.....How do they relate?
As I mentioned earlier, we have always been classical, Charlotte Mason, eclectic homeschoolers with a flexible approach that defaulted into unschooling when the going got tough. I always felt like this default mode was a sort of blot on the heraldic armor of both our eclectic/structured homeschool AND on the ideal of unschooling. After all, when we were doing this "default unschooling" we weren't really unschooling. We were just not doing any school. We were just living life as it came to us, which in our particular life meant Mom lying down dizzy and sick from a pregnancy, Mom grieving a loss or packing for a move, Mom at the hospital with sick or pre-born baby. So to me, Mom not on the job.
I don't feel quite that way about it anymore. A friend spoke to me about the natural ebb and flow of a real life, and it suddenly clicked into place. Looking at it this way, I can see these "nothing academic" times as a part of our family's rhythm. The kids were still learning. I know that, because my oldest two are graduated, my oldest is in college and every day I can see the fruits of all they learned during these years. The ebb times as well as the flow times.
So after all, we learned through it all. By grace, through weirdness. Seeing that, I can look towards the future with a certain amount of trust. Whatever happens, we can apply the same basic principles for living: Faith, Hope and Love. These are gifts that remain when everything else is gone.