Some frequently asked questions about unschooling

What is Unschooling?

We asked veteran unschoolers in our Christian unschooling groups to answer the typical “new to unschooling” questions. The following are…

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What is Deschooling?

We asked veteran unschoolers in our Christian unschooling groups to answer the typical “new to unschooling” questions. The following are…

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Interested in unschooling? Start reading

Beginning Unschooling with older kids: A Candid Conversation

Any advice for our family? We are considering Unschooling but I am apprehensive. Our children, a boy (14), boy (13) and boy and girl twins (11), were in public school, then we were called to homeschool for the past 3 years. We have done mainly “school at home.” Is it to late to try unschooling at their ages?

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Educational Idolatry Disguised as Christianity

It’s very common for Christians new to unschooling to distrust their own children’s abilities and inclinations, simply because they’ve never experienced an environment that allowed them to build that mutual parent-child trust around learning. Often, this doubt takes the form of a theological complaint, as follows. (more…)

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Deschooling the Deschooling Process

Initially, it can be a very big step to just let go of curriculum. However, after that, there are further steps on the way to fully giving our children’s lives over to God’s leading. 

Relaxed homeschooling is the natural next step when one lets go of the idea of replicating “school at home, only richer/better/more accepted by the child.” The difference between it and unschooling lies in letting go of school at home, but not (yet) our conceptions of “richer/better,” and being content merely with “more accepted by the child” while still trying to live up to school-derived goals such as reading or arithmetic. The following is a compilation of responses by CU moderators explaining ways to get further into the deschooling process. (more…)

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Unschooling “Except For”

There’s actually a separate name for “partially unschooling.” Relaxed/Eclectic is its own brand of homeschooling. Because it’s so eclectic (drawing from many sources), people tend to swing between gleaning from more traditional homeschoolers and gleaning from unschoolers. I think that actually the majority of homeschoolers fall somewhere in this framework. But as many people reflect when they say “we unschool except for… math/English/that one thing,” R/E tends to rely on traditional academic categories and assumptions, rather than the assumptions that are the driving power behind unschooling. (more…)

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The Biggest Transformation of All

It took me until my 30’s to even begin to learn what it even means to be in control of my own problems. I’m still working on it as I look ahead into my 40’s. I was rereading this post about unschooling apraxia by Jennifer McGrail. The following phrase jumped out at me:

“His not being able to tie well or write neatly are not an issue unless he decides they’re an issue.”

Did anyone along the way ever teach you that there isn’t a problem unless you decide there’s a problem? Or, like me, did you learn from early childhood that everyone else around you must be right about what’s problematic… and they have the right to define it for you? (more…)

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Unschooling Faith: A Candid Conversation Part 2

<<Back to Part 1 OR forward to Part 3 >>

How do you help guide your children to love the Lord? So far we have bible studies, talk about God and his word, and pray together. I’m always getting asked to Boy Scouts which my son is not interested in. Then when we go to church it’s again school-like. Any advice, words of wisdom you can bestow on me? Thank you. -Jill S.

(more…)

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College Prep: The Questions that Matter Most

How Do Unschoolers Prepare for College?

First question: does your teen want to go to college? If so, why? What does he or she want to accomplish by going?

As unschoolers, we want to be careful not to limit our kids by promoting the value of one path over another. The value of college has changed with cost inflation, marketplace evolution, economics, the digital age, and many other factors that may be regional or quality-of-life based.

Second, have they researched the field they are going into (what classes are required for the major)?

Knowing the answer to this will help determine what may be useful in a portfolio or transcript.

Third, have they researched schools and looked at entrance requirements? (more…)

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Where’s the Encouragement and Support?

“Encouragement and support to unschool” are the two most-repeated reasons people give for joining the Christian Unschooling Facebook group. The group has a brief application form to let moderators know which requests are intentional, versus which are random “you might also like” clicking or spam.

But when people join and ask questions from a school-oriented viewpoint (a normal part of the learning curve), they’re often surprised to receive questions in return. (more…)

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Breathe and Release: Questioning Unschooling

We receive many “but, but” objections and statements from those who are questioning unschooling and not yet ready to make the leap. For those who are just beginning, many of these thoughts may also recur, so here are some responses. When things get scary, the best option is to breathe… and release. We can let go of fears with the help of a little practical thinking.

 

1. My teenager is going to college. How do I make sure he/she has all the right math/writing/science/whatever requirements if we unschool? Will colleges even accept them if they don’t have those things? (more…)

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Classical Conversations: The Hype and the Incompatibility

This post is a collection of responses to the recurring Christian Unschooling forum question, “Does Classical Conversations fit with unschooling?”

As with trying to integrate any curriculum-based methods at young ages, the focus almost always is upon the parent’s comfort zone, fears and goals, rather than the child’s natural ways of learning. The result is an approach better referred to as “relaxed/eclectic” homeschooling, not unschooling. This is sort of inherent to the word “unschool”–the removal of all school-based education. (more…)

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About us

We’re a group of Christ-loving women who’ve each been led to help others on the path to unschooling. Most of us are moms of teens or young adults. Some of us have littles. Our team includes members with training in social work, psychology, child development, teaching, and communications. We’ve worked extensively in church and community roles. And we’ve embraced and practiced the unschooling lifestyle in harmony with our personal faith. Wanna be weird and different and love the process? We are so here for you, y’all!