I'm not new to homeschooling or the concept of unschooling. I have delved into unschooling more lately and have been finding a lot of truth in the philosophy.
In the wide world, homeschoolers are often seen as sort of outside the mainstream. Within homeschooling circles, we unschoolers are often the outsiders. The rest of the world has plenty of opinions about unschooling when they first hear about it. The entire concept runs counter to what society believes about childhood and education.
Unschooling is really simple. Trust your kids to learn. Parent them without controlling them. Offer them everything you reasonably can, also known as the real world. Children are born learning and will always learn assuming some outside agent doesn't step in and try to teach.
As I transition, I find that I just cannot agree with so much that I see. I feel like an outsider in more ways than just as an unschooler.
I see this most evident in my internet usage patterns lately. A lot of boards I used to visit just don't quite appeal to me anymore. So many parents that I used to feel camraderie with I no longer feel comfortable discussing things with if the discussion is at all about children. I can't give them answers they want to hear when the discussions lean toward kids or parenting issues. The answers I do have can bring out some pretty intense debate, disagreement even anger in other parents.
I don't claim to have all the answers, but even just a different opinion is sometimes enough to skew an entire topic. Very often, the unschooling point is that different opinion.
This is the side of the transition that I expect to have the most fun with. We've never been like the other families, and now we are even less like other families, or are we just like less families? I don't know if I care honestly. I do care about my kids, and they and my wife are the people I care most about. So they are the people that whose opinions I'm going to concern myself with.
And each day I will be a better parent. Each day my kids will see the options they have. We will grow and learn and love while relaxing and playing. We'll watch movies and eat candy if we want to.