I thought I understood unschooling. Although our homeschool is very laid back, I was sure unschooling was not for us. Too unstructured, too chaotic, too messy. Then it slowly dawned on me as our youngest child rebelled against structure, hated routine and couldn’t stand the idea of someone trying to teach him… we had an unschooler in our midst!
Our son isn’t motivated by rewards or threats. He didn’t like being told what to learn or when to learn it. Instead, he taught himself about computers, started to master 3D modeling programs like Blender and dabbled in video and audio editing – all before the age of 12. We didn’t each him any of this. In fact, we couldn’t teach much of this without learning it ourselves.
At the start of this school year, I was struggling again to get him interested in subjects and fielding questions about “Why do I need to learn this?” Sometimes, the best answer I could give was “It’s on the standardized tests.” Bad answer. Reminds me of things I read on unschooling blogs.
I am trying to become an unschooler. Old habits die hard. I worry about those standardized tests. I have questions about my home state’s ridiculous requirements for homeschoolers. And so many worries about how this all works.
I’d love some advice (or sympathy will do) in the comments. I’d also love suggestions for helpful unschooling blogs for a future post.
I am searching the web for helpful sites and have read or will read many books. Here are a few I found that might be helpful.
The unschooling movement is founded on the principle that children learn best when they pursue their own natural curiosities and interests. Without bells, schedules, and rules about what to do and when, the knowledge they gain through mindful living and exploration is absorbed more easily and enthusiastically. Learning is a natural, inborn impulse, and the world is rich with lessons to be learned and puzzles to be solved.
The most powerful new ideas in education are coming from the families that have given up on schools. Clark Aldrich distills a revolutionary manifesto of 55 core ”rules” that reboots our vision of childhood education and the role of schools.
See his blog: Unschooling Rules
Through humor, trial and error, the Hogan’s have learned how to scale back, live frugally and have fun in the process. Between homeschooling, owning their own businesses and working at jobs they love, while on their Vermont farm, they learned how to stay debt-free and feed their family fresh organic foods for less than $400 a month.
Learn more at mishahogan.com.
Unschooling isn’t a technique – it’s living and learning naturally, lovingly, and respectfully together.The Unschooling Unmanual features 11 essays by 8 writers. Through engaging personal stories, examples, and essays, the writers offer inspiration and encouragement for seasoned and prospective unschoolers alike.
Education and parenting are explored from a holistic point of view, including how all adults can play a conscious role in creating environments that promote inner peace and compassion. A visionary book that will change the way we think about education, what we are creating for the next generation and the future of our children.
This book utilizes the essays of Christian, unschooling parents from across the United States and Canada to reveal a new way of homeschooling – one that is respectful of the child, the parents and the way God created children to be.