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The Unschooler’s Schedule

August 2, 2010

For a lot of people, unschooling is scary because it means that you’re responsible for the way that you spend all of your time. Creating a kind of “schedule of priorities” is a good way to plan some of your activities while leaving room for the flexibility that every unschooler wants.

Remember that unschooling is an opportunity to specialize more than you would in school – in other words, you can focus on the things that really matter to you without worrying about the subjects that you aren’t interested in. Although this is great, it’s easy to get a little lost if you don’t have at least a general idea of what you’re aiming for.

Clonlara, the homeschooling program that I’m enrolled in, is helping me as I create my “classes”, but not everyone is lucky enough to have that kind of help. If you’re creating your schedule from scratch, I’ve got a couple suggestions.

1. Read Blake Boyles College Without Highschool. Whether you’re in high school, college, or have already graduated, this book has some great tips on organizing how you spend your scarce and precious time. It will also point you to some potential adventures that you hadn’t thought of before.

2. Think about the things that you love doing. Sports? Painting? Underwater basket weaving? Make a list. Think about which things you want to spend the most time doing, and how you can best learn more about them/ advance your skills in that area.

3. Look for classes, internships, job opportunities, and volunteer organizations in your area that pertain to the things that you love doing. Looking in the classified section of your newspaper or on your local Craigslist is a good idea.

4. Plan around the things that you have to do. If your parents are making you take a math course at a community college, for instance, account for the time spent doing that, and make sure not to schedule anything else at the same time.

5. Connect with people and organizations that are interested in the same things you are. For example, getting to know the writers in your city could be very beneficial when you need somebody to recommend your work to a publisher!

6. Don’t get stuck planning. Instead of thinking vaguely about all the things you will spend your time doing in the future, go out and do them! Once you have a basic plan, it’s time to put it into action.

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