What I'm Reading
I’m guessing it was simply a case of being drawn to the cover. I looked at the forms of those two boys, and I could see my own boy in them. I could picture him splashing in those puddles as he chases the dog down the rugged path. Wild, free, and very, very dirty. I was drawn in by what I hoped this book would be.
I wasn’t disappointed. More than a book about parenting or education, this is a thoughtful memoir. It's a philosophical commentary on how we come to decide how we wish to spend our precious lives. It’s an invitation to vary from the beaten path in the name of fulfillment and contentment. I found it inspiring, challenging, and ultimately persuasive. I’m now a true unschooling believer, and I have a better grasp on the philosophy behind this approach to learning, along with how it beautifully aligns with peaceful parenting.
“The truth is there are so many permutations of what it means to live a good life, and I often wonder if all I really want for my children is the ability to determine which permutation is right for them" (Page 61).
“Part of the story I am attempting to write with my children is the story of trust. Of letting go and trusting my instincts as a parent, which is a luxury I can allow myself only if I can learn to have trust in my boys. Simple trust, the confidence in our children and in ourselves to allow them to unfold at their own pace. The confidence that they will unfold, even when it seems as if they are falling behind the manufactured expectations set by institutionalized schooling” (Page 72).
“What if we understood - what if we felt we could afford to understand - that whatever harm we do the natural world, we do to ourselves? That whatever harm we do to others, we do to ourselves? What if we did not worry about being taken advantage of by immigrants, my minorities, by corporations, by politicians, by government? What if we no longer worried that others might perceive us as naive? What if the point were not to know as much as possible but to feel as much as possible? What if every day, come sun, rain, snow, heat, or cold, we pledged to find a tree, small or tall, straight or curved, leafed or not, and we sat with our back against its trunk for no less than a dozen minutes? What if we thought we could feel the tree breathing? What if we actually could? And finally: what if we taught our children accordingly” (Page 150)?