My Unschooling and Trust Journey

In my last post I talked about how trust is key in unschooling. To learn to be free we need to trust ourselves even if things start out rough, and they certainly did when I started unschooling!

Decompression” is what unschoolers call it when you start unschooling and “do nothing” for awhile. My first several months homeschooling I hardly left the house (following that stereotype about homeschoolers!) and had only ultimate frisbee and cross country running as organized activities: nothing resembling school or academics! But honestly, more than that, I was just an angry and unhappy guy.

It’s kind of like cleaning up a big mess: often things get messier before they get nice. There’s a lot that comes to the surface and needs to be sorted out: things to decide to keep or throw away. Sometimes it’s very hard to throw things away! And it takes a lot of trust in the process when things look pretty bad on the surface.

Many people thought I was making a bad choice when I left school. Sometimes my reaction was very strong against this, but ultimately I thought, “I’m just going to try doing this myself and see how it goes. If I need to, I’ll go back to school, but I’m gonna try relying on myself.”

Underneath my initial anger and defensiveness about homeschooling and unschooling, I had doubts, fears, and insecurities all along the way; still do. I’ve been humbled from the beginning with the mistakes I’ve made after I left school and even more while I travelled the world!

But by the end of that first year of unschooling things were getting a lot better: I was working on an organic farm, going to a wilderness survival school, then even taking great courses at a community college and going  to homeschooler classes that people organized. But my real education came from all the healing work I did sorting through things and healing wounds that were stopping me from doing what I really wanted to do.

Through unschooling and exploring the world around me, worldschooling, I’ve come to honestly understand what my strengths and weaknesses are. I’ve learned to accept the wise and caring guidance from others when I need it, reject the false fear based pressure from some, and follow my bliss and inner knowing and learn from my mistakes.

Despite my insecurities, in the end, with my actions, I put my trust in myself. Looking back, I am so thankful for that journey I started a decade ago. Again, when I wanted to run my own business and I was reluctant to go to college, some people weren’t sure it was a good idea: I decided I’d see how it went. Including some ups and downs, it continued to go well, so I continue to put my trust in myself.

I still have more worries and fears but they don’t stop me from continuing to learn and grow. They don’t stop me from shining my light and loving my life.

9 Responses to “My Unschooling and Trust Journey”

  1. Idzie says:

    For a long time, I was really unsure of unschooling. I let the rest of the world convince me that perhaps I really was ruining my life by continuing to stay out of school… I think at the root of those feelings was that I was afraid to trust myself, and really had very little confidence in my own strength. At this point, I believe in unschooling absolutely, and I’ve certainly gotton a lot better at trusting myself. I have a lot of work still to do on that, but I think I’m heading in the right direction at the very least… 🙂

    Also, thank you very much for your very kind comment on my blog post, Epiphanies. It really meant a lot to me. 🙂

  2. Eli Gerzon says:

    After I left that comment I felt embarrassed realizing my comment was like twice as long as the post I was replying to! But yeah, it’s great to hear from someone who unschooled from a young age, realizes they still lack confidence and trust in themselves sometimes, and continues to follow their own path anyway.

  3. Thank you for your thoughtful post.

  4. […] My Unschooling and Trust Journey – I talk about the difficult times when I left school to unschool and how I’ve really learned to trust myself. Unschooling and Trust – This is an explanation of the real philosophy behind unschooling: trusting people with freedom. Seems to be one of my most popular posts. Unschooler Peter Kowalke Interview about college – I posted this on my site before but now I added photos and an unschooler has already left a very interesting comment about her experience with college as well. […]

  5. I went through a similar process, 27 years ago. I went through several long waves of decompression, and I still do. But starting in 1990, accelerating in ’95, and finally in 1999, I overcame nearly every little bit of self-loathing I have about how I study and learn. I finally came to accept how I am.

    Now I try to help other people get to that place more quickly.

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