Hi everyone. My name is Daniel Charles Jenneker aka iDanyxBoy aka Mr Salty. I am 16 years of age. I am a homeschooler turned unschooler. I am the second youngest in my family and I like to think that I’m the joker in the family, after my Dad of course with all his Dad jokes.
I have a very colorful personality. I love making every one happy and helping with whatever I can. I like to think of myself as active, but at the same time lazy, lol. I love cooking, only when I have to though. I love sports, gaming, making new friends, talking to people and I love learning new things. My life is very relaxed, chilled and awesome.
I have never been to a school. Well my Mom says she took me for half a day to a pre school and that was the last of that! So I don’t know anything other than my life, and it just happens to be labelled as “unschooling” even though to me it’s just normal.
I grew up in a small town in the Free State, South Africa, where my mom owned a coffee shop. My older sisters and I spent most of our days at the coffee shop with my mom. We lived there for 5 years and later we lived in Lagos, Nigeria for another year while my Dad worked there. My mom started homeschooling my sisters while we lived in the Free State and I just tagged along on all the field trips. Mostly I just played.
When we came back from Nigeria, my mom started homeschooling me because I wanted to learn how to read. I mainly wanted to know how to read so that I could read the instructions for my Playstation and other games. I enjoyed learning to read. I always loved books and would get my mom to read to me. And then I wanted to read by myself. I wanted to feel that independence of knowing I could read by myself. So my mom asked if I wanted to start homeschooling and I said yes. But along with reading came writing. I hated writing. I was never good at writing but I never let it get me down. My mom always gave me extra time when it came to writing just so that I could do my best.
I loved maths. Most of all, all I wanted to do was science experiments. So my mom would look for experiments we could do at home all the time. My mom tried to keep up with a curriculum but I reeeaaalllyyyy didn’t enjoy history and stuff. So we would fight about that and my mom would just give up and then try again later.
Then one Valentine’s day, we met up with a strange group of people called “unschoolers”. That was a life changing day. It took a while, but we slowly stopped working in books and just started doing stuff like geocaching, art, pottery, and my mom started having cooking lessons at our home for the kids in the group. As time went on, we met more unschoolers at outings such as tenpin bowling, laser tag, scuba diving and ice skating. Soon all the curriculum books were gone, and with them all the stress, and I was just enjoying my life. I started really enjoying reading with the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.
I have always been an inquisitive kid. Always asking a million questions. The best thing for me was discovering YouTube. I have learnt so much watching stuff on YouTube, like Crazy Russian Hacker. And now I love searching for and finding out random facts about stuff that interest me, and sharing it with my family.
A typical day in my life involves me waking up whenever I do, which is usually around 8am. Once awake I chill in bed playing on my phone, checking Instagram or playing XBox. I love playing Call of Duty, Halo, Assassin’s Creed, GTA, Minecraft and various other games of many genres. Most days I practice with my clan on Call of Duty.
Then I make breakfast for myself. Sometimes when I’m in the mood, I will make something extravagant like an omelette, other times just a sandwich. While I eat breakfast I watch some TV or some of my favourite YouTubers like Faze Banks or VanossGaming and David Dobrik.
Sometime during the day, my Dad and I usually go to gym. I enjoy boxing, lifting weights and running on the treadmill.
Most days I practice coding because I want to get into IT. Once my friends get home from school, I visit them and we swim or practice Parkour if the weather is good, or play Xbox if the weather is bad.
Some things about my online life, I have lots of online friends. Although some of them are older than me, with my personality, I get along great with them. I’m known online as Mr Salty, meaning I get mad over everything but not toooo mad.
I love online gaming and I dream of making a job of it one day. Speaking of jobs, here’s a list of a few things I wanna do when I’m older. Currently, I’m looking into working at BT Games (a store that sells games and consoles). I want to experience being on the other side of the counter lol. But when I’m older I’d either want to have my own IT business, create YouTube-like gaming and vlogs or play soccer professionally or manage a soccer team.
On a Monday afternoon I coach soccer to a group of young kids at a school and on Saturday’s I assist with coaching at a soccer club. I started coaching about 3 years ago when I was 13. It was really great to start earning my own money doing something that I love.
I also help out in our family catering business. I help my mom with the shopping and preparing. I enjoy doing drop offs and helping set up because I’m really good with putting things in an order that makes sense, which my mom isn’t so good at lol. Recently I’ve even gotten involved in our monthly Sunday event where I help with taking customer orders, plating and general clean up of the kitchen. It’s a long work day, but the pay is good! 🙂
Most of my days are pretty much the same. Some days are different and I go and play golf with my dad, play soccer at my club, play with my nephew (whom, my mother says I should add: I learnt to take very good care of since he was a little baby, changing nappies, getting him to sleep etc. So I’ve already got good practice for if I have kids one day), I go to the mall with family or friends and sometimes I even go and spend the day at my girlfriend’s house or she comes to mine.
I really enjoy unschooling as I get to learn new things and experience stuff I wouldn’t have been able to if I was in school, like working, coaching, earning money at a young age, and I enjoy it all.
To me unschooling gives you a lot more space to do what you wanna do. Like when I wanted to learn to code, my mom got me what I needed to start off and I’m doing great.
Unschooling is about enjoying yourself, being yourself. There are no rules saying you can’t do this or that, well at least not in my family.
We got to travel to different places and meet new and exciting people, and now I can get along with anyone and everyone. I feel comfortable interacting with anyone wherever I am, no matter their age or race or gender.
I love being free!
That’s my life so far. Thank you for reading my story.