Posted in #atozchallenge, Blog Hops and Fests, Parenting, poetry, Unschooling, Writing Sample

Dabbling, Daring, and Delving Deeply: #AtoZChallenge for April 5, 2017

Slices of An Unschooling Life Theme Reveal Post

Today’s Poetry Type:



Delving a Deeper Dare

A dabbling, delving deeper dare

Four lives spill over bright thought air

What matter which new treasure sparks

With each fresh thought energy arcs

Neurons are firing blazing marks

We read and write or stroll in parks

Of past long-gone, history harks

So many things learned in our larks

It looks like play, this life we share

Unless you see more purpose there.

                               Most Adorable British Officer...EVER!
                               Most Adorable British Officer…EVER!

There’s no doubt: the way we learn here doesn’t look like school.

It’s not intended to.

Many people don’t know this, but American public school was devised as a way to remove children from the workforce until they became adults – and, at the same time, to train them for the factories and other forms of manual, unskilled labor the working classes were assumed to be best suited for.

The goal was to condition them to for factory work  (hence the beginning and ending times that don’t mesh with what current science tells us about how much, and when, adolescents need to sleep), and the bells and structured schedule that mimic work schedules of the nineteenth century, when schooling became mandatory.

It was also to give children the “right kind” of knowledge – enough that they could do the jobs employers wanted them for, but not so much that they might foment discord, or want to learn more than what the powers that be wanted them to have to be good, steady workers.

                                    Joyfully learning on the British lines!
                                    Joyfully learning on the British lines!

That’s not what we want for our kids. We want them to be fascinated by life,  to understand that there’s depth and breadth beyond what can be held in books, that the people whose names survive in history were as real as they are – that they lived full lives, breathing, eating, drinking, loving, hating, burping and sleeping and making love and all the other parts of life.

That took the kids and I to the Saratoga National Historical Park last September. This is aRevolutionary War battlefield, and, after a brief stop at the Visitor’s Center, we downloaded an audio tour on my phone, and set out on the 9 mile tour road – exploring American and British lines, fortifications, and a farm home used as headquarters.

The narration brought the tour to life. As we hiked the rolling hills, we were reminded that the soldiers, mostly on foot, traversed these same hills, without the benefit of modern paved and maintained paths. Back then, the area was mostly wilderness – which is what made it a good place for the Colonial Army to attempt to hold the Hudson and prevent the British using it to cut off New York City, then the capital of the new nation.

Yes, they might have gone on a school trip, since the Battlefield is in our hometown. But they couldn’t have had the leisure to do it on a September Saturday, with the entire afternoon and the first part of the evening given over to exploring in their own way and in their own time. Or, several years ago, to spend a few hours there on the Fourth of July  (schools aren’t open on Saturdays, or during the summer).

Since neither of them have ever been to school, they don’t have a clear understanding of the gift of time and freedom to learn as they will. But their parents, both veterans of the public school system, do – and it’s priceless.

Are you a dabbler, a delver, or both?

If you have kids, what do they like to explore, and how do you make space and time for it?

Do you dare to take a dip or a dive into other delightful D posts? Delve into some more stops on the Blogging from A-Z April Challenge by clicking on this link, or the icon below.

Come back tomorrow for an exuberant exploration of…well, everything!

                                              Throwing Shadows on History!  
                                              Throwing Shadows on History!  


I am myself. I own my life, and live with three other people who own theirs. My intention is to do only those things that bring me joy, and to give myself wholly to those things I do. Writing has been my passion throughout my life, and this will become the home for my writing life...because it brings me great joy!

2 thoughts on “Dabbling, Daring, and Delving Deeply: #AtoZChallenge for April 5, 2017

    1. Hi, Deniz!
      It’s so lovely to see you here in my new online home! I hope you’re comfy. =)
      Depending on where you live, homeschooling may not be legal, let alone unschooling. However, both are in the US and Canada (one of my favorite unschooling writers is Idzie Desmarais, who hails from Quebec, and is just as delightful in person as she is at her website, "I’m Unschooled. Yes, I Can Write."
      We’ve been living an unschooling life since Jeremiah was 7, and Annalise 4. Now they’re 15.5 and almost 13, and I have almost no regrets about making what was a huge change in the way I parent, and paving the way for my Accomplice to do the same.
      I tried to convey a bit of the "why" in each of these posts, but they really are just slices. 26 posts could never really show the whole of our lives.
      If you have any questions along the way, please feel free to ask. I’ll be listing some resources in my wrap-up post, too.
      By the way, your daughter seems sweet, confident, and engaged in her world. I love the glimpses you’ve shared of her growing up. My "big kids" have a lot of those same qualities, blended with increasing sophistication and independence as they grow into adulthood.

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