Amen to everything you said Marilyn. I am much more of a fan of child-directed learning now than I was before I started to homeschool. My children are curious about everything and I can see how learning one thing would lead them to be curious about something else and from that to something else and on and on. Finding subjects to study wouldn't be a problem.
I also think the school the guest kept talking about sounded awesome. I am completely convinced that if a person is motivated he learns faster and more effectively than if he is forced. I can totally believe that someone could avoid learning any math for years and then learn everything necessary to score well on the ACT in a few months (with a good mentor). Plus, you'd get a better score because the information was fresh. The longer I stay out of the traditional model of education the less I like it. Not to say that it doesn't do an adequate job of educating or that teachers aren't awesome.
As for my loosening up and approaching my children's education in a more flexible way: I have such a hard time with any lack of structure. I have finally managed to let go of "we have to learn" and have embraced "we'll get around to learning everything important eventually." I can't, however, let go of the "you have a talent in this area so you must work on it" and "you will be useful in the Kingdom so you will learn this."
Maybe someone with my personality just plain can't unschool? I can, however, take back every uneducated thing I ever said about unschooling. I really believe it could work and children could thrive with parents that use that approach.