In about a month our "sabbatical" will be over and I'll have to decide where we are to go from here. I am unsure! It helped clarify a bit to see that "unschooling" is not necessarily the same as "child-directed." That helps considerably to make sense of the parents whose books I've read. It is discouraging to see more clearly how much of "unschooling" depends upon taking advantage of community resources -- NOT a strong point here both because of our temperaments and because of our location and circumstances.
How can my kids learn to live in the world when the world is largely rather out of reach? That to me is a big argument against unschooling for US; at the same time it points out a rather large weakness in our homeschool generally. A weakness I have no idea how to resolve.
I read or heard recently: "Failure finds excuses; success finds a way." Well, maybe there IS a way. I am leaving that on the table for now.
Aside from the dearth of community, is there anything else I can say about what we've done so far?
Well, certainly following interests has led to lots of things learned that probably wouldn't have been on the scope and sequence. The kids probably read at least as much without formal school as with it. Sean has taken to carrying a notebook around with him which he fills with tables and charts to do with his football league. Kieron reads for hours a day and has thought deeply about many different things, which he asks me about.
Screen time has gotten a bit out of hand. I think the kids have too much undirected time so time does not seem as valuable to them as it should.
I've had more time to relate to the kids, but unfortunately, it's shown up my weaknesses a bit -- my tendency to get distracted and go off on my own; my short patience for unpredictability. Well, now I know they are there and am starting to deal with them a bit.