, “How would you like to be homeschooled?”† The rest as they say is history.

I was drawn to unhomeschooling from the beginning.† I was scared.† [familiar theme† here?].† What if…she never wanted to learn Math? or read?† or learn anything??

So we never did it.† It has still hovered in the back of my mind.† I read about unschooling and child led all the time.† I read unschooling blogs, I read unschooling books, But would it work for us???

I mean Keilee drives me crazy at times; complaining about work, hating Math, doesn’t want to read…. How could I trust her to learn ANYTHING!!!

Then I had told her about what Theresa did with her girls; asked them to make a list of 10 things they would like to learn more about.†

I asked Kei if she would try to do that in the next few days. She did it that day!† And the things she put on her list blew my ever loving mind!† Here is her list.† *The ‘red’ are my comments.† I would have just taken a picture of her list, but you wouldn’t be able to read some of it..seriously.† *See #16, at least she knows her shortcomings. 🙂

  1. Renaissance
  2. Gypsies/Magic [about Fortune Tellers, their history]
  3. Algebra† [WHAT?? Really????]
  4. Italy / history of
  5. Robotics
  6. 1950 America† [She LOVES the 50’s for some reason]
  7. Africa animals, plants and wild life
  8. Famous historians
  9. More Geography
  10. Architecture
  11. Mechanics [how cars and electronics work]† [HELP!!???]
  12. History about Girls [she wrote ìHERSTORY about girlsî]
  13. Space; the alternate universe.† Like that guy in the wheelchair believes. [She means Stephen Hawking; Where does she come up with this stuff?????]
  14. Geometry† [Again..REALLY???]
  15. Proper writing skills† [She loves to write but hates anything about the proper way to write so this surprised me]
  16. Spelling† [SPELLING?? Hates this too.]
  17. Mysteries in history that have not been solved
  18. UFO history, sightings, theories and documentaries
  19. Light, understanding how light works and travels
  20. Horrible happenings involving weather throughout history.
  21. Lost City of Atlantis
  22. String theory† [What ??? What???† HELP AGAIN!!]

This just made me giddy!† Seriously. Who knew she wanted to learn about all of these things?† Where did she even hear of some of these things??

I have been struggling so much with just letting go.† Just letting her do what she wants to do.† My friend at The Mournful Cry of the Laundry said to me the other day, ‘Just give her a year and see what happens”.† GULP!† A year??†† What if her ‘Child Led” leads her to the couch to watch TV or nothing but knitting???

But,† I am doing this.† Starting today….† Sometimes you just have to…


I remember getting this bike; her feet didn’t reach the pedals.† Wasn’t that only yesterday?

UNschooling Rocks?

“Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by the rules
Of someone else’s game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It’s time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes: and leap!”† ~Elphaba from “Wicked”

Happily Linking with† Make Life Meaningful



16 thoughts on “Close My Eyes and…. LEAP!”

  1. oh, my! your daughter sounds like mine!!

    She is only 9 and loves to write. She came up with the idea of writing her own newspaper, so we did it together. I will put it on my blog soon.

    but like your daughter hates any proper way of handwriting and spelling, but from time to time will ask me how to do it. I believe that she will one day have a beautiful handwriting and will spell correctly just because she keeps at it. 🙂

    I think we are neighbors. Don’t you live in Alabama??

  2. Oh, Karen, this is wonderful and so honest and lovely. I can just imagine you sitting there, typing that big old “LEAP,” and it giving you happy butterflies just writing it (or was that just me?). I think our kids are SO alikeóI wish we were leaping in real life together, our kids side by side by side, tree climbing and imagining and exploring and learning together. Please move Alabama closer to Australia! If you push it and I pull, maybe it’ll work? MUCH love to you and Kei 🙂

  3. This is SO awesome, Karen! You are definitely inspiring me. I am going to have my kids write a list for next school year and I am going to do my best to stick to it. I just love your daughter’s list! Wow! 🙂 I will be interested to see what my kids come up with! Hope you are having a good week!

  4. Unschooling does rock!
    You’ll make it just fine, though Keilee does have quite an involved list there;)
    The girls have lists on the bulletin board in the kitchen that they add to and update from time to time.
    Have fun, enjoy your time with Kei, and know that it’s okay to learn right alongside her!
    Love the quote from Wicked:)
    You girls are awesome…I’m off to show Abby y’all’s list. I know she’ll love it.

  5. I don’t know if this would count as very educational, but we love to listen to Old Time Radio. The Golden Age of Radio (ie before television), produced a TON of awesome shows; they do talk on some of them about the World Wars and other national news. It might be fun for you guys to check them out (if you haven’t already).

    You can download mp3s everywhere online – I am in the middle of downloading a ton right now at They have a bunch for free, but for a small donation, you get access to THOUSANDS of shows – musicals, comedies, news programs, old time commercials, detective shows (my favorite), cool stuff like Orson Wells… all kinds of stuff.

    I got nothing for the string theory thing. Sorry.

  6. I don’t know if I shared with you the story about when we first started homeschooling. I was trying to pick my friend’s brain. She was the only person I knew at the time who home schooled and back then I assumed everyone did it the same way (school-at-home). She told me that she unschooled and probably would not be of much help since I seemed to lean towards a more classical style at the time. She told me that every day is a leap of faith. I have never forgotten that moment. I often remind myself that this is a leap of faith. A leap for ourselves and for our children. I look around me at the older group of homeschoolers, especially unschoolers, and they are either going to college or college graduates who are happy and living satisfied lives. The only thing that still catches me is math. Unschooling math is a HUGE leap of faith. I am not there yet…..

  7. I am a scared of the unschooling too, but am going to try it. Your daughter is much older than mine. We are just starting our journey, but I will be excitedly following your experiences.

  8. Oooooh! I’m with you on the scary part! I have considered unschooling because I think it might suit son #1, but I’m pretty rigid myself, so I think it would drive me crazy. I do wonder, however, if somewhere down the road, when he has a bit more maturity, and if I can still see some glimmers of ambition and curiosity in him, if unschooling might not be the best for him. I’m not there yet, but I love your daughter’s list, and I can see how all of those might lead to some really wonderful, meaningful learning, and isn’t that what we all want????

    Thanks for linking at Make Life Meaningful Monday! I appreciated your post!

  9. Oh, my! What a list! I would be floored. I don’t think I ever asked my kids to come up with a list….I just keeping asking or observing what they are interested in and add that to our list of things to study. I think this is an interesting idea.

  10. I am afraid of the “laying on the couch watching TV” thing too. But I just love their lists–isn’t it AMAZING what they WANT to learn about?? So Cool! I took a lot of women’s studies classes in college and “herstory” is a term they often use in those classes–Piper said the she wanted to learn the same thing. I think girls just relate to women/girls better and a lot of history really is about men. I just love having the list as a jumping off point!

    Good luck. I can’t wait to see/hear how it goes!

  11. Oh friend I will be praying for you because I am sure you will be over criticizing yourself. You are a wonderful homeschool mom and learn way more than most kids in school I am sure you’ll be a great unschooling mom too. 🙂

  12. Do it! She won’t become a TV zombie, there’s too many other things out in the world. Unschooling rocks. Letting her follow the rabbit down the rabbit hole as far as she wants to travel will lead her to some amazing places…Everything is so connected in life, any topic is like a coin, or a cube. Flip it over and there’s at least one more side to explore!

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