Slices of an Unschooling Life: A #Mindful Monday #atozchallenge Theme Reveal

This is a bit of a different Mindful Monday post; more of a directory than an individual essay. That’s because today is the kickoff of Blogging From A-Z April Challenge  season. The #atozchallenge is a month-long annual blog hop that focuses on the alphabet. Participants aim to post each day, excepting Sundays, on any topic that is, in any way, related to the letter of the day.

Although it’s not necessary, many people choose to use a theme. The first year I participated, I didn’t have one, and I floundered, even though I also wrote some posts I’m quite proud of.

Since then, I’ve always chosen a theme. Twice, I’ve written Star Trek fan fiction; once with original interwoven fantasy. Two years ago I explored a travel theme that took many paths, some of them completely unexpected.

I like having a theme, because it allows me to plan far ahead, and develop it over the course of 26 posts – which both gives me a framework to work within, and the freedom to go far wider and deeper.

Overall, it’s a more mindful way to approach the challenge.

So, why unschooling?

When I was considering this year’s theme last summer, there was one that kept teasing at me – something I’ve wanted to write on at length for some time, but couldn’t quite find the way that didn’t sound like I was preaching. While I believe strongly in unschooling, and know the joy and benefits it brings my family, I realize that most parents won’t want to do what we do.

So what is my point? Mostly, I just want to share some slices of a life I love. People are often curious about homeschooling in general and unschooling in specific. There’s also a lot of misconception when some people learn that we live together in partnership with our children.

This series of posts will be peeks and musings into our lives, offered freely for whatever my readers might take from it.

Each entry will begin with a poem. Partly, this is because I love words and wordplay, and I wanted to explore some new types of poetry – and April is also National Poetry Month,  which I seem to have always missed because I was doing this challenge and writing a novel for April CampNaNoWriMo

I used ShadowPoetry’s Invented Forms  for most of these posts, so all are experimental. That’s rather the nature of unschooling – experimenting and playing with ideas, and sharing them. So I’ve linked to the description and examples of every type I’ve used.

    These poems are the entry portal for the short essays that follow. They give a different perspective on the same theme.

    Each essay will be followed by question (or a few). These are meant to encourage mindful conversation and reflection. Sometimes, they’re intended as a suggestion of ways of thinking differently or making changes. Just suggestions, never rules or demands. What you do with them, if anything, is entirely up to you. I offer them freely.


    List of posts I’ll add the links and icon for each post as it goes live, to take the guesswork out of following along, or browsing. Clicking the post title or the icon will take you to that letter’s post.

    Week One:

    April 1: Autodidacts Artfully Acquiring Alliterative Acumen

    Week Two:

    April 3: Borders, Boundaries, and Beyond (Mindful Monday post)

    April 4: Creative Chaos

    April 5: Dabbling, Delving, and Daring Deeply

    April 6: Exuberantly Exploring Everything

    April 7: Freedom From “F’s”

    April 8: Growth, Gains, and Gaps

    Week Three:

    April 10: Hamilton, History, and Hitting the Highway (Mindful Monday post)

    April 11: Inspiration is Swift and Shy

    April 12: Jettisoning Judgment

    April 13: Kittens Kindling Knowledge

    April 14: Love, Laughter, Learning, Life


     April 15: Minecraft, Makeup, Music…and Security

    Week Four:

    April 17: Nocturnal Namaste (Mindful Monday post didn’t happen).

    April 18: Openness, Not “’Onarchy”

    April 19: Podcasts, Presence, and Potential

     April 20: Quietudes and Queries


    April 21: Reality and Relating

    April 22: Storms and Skeletons


    Week Five:

    April 24: Television and Trust (Mindful Monday post once again, didn’t happen…)


    April 25: Understanding Uniqueness Universally


    April 26:Variety and Verification


    April 27: Who What Where When Why (and How)

    • April 28: Xavier and the Xylophonists

    • April 29: You Never Know

    • April 30: Zero, Zilch, and Zestiness

    Why is this post here on Mindful Monday? Well, I’ll also be drafting a novel in April, so, to conserve a bit of time and creative energy, I’ll be sharing my B, H, N, and T posts here on Mindful Monday throughout April.

    So, come visit once, weekly, or daily…whatever you choose, I aim to have content that will inspire thought and nurture change, if you wish to make it. Until then, don’t forget to stop by the Blogging from A-Z Theme Reveal, and Colleen Cheseboro’s A Mindful Journey for more Monday mindfulness!



        • All my posts are essentially done (just need to add the daily link and update this page, plus a little extra branding for the ones doing double duty as Mindful Monday posts.
          So I’ll apply the luck to next year’s posts – since I had an idea so good that I was working on my base planning page less than an hour after the thought flew into my head!
          Do you happen to know where your friend wrote about unschooling? I love reading other families’ accounts of their unschooling lives! =)
          Slices of an Unschooling Life@shanjeniahIndie Writer, Mom-in-Chief, and Joyful Learning Facilitator<a href=" ">Shan Jeniah’s Lovely Chaos</a>

        • Why thank you, Arlee! Piquing curiosity was EXACTLY what I was aiming for.
          Actually, it’s what I’m ALWAYS aiming for. In blogging, in writing, and in life, unschooling and beyond!
          I hope you find the time to stop by now and again. I’ll be round to see you after I get some sleep – starting A to Z and CampNaNo on the same day, while writing goals for a new month and quarter, can be a bit exhausting!
          See you soon!

        • Thanks, Colleen! Your faith makes me smile (OK, I already smile kind of a lot, but still).
          I hope you’ll get the chance to stop by for at least one of the Mindful Monday posts; it’s lovely when you stop by!

      1. Shan I am unfamiliar with unschooling, so I am not sure how to feel about it. What I mean is I am interested, but will have to check back to learn more. I am also taking part in the A to Z this year, brainstorming my next novel concept over the 26 part challenge. I invite you to check out my A to Z theme reveal on the Fiction Playground:

        • Hi, Joe!
          Unschooling is, by its very nature, different for every family. I can only give slices of our unschooling life, not anyone else’s version, because that would be based upon their family and circumstances. I tried to give a representative sample of our lives that also suggests a shape for the principles that run beneath it.
          I’ll be updating the titles in this post to include each day’s link as it goes live, and I hope you’ll come back soon to check out the lay of the land.
          I will be by to see you soon, as well! =D

      Take a chance! Type something in this box, and see what happens! =D

      Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

      You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

      Google photo

      You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

      Twitter picture

      You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

      Facebook photo

      You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

      Connecting to %s

      This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.