We Don’t Do That School Thing

We don’t do that school thing.

And people ask what do we do then?

I could say that…

We play.

We explore.

We converse.

And create.

We cook.

We clean.

We read.

We love.

But that’s the answer to a different question.

What do we do then? That tiny word, sneaking in rarely noticed to suggest our life is now devoid of something school should have been utilised to provide.

What do we do then, in place of school?


The absence of school does not leave a deficit to offset.

Our children do not attend school and we do not do anything to compensate for this fact.

Life doesn’t exist with school in mind. And neither do we.

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  1. “The absence of school does not leave a deficit…”
    School does leave a deficit. ‘That school thing’ is relatively very new to the human experience, yet most humans cannot even imagine outside of the school mindset. That says a lot about how useful school is to intellect, creativity and intentional life, Thank you for this post. It reminds me of why our family have quit school, and that there are others out there who do not consider that I have robbed my children. Life is beautiful and full.

  2. I have to ask where you guys live? I’m in the United States, Illinois specifically, & where I live it’s a law that children age 6 & up have to go to school or do an accredited homeschooling program. I wish unschooling was okay where I live! It sounds like a great family bonding experience!

    1. Samantha,
      Unschooling is legal everywhere in the U.S.!
      First off, I am pretty sure that the compulsory age is 7, not 6, and then goes until 17.
      According to the site below, you are considered private school. It seems that you simply just file a letter of ‘assurance’.
      Start here with the A to Z website. Ann Zeise’s site is very well known and a great resource. It is not to be taken as legal advice, but do use it as a base as you get in contact with trustworthy home ed. and unschooling groups who can guide you through reporting in IL.

      You will find some groups, lists, and orgs. on Ann’s site.
      I did come across a FB group called ‘Northern Illinois Alternative Homeschoolers’
      Not sure if you are in that area…

      Here is a link from Ann’s site with support groups and lists for the various IL regions:

      This is an excellent home ed./unschooling, etc. FB page:
      I suggest posting here with questions and seeking referrals to IL unschooling support and home ed. law in IL.

      I looked for a couple minutes on FB and I came up with this group:
      Perhaps it would work for you.

      I am not in Illinois myself. I am in PA and MA. My kids are 16 and 12 and we have always home educated. I am also an advocate. If you want to chat any time about home ed., especially deschooling, feel free to respond as such. My email is chturner5@yahoo.com

      1. You do not have to do anything “accreditted” in IL. You do have to prove you are educating your children, but it is up to you as to what that looks like as long as your children
        children​ are being educated.

    2. Its diferent in diferent states. Many cruisers i know “relocate”, on paper only,to another state like Fl. Green cove springs has a mail forwarding service that lets you “relocate” and have a FL. Adress drivers licence etc. No matter your physical location.

  3. Yes! There are only positives from not participating in the “school” agenda! Life is the best teacher and when we are surrounded by intelligent, caring people with the intent of bettering each other and the children growing around them there is no end of successful, joyous thinking and being.

  4. Love this! So simple and so true. I’ve been feeling this myself for a while now. We Unschool our two children, aged 15 and 9. People ask us what we do all day and that question now sounds weird. Like, would you ask us what we do all day if our kids went to school? The truth is we just live our lives.

  5. Not schooling your children is illegal in Greece. But legal doesn’t make it right. So, we are not schooling!
    We are living a full life including everything that you’ve mentioned and loving it. Nothing is missing, we wouldn’t choose schooling for any reason.

  6. Why do we learn so many useless things in school that don t have feasible real-world applications? – Quora Why do we learn so many useless things in school that don t have feasible real-world applications? – Quora

  7. While I do think it is beneficial to children to learn to read and work with numbers, I have been thinking for some time that when children enter school excited and happy to learn and within a few years are bored and reluctant scholars I know something is wrong with our school system. As I have no answers, I cannot condemn any alternative ideas.

  8. Maggie, unschoolers learn to read and work with numbers too, they just do it by living their lives… There are numbers and letters in every part of life; cooking, grocery shopping, playing games, putting together Legos, pretty much everywhere you turn there’s something to be read. Kids WANT to know how to read, and add, and do fractions (seriously, my 8 year old is constantly figuring out how many equal pieces of this and that each family member would have if divided equally). These things don’t need to be pushed on children. They will learn them easily and enjoyably, in context to their experiences, so it is relevant and makes sense, and they will retain the information better. They will view learning only as a positive experience and won’t end up hating these things (especially maths, as so many schooled children do, as a result of being pressured to learn before they were ready). This love of learning won’t be shut off, as it so often is when children associate learning with negativity (stress from testing, bad grades, pressure to learn too early, etc). I know it might not seem possible that reading, writing and arithmetic can be learned without being forced or even actively taught by another person, but I have seen my 6 and 8 year old sons and my 16 and 10 year old nieces, as well as many other children in our unschooling community, do exactly that. Now I know how difficult it is NOT to learn! Unschooling is awesome, and I really love this post, Jessica!

  9. I have homeschooled my 11 kids since 1993. Only my 16 and 14 year old left. There are only a few things I feel real good about and this is the biggest one. Life has been great. And since I have done the unschooling for the last 15 years, it has been awesome! My youngest daughter and I took a trip in Aug to see the eclipse. It was great! And we are headed to Yellowstone with my 3 year old granddaughter in a couple of weeks. I love not worrying about school!!

  10. Hello!
    I am wandering if you and wife have been educated – high school/college? How do you think – if there would be time to advise your children to go to college/university? What is your job and is it expensive to provide everything necessary to home educate children? I think that is the right attitude for creating new generation of creative and respectful person, but is it possible to be done by anyone?

    1. Hello!

      I completed high school, as did my partner. Neither of us is college educated, my partner began an apprenticeship after our youngest was born and completed it a couple of years later. He is a butcher and I am home with our kids.

      Yes, I believe any one is qualified. It costs as little or as much as life does, very variable!

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