As unschoolers we are making a lifestyle choice. Unschooling is the process of deschooling ourselves; as parents and children. School indoctrinates us to respond to schedules and agendas defined by others. Great for factories (or the needs of industry), not so great for creative thinking. Seth Godin does a great job of explaining the current state of schools, so I won’t repeat his words.
Two other choices that make an unschooling life possible for us, are:
Bootstrapping is an approach to business, build/make/sell stuff, minimise costs, take profits from paying customers and re-invest until you have built a sustainable business. We are bootstrappers (*investors need not apply). We have to be responsive, whilst also remembering our own agenda, we are allowed to define our own schedule. Yes, at the beginning bootstrapping impacts your income, you need to organise your life in order to be in the position to give it a go, it is a long game, and is not without risk. You are responsible for your own destiny. Everyday we work on buying our future selves a little more freedom. If we build a sustainable income, we never need to respond to someone else’s schedule ever again. The business skills learned can be re-applied, any income gained should be repeatable. Warning: you may become unemployable, you’ll ask too many questions.
Minimalism is a way of life where we limit our desire to consume, and remove clutter that has limited value or function. The income required to have a sustainable life becomes less, a simple sensible choice for a bootstrapper. Surprisingly, minimalism makes you ask the question differently, it’s not ‘are we rich yet?’ it’s ‘where are we rich?’. We value things differently, the goal is joy. We have to be creative in how we entertain and/or educate ourselves and each other. We pass on the value of searching for a more meaningful life rather than seeking satisfaction in blind consumerism.
We believe creative thinking is key, to unschooling, to bootstrapping and to minimalism. We take inspiration from Sir Ken Robinson, a true believer creativity is a necessary and key skill for the 21st century, he asks not, ‘are we smart?’, instead, ‘where are we smart?’. We become self-directed in our learning.
We are grateful to have found these three overlapping ‘philosophies’, they are in alignment, and our lives are enriched because of this.
Simply put, ask better questions, and then be creative.