Meet Idzie Desmarais, one of our new bloggers. Idzie is a grown unschooler, and she's the author of the popular blog I'm Unschooled. Yes, I can write. She has published her articles in various magazines and has spoken at home education conferences in North America. We asked her a few questions so that you can get to know her better.
Me in 100(ish) words: I use a lot of labels to describe myself, so I suppose I could start there! I’m a grown unschooler and unschooling advocate, a (confusedly) queer 20-something woman, a green-anarcha-feminist, a cook and baker, a writer, blogger, and speaker. I’m an INFJ, in case you’re into the whole Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator thing, an introvert, and someone who values intuition very highly. My dream in life is to help build a small intentional community somewhere both rural and wild, and live there with assorted family, friends, dogs, cats, goats and chickens.
How I feel about my background as an unschooler: I feel very positively about it, which is why I’ve spent so much time combining my love for writing with my interest in self-directed alternative education, specifically unschooling. I feel that by growing up unschooled, I really got the chance to learn, grow, and develop at my own pace and in my own way. I credit unschooling with making the anxiety issues I’ve always dealt with much easier to bear as a child, and with helping me grow into a much more confident and competent person than I might otherwise have been.
What a typical day looks like in my life right now: I get up, and almost instantly get on the computer to check email and messages, and go through my various feeds, reading articles on education to try and find some good ones to share on my unschooling Facebook page and other social media haunts. After that, I’ll eat something, do some work around the house, and probably get back on the computer to do some writing or editing. Right now it’s just me and my sister at home, since my mother has gone back to school to pursue her passion for building, and my father works full time, so we pretty much keep the house not-too-messy and make sure that things are running as smoothly as we can make them! Once my father arrives home, I usually go with him and our big hairy Irish Wolfhound cross to the dog park, and then, along with my sister, help make supper. We both like to try new things and don’t tend to do things half way when tackling food stuff, so we make some pretty good meals! The evening will then be spent watching TV as a family, writing, or hanging out with friends, depending on the day. My mother has just gone back to school this fall, so we’re all still adjusting to the new schedule, and my sister and I are still adjusting to not having a car on weekdays. Still, we’re finding a flow that seems to work, and I’m doing better with writing productivity and selling my work than I ever have before, so that feels pretty good.
Favorite book(s): That’s a tough one! I’m a big fan of fantasy novels, and I can say that current favorite authors include N. K. Jemisin, Kate Elliott, and Tamora Pierce. I also really love the Tiffany Aching series by Terry Pratchett. When it comes to books on education, I like 101 Reasons Why I'm An Unschooler by ps pirro and Life Learning: Lessons from the Educational Frontier edited by Wendy Priesnitz.
Things I like: Food! Cookbooks. Fantasy novels. TV shows (especially Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Veronica Mars, and Orphan Black). Dogs and cats. Goats and horses. Big gardens. Downpours in the middle of a hot day. Snuggling with my furry family members. Hiking. Sunflowers and forget-me-nots. Curling up with a good novel. Going on roadtrips with friends. Unschooling conferences. The satisfaction of completing a difficult new dish. Folk music. Singing.
What I loved about homeschool life: The lack of pressure and rushing. Being able to spend as much or as little time on a subject as I wanted to, and as much or as little time as I wanted out with people or home with just my family. Being able to learn purely for the joy of it, and not because I was trying to cram for a test… A whole lot of things, really!