Photo Credit: Cassie Plummer Photography
Some people mark their life by days: birthdays, anniversaries, graduations.
But I tend to mark my life by ideas, the big ideas that changed the course of my life forever.
(Sounds dramatic, I know. I’m not a drama queen – promise. These ideas really had that big of an impact.)
3 Ideas That Changed My Life Forever (& Could Change Yours)
The big three? Minimalism. Respectful Parenting. Unschooling.
If any of these big ideas interest you, I’d love to have you stick around!
Big Idea #1: Minimalism
The idea was so simple, it’s kind of ridiculous: maybe you have too much stuff.
If you own less stuff, you’ll have more time (and often, but not always, more money, too). Time is freedom, freedom to do whatever it is that’s most important to you.
Owning less stuff gave time to homeschool.
It gave me time to create this website, which is now a solid second income for our family.
Minimalism as a concept started trickling into other areas of my life. I started asking, “Why am I doing this?” for just about everything.
- Why am I folding my kids’ clothes? And my own?
- Why am I cooking elaborate meals when I don’t love cooking?
- Do I really need to obsess over a clean house?
The more questions I asked, the more things fell away that didn’t really matter to me, things I was doing because I thought I should, or to please other people.
(Minimalism also led me to discover similar movements, like the F.I.R.E. movement. Also life-changing!)
Big Idea #2: Respectful Parenting
I started parenting surrounded by mentors promoting authoritarian parenting, complete with spanking as a form of discipline.
Thankfully, my conscience just couldn’t take it anymore. I knew there had to be more to parenting than controlling your child’s behavior with a few good moments in between, and I started looking for alternatives.
After a lot of searching, I stumbled on respectful parenting, which I define this way:
“Respectful parents prioritize connection with their children and treating them the way they – adults – would want to be treated. They reject anything that interferes with connection and respect, including, but not limited to control, shame, judgment and punishment.”
Respectful parenting is about collaborating with your child, taking their thoughts, feelings, preferences and ideas as seriously as your own.
It’s about NOT assuming you know what your child is thinking and feeling because you’re not in their body, you’re in yours, and they are NOT you.
It’s not all sunshine and roses.
We still have conflict, and there are still days I want to throw in the towel on this whole parenting thing. But compared to my authoritarian parenting days? It’s 1000% better.
Big Idea #3: Unschooling
Homeschooling immediately started with a battle of wills. My daughter did not want to do what she didn’t want to do.
And I had to make a choice: force her to learn what I thought she should learn, when I thought she should learn it, or respect her autonomy over her own mind and find a different path.
So I went searching again. This time, my search led me to another radical idea: unschooling.
Unschooling gives the child control of their own education, confident that children are learning all the time, that life is learning.
Unschooling parents trust in their child’s innate curiosity to guide them. Parents serve as guides, facilitators and curators, not teachers. They support their child’s education, instead of directing it.
It took me a long time to embrace unschooling fully. I had so much to unlearn!
But now, it’s amazing to watch my children rock their self-directed education and find their own unique paths. They truly love learning and are learning all day, every day.
Each one is so unique in their strengths and interests that I wonder how I could ever have believed school’s cookie cutter education was a good idea.
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I didn’t think I could homeschool, but I figured it out along the way.
I went from Charlotte Mason homeschooling to relaxed homeschooling to (finally) unschooling.
It took so much deschooling, rethinking “school”, cutting out the homeschool clutter that creeps in – the “should’s” that didn’t really matter to me at all.
And now, I love our great big messy homeschool life. I’m here to help you get there, too.
To the place where you aren’t anxiety-ridden. You no longer lay awake at night wondering if you’re doing enough. You don’t spend your days checking off boxes anymore.
To the place where you aren’t burned out. You have time to work from home or cook amazing meals or read or pursue a hobby that lights you UP.
To the place where your kids love learning. They are thriving and coming to you with ideas and questions and thoughts on how to learn the next thing.
To the place where you are confident. Your homeschool parent toolbox is full, ready to go for whenever you need it. And most important, you can trust your intuition as you move forward hand-in-hand with your kids every single day.
If you want to unschool, you can – promise.
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More About Me…
I’m June – minimalist for more than seven years, unschooling mom to five adorable and rambunctious kiddos, ages 13 to 4. Welcome to my little corner of the internet!
What seems like a very long time ago now, I attended Boston University where I received my undergraduate degree in Deaf Studies and then, my Masters of Education in School Counseling.
While I was studying school counseling, I realized that SO many school counselors were encouraging kids to go to college no matter the cost, even though many of those kids had NO CLUE what they wanted to do with their lives.
Once I had my own kids, I knew I wanted them to figure out what they loved to do at an early age.
I quickly realized that attending school would take up most of their time for figuring that out. So after adopting a minimalist lifestyle to get back my precious time, I jumped into the homeschool world with a little trepidation.
And after a year, I LOVED it.
I stopped trying to replicate school at home and realized that my kids were learning all the time! Relaxed homeschooling with a heavy dose of minimalist homeschooling became our homeschool style.
In the past two years, we’ve transitioned fully to unschooling. My only regret is not being able to make the leap sooner, but deschooling was a long journey for me.
Now, I love helping moms simplify their lives and their homeschools.
Who Is This Simple Balance for?
Here at This Simple Balance, I write primarily about those big three ideas: minimalism, respectful parenting and unschooling (homeschooling).
If you are interested in any of those topics, there is a place for you here!
When people stop by, they tend to come to these posts first:
- A Simple Morning Routine for Moms Who Can’t Wake up Early
- 8 Tips for Decluttering on a Low Income (from a mom who knows)
- 8 Simple Phrases for Handling Misbehavior During the Little Years
- 21 Minimalist Habits to Keep Your Home Clutter-Free for Good
- The Best Place to Start Decluttering When You’re Too Overwhelmed to Start
- Unschooling vs. Homeschooling: What’s the Difference?
A Few (Random) Things about Me
1. I love deep conversations about things I’m passionate about.
I hate small talk. It drains the life out of me.
Deep conversations around my passions are my jam.
If you don’t enjoy talking about decluttering/minimalism, financial independence, building an online business, respectful parenting, unschooling, or faith deconstruction, we probably won’t have a lot to talk about.
But that’s kind of a lot of things, so surely we must have something in common?
2. I used to be fluent in American Sign Language.
Alas, as with all languages, my skills have faded in time.
3. I am a recovering perfectionist.
You might not be able to tell because you often need to go from one extreme to the other to find balance.
4. I order the same coffee at Starbucks every time (a grande vanilla latte with whip, no foam).
I love going to the same restaurants I already know I love and watching the same movies over and over. I pretty much avoid any new experience that could potentially waste my time, energy, or money. My husband tries to get me to branch out.
5. Discovering I’m an Enneagram 6 was also life-changing.
I love all things personality tests. If you haven’t taken the Enneagram, do it!