Unconditional Love: the Glue that Sticks Us Together
Stories of an Unschooling Family
by Sue Elvis
1w ago
I miss my Mother’s Day breakfast. My husband, Andy, and some of our adult kids enjoy coffee and pastries after the early Sunday Mass without me. I’m at home, a blanket drawn up to my chin with razor blades scratching my throat and a drum beating in my head: I’m unwell. Mother’s Days, like birthdays, can be full of expectations. We don’t expect to be sick. We want all our kids to remember us. Will they visit? Will they phone? Will they say, “I love you, Mum”? Do we expect to feel happy on this annual celebration of motherhood? Or The post Unconditional Love: the Glue that Sticks Us Together fi ..read more
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Why We Should Embrace Our Increasing Age
Stories of an Unschooling Family
by Sue Elvis
3w ago
Every time I celebrate a birthday, going up a number, I ponder ageing anew. How do I feel about getting older? Am I reluctant to admit my age? Or am I grateful to be who I am at the age I’ve reached? I once saw a sign saying, Experienced cars for sale. Of course, this is a novel way of selling secondhand vehicles. Secondhand conjures up images of something that’s not as good as it used to be. The value of a secondhand item has decreased. But experience? Is this something we value? What about people? Are we secondhand, our The post Why We Should Embrace Our Increasing Age first appeared on Sto ..read more
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Live a Radical Life of Unconditional Love
Stories of an Unschooling Family
by Sue Elvis
3w ago
Cecilie and Jesper Conrad invited me to be part of their Self Directed podcast, so I met them online, via Zoom, and I had a fabulous time recording episode 65 with them. After the interview, one of my daughters said, “How did it go, Mum?” and I replied, “I must have done okay because the Conrads have invited me to record a second episode with them!” That second conversation, episode 66 –  I’ve got back-to-back episodes on the Self Directed podcast! – is now live. What did we talk about this time? My favourite topic: unconditional love! The Podcast Details The post Live a Radical Life of ..read more
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Encouraging My Daughters and Other Women by Embracing My Age
Stories of an Unschooling Family
by Sue Elvis
3w ago
I was 58 on Christmas Day, 2019. If you do some real-life maths, you’ll soon work out how old I am today. There have been times when I haven’t wanted to admit my age and wished to appear younger than I am. Why? Did I fear no one would like me if they heard I was older than they were? Perhaps I thought I had to be young to be accepted and valued. But, bit by bit, I’ve come to terms with my age. I’m no longer afraid to declare how old I am. It’s hard work pretending to be The post Encouraging My Daughters and Other Women by Embracing My Age first appeared on Stories of an Unschooling Family ..read more
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An Unschool Conversation with Jesper and Cecilie Conrad on the Self Directed Podcast
Stories of an Unschooling Family
by Sue Elvis
3w ago
Remember how I was talking about pushing ourselves to do things outside our comfort zones? Well, I almost said no the first time someone invited me to discuss unschooling on their podcast because I didn’t want to put myself in an unfamiliar and possibly uncomfortable situation. I was confident talking about unschooling when recording my own podcasts: I was in control. I could stop, delete, and start again if the words didn’t flow. But what would happen if I had trouble finding the right words in a live conversation? I almost declined the interview invitation. It seemed safer to do The post An ..read more
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Pushing Ourselves Instead of Our Kids
Stories of an Unschooling Family
by Sue Elvis
1M ago
Often, we push our kids to try new things, don’t we? We want them to be adventurous. We say, “If you give it a go, you might discover you like it. You might be good at it.’ But what about ourselves? Are we willing to try new things? Or do we make excuses to avoid pushing ourselves outside our comfort zones? I wanted to give podcasting a go. So, I made an episode and uploaded it to the Internet. I was pleased with my efforts. And excited: I was a podcaster! But then my enthusiasm plummeted after one of my The post Pushing Ourselves Instead of Our Kids first appeared on Stories of an Unschoolin ..read more
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Challenging Ourselves to Put Away Our Phones
Stories of an Unschooling Family
by Sue Elvis
1M ago
Did you hear the story of the photographer who visited the Grand Canyon and took millions of photos of the awe-inspiring sights, and then later realised that he hadn’t seen a thing despite having his eye glued to his viewfinder the whole time? He retraced his steps, his camera dangling idly by his side, and looked at everything properly. I wonder: do we fail to see the bigger picture when we view the world via our cameras and phones? Perhaps we don’t look carefully and take in what’s before us. We might not breathe deeply and inhale the smells. Are The post Challenging Ourselves to Put Away O ..read more
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Taking Risks, Looking Strange
Stories of an Unschooling Family
by Sue Elvis
1M ago
I have another eyebrow story! Do you remember the last one? Ordinary Frida Kahlo Eyebrow Days was an embarrassing tale about two giant, hairy, black caterpillar brows and a policeman who appeared unexpectedly on my front doorstep. A few days ago, when I arrived at my weekly parish women’s group meeting, I greeted my friend Anabelle, and the first thing she said was: “What do you do to your eyebrows?” My brows? Oh no, did they look bad? I gulped before saying, “I usually dye them, but when the dye begins to fade, I use a brow mascara to darken The post Taking Risks, Looking Strange first appea ..read more
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An Almost Empty Unschool House
Stories of an Unschooling Family
by Sue Elvis
1M ago
Recently, two of our daughters moved out of home, leaving behind two empty bedrooms, which my husband and I are turning into a study and a studio. For the first time ever, I will have my very own space where I can write, record audio and video, and join in with Zoom calls. For many years, our home was crammed full of children, toys, books, pets, clothes and everything else a family gathers. My kids shared bedrooms, sleeping in bunk beds. They even shared beds, but that was a preference, not a necessity. There was no room for a studio The post An Almost Empty Unschool House first appeared on S ..read more
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Too Anxious to Unschool?
Stories of an Unschooling Family
by Sue Elvis
1M ago
I used to pride myself on my mental strength. I could cope with anything. Then covid arrived, and the anxiety that I used to hide and ignore shot to the forefront of my life. It had nothing to do with fearing illness. What bothered me was my lack of freedom. Overnight, my life changed. I was no longer in control of what I could do or even say. There were penalties for expressing opinions and resisting the rules. I might have adapted and accepted the new situation if the rules had made sense, but they didn’t. A few years later, The post Too Anxious to Unschool? first appeared on Stories of an ..read more
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