Unschooling: What I Know About It

Have you heard of unschooling?  If you have, do you truly know what it means? I’m sure you’re heard of home-schooling but may not have heard about unschooling.

What Is UnSchooling?

My daughter, Akilah Richards, who recently appeared on the Steve Harvey Show regarding this very subject, explains it best.

IMG_4170She says it is a growing movement and considered free-range education and encourages exploration of activities initiated by the children themselves.  She further says “For our daughters, the unschooling philosophy is helping them develop as confident, creative, curious people who know how to get information, process information, and move toward goals they set for themselves. Imperfect and profoundly life-changing, motherhood has certainly raised me. And helped me and my husband raise happy, curious people. Every child has that same capacity, and some of them can be supported through alternative learning environments like homeschooling, or like my family, unschooling.”  See her recent blogpost here at: http://www.radicalselfie.com

IMG_4108I have seen the wonders of unschooling displayed right before my very eyes.  My two grand daughters, children of Akilah and her husband, Kris, are astute, witty, very sharp, inquisitive, self-reliant, multi-lingual, great conversationalists, very active and are up-to-date on current affairs.  Unschooling did this!  They have learned more than they would in a traditional classroom.  They started out attending regular schooling but kept feeling left behind as the pace was too slow for their sharp, inquisitive minds.  They even got picked on by other students because of this.  With the inquisitive minds these girls were born with, their parents then made the smart decision for them to learn at a pace that was comfortable for them – and THAT was unschooling.

Mr. Harvey took a poll during the show and the below were the results.  I can guarantee you that in the months to come, the amount of “yes’s” will significantly increase, as people begin to understand more of the wonders of this great movement — unschooling.IMG_4176

Want to Learn More About UnSchooling?

Here are the links to some of Akilah’s offerings regarding unschooling:



On Amazon, you can find a book called Our Transition Into Unschooling: Raising independent thinking, information seeking, self-directed lovers of learning and life all through school-free living.”

Downsizing: The Thing To Do As We Age

Downsizing is a growing trend for us 50-plusers.  Time for shedding, minimizing…. downsizing!  There’s so much “stuff” that we’ve accumulated over the years and we’re all wondering when did it all happen?  I know I am!  Mind you, I’m nothing near the folks that are on that television show “Hoarders.”  Hell no!!  I just love having lots of nice things and even though I do, I’m seriously organized.  I however, love to have everything in its place as much as I possibly can.

What I Did To Start Downsizing

As the years went by, I found myself becoming disgusted with having a large living space (not to mention the expense of maintaining it) and recently moved to smaller living quarters.  I’m here to tell you that I feel as if I’ve lifted a ton of bricks off me.  One of the best moves I’ve ever made.  I even rented a storage space to assist with the unloading and storage of some of the “stuff” I’ve accumulated over the years.  This will give me a place from which to leisurely sell and donate some of these items from.

Downsizing helps you and your loved ones as well.  Who wants to get old having accumulated so much that when you’ve passed, your family has the daunting task of getting rid of all you’ve accumulated over the years?  My daughter has begged me (she really didn’t have to, though) not to accumulate too much so that it all falls in her lap when I’m gone.  I’ve seen what that does to the some families and really wouldn’t want to put any of my loved ones through that.

Reasons for Downsizing

Here are some of the reasons I can think of for downsizing:

  • Letting go of items for the children you’ve saved, claiming sentiments attached
  • Pieces of furniture that are dated and you no longer use
  • Those clothes you haven’t worn in ages because you’ve either lost or gained weight
  • The children are grown and have gone off either to college or on their own
  • You can no longer find the time to take care of that large living space
  • The yard has become too much to take care of
  • The expense of utilities for a space where it’s just you that’s living there

These are just a few but there are so many other reasons we can think of to downsize our living conditions as we age.  It makes sense that we are being urged to do just that and I’m in total agreement.  Let’s free up our space and our minds as we age.Downsizing_1

Embracing Technology As A 50-Pluser

Surprisingly, many of us 50-plusers are refusing to embrace technology! Take for example, something as simple as having an e-mail address.  I’m still meeting people who are saying they’re not interested, they don’t have the time, that’s all young people stuff…  Really?  In today’s world? Keyboard1

Now, no one is asking that we all go out and get a Master’s Degree in Computer Technology or Computer Science.  All I’m saying is that we at least should be somewhat technically savvy.

I remember being reluctant to join the Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest crowd, but it got to a point where I simply had no choice but to do so.  Everyone I know, including my three little granddaughters ages 11, 9 and 8, are quite up-to-date technology-wise.  They have their own little gadgets, know how to access the various websites for programs that are appropriate for them, how to post something, research, play games and even have their own email addresses.  Now THAT woke me up! I wasn’t going to be left behind!

Most contact these days are made either via text or email as everyone is quite busy with one thing or another.  I understand that because that certainly is my story.  Therefore, I very often don’t have time for a lengthy phone call with anyone and I’m finding that sometimes sending a touching-base-with-you text right quick, works, and it appears to be the general feeling of many of us out there.

Facebook allowed me found some of my long-lost friends – from childhood days – and I’m oh so happy that I found them.  How else could I have found my little playmates from way back when?  I now even have access to pictures of family members and friends that I wouldn’t otherwise have, due to their posting and sharing on Facebook.  It’s the best thing ever!  I’ve often reflected on what I would have been missing had  I not made the decision to embrace technology!

As for Instagram – what a joy!  Pictures and musings of things as they happen are posted and I get to be friends with people from all over the world.  I’m quick to post pictures of my salads, smoothies, juices and other meal items for the world to see, and not to mention selfies! Lol! The moment I get all dressed up to go out, a selfie is in order.  It’s so much fun!

What if at 50-plus I hadn’t decided to embrace technology?  What if I had ignored the request of my children to “get with the times, mom!”  Then I was simply going to be left behind.

Folks, it’s nothing but fun.  Social media is not meant to share your personal and private business with the world.  It’s meant for fun — and it is indeed fun!!

If you’re one of the 50plusers who still can’t see the need to get onboard the Facebook, Instagram, email, Twitter, or Pinterest bandwagon – think again.  If you don’t want to be left behind, you really, really should.  They will open you up to a whole new world.

The Value of Companionship As A 50-Pluser

Love is more vibrant and becomes truly about companionship.”  ~Candice Bergen, Emmy-winning actress, 68.

This statement by Candice from an article in the April/May 2015 Edition of the AARP Magazine about later-in-life love, rings very true.  As we age, relationships are truly more about companionship.  Almost everyone who is a 50-pluser that I have discussed this with, shares this same view.

Having probably gone through many different experiences in relationships, true companionship becomes very important as we age.  Someone to have deep, meaningful conversations with, share our life experiences with, travel with, dine with, shop with, work-out with, dance and listen to good music with, talk about our children and grand-children with, discuss health concerns with—all these wonderful things that are so share-worthy.

In our younger years, we were probably busy having our various experiences and were just simply going about the daily business of living our lives.  But then one day we woke up, find we are now 50 years old and suddenly realize that this is now a completely different time in our lives.  Many of us might have gone through a separation or a divorce due to either the death of a spouse/significant other or, what I find is common among many of us, simply might have just grown apart from our spouse/significant other.  Things might have changed over the years and especially if you were married to someone who was a high school sweetheart or someone you grew up with, as we got older the various changes start happening.  The kids might have also now grown up and may have moved out of the house or gone off to college and we now find ourselves as empty-nesters.  Becoming a single empty-nester can be scary and so along with that usually comes the concern of not having good companionship which now becomes cause for major concern.

As a result, when next we go looking for love, we are this time looking mostly for someone who can provide true and solid companionship.  It is super important at this age and stage and many 50-plusers are looking for just that today.

You can call me crazy if you want to, but I believe good companionship can even lengthen our life-span and that the lack of it can probably shorten your life-span!  It’s therapeutic and essential, if you ask me.