I'm active on a few unschooling/homeschooling forums now and wanted to jot down my thoughts/comments here for my reference.
In regards to "Time Away":
This is perhaps my one concern about unschooling. I do need time away and at this point in time it isn't possible. I live a state away from my husband during the week and only see him on the weekends. When this changes I'm sure I will be afforded more personal time. At the moment I take advantage of naps and late evenings… not ideal but better than nothing.Personally I believe that it's important to nurture our own interests. I want my son to see my interests, how I pursue them and the joy they afford me. I believe it's important to my physical and mental being – not to mention I'm continually learning too. If I deny me – what do you think my child will learn from it?
In regards to "Why should you unschool?":
Since this is all so new to me I feel like I'm having a hard time articulating my thoughts about why we are unschooling. I do agree with many of your own thoughts. Right now I think it boils down to I don't wish to snuff out my child’s innate sense of wonder in the world around him. I think I will be able to develop these thoughts as time moves on.
In regards to "The new bad word.":
I find it fascinating when some one questions you about your choice without accepting they are making a choice as well. My response has been and will be, "I don't question you about why you chose X, Y, or Z." X, Y, or Z being public school, private school, homeschooling, etc. If they are generally interested I will certainly take the time to explain to them what it is, but you can usually tell the difference between some one that is ridiculing your choice and some one that is genuinely fascinated by it.
Personally I believe that unschooling, as a word, is what scares people. They really have a hard time getting past that word. What they aren’t realizing is they do this every time they're with their children playing, exploring, reading, answering their questions, procuring materials for them, etc. They're essentially unschooling. I don't believe these people set-up a curriculum to do those things with their children and I certainly don't believe they test their children afterward. As unschoolers we see the advantage of doing this at all times… not just during down time or spare time.
Since George is three there isn't a huge burden on my shoulders to make sure he is pursuing learning. He is learning on a daily basis through play, reading, shadowing me or my folks and playgroup trips as well as homeschooling meet-ups. The more I read the more I know that we will be unschoolers through and through. We do it now… why not continue to do it in lue of a public education?
I mean can you resist the cake-face? Yeah, neither can I. So we're going to do our best to provide little Mr. Cake-Face with the type of life learning experience he deserves.