Almost Anything is Better Than a Workbook

I know that unschoolers don’t use curriculum, but what if your child is asking for it? Is it wrong to give them a workbook and let them go through it?

This questioned is posed a lot in our Facebook group. It will pop up every so often and I always try to answer in specific terms to the discussion and person asking.

My personal response usually goes something like this:

Yes – but with caveats. It’s not “wrong” to give your child a workbook, textbook, or curriculum as a resource to use. Unschoolers are not against those things. In general, we disagree with requiring a child to learn or complete a curricula. If a child is interested in physics there is no reason to deny him any resource that would help him learn it – including schoolish ones.

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Passions Without Labels or Stigmas

Recently I wrote a post series on my blog about strewing. For my final post, I told how my middle daughter Denna followed her passions, with me strewing along the way, through so many topics and interests that it would be hard to measure how much she learned from the experience.

My kids have so many passions that it would be hard for me to pinpoint any that particularly surprised me. I am a variety-loving person. When I was young I bounced through hobbies and interests just as quickly as they do. Continue Reading

Gaining Perspective On “Unproductive” Days

When I think of a typical unschooling day, I tend to start blending all the awesome things that have happened over several days into one amazing experience.

There are days for us that are filled with life, learning, and adventure. But more often than not those things are spread over weeks, and in between we have what I often fear are unproductive intervals. Continue Reading

Unexpected Passions – Unleashing Potential: An Unschooling Conversation

This discussion appeared recently on the Christian Unschooling Facebook Group:

SARAH: Does anyone’s child have a passion that you never would have predicted?

My 7yo son LOVES chickens! He is the chicken whisperer I tell you! He makes pets out of them all, grieves when a young rooster has to go to the freezer, and he is the one who can get the eggs out from under the pecky hens without getting pecked. He and I read hatchery catalogs together and get excited about the new breeds that we want to try raising. We have plans to build a new coop this fall and he is looking into starting a business raising pheasants. We have talked about how that if we went to public school, some insecure kid might make fun of him for loving chickens but he never has to endure that kind of bullying. He can just like what he likes! It’s really a lot of fun, though, sharing a passion with your child. Continue Reading

Sowing Seeds Of Potential

When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else.  1 Corinthians 15:37

Strewing is a lot like how farmers sow seeds.  You sprinkle things, ideas, and opportunities onto fertile soil and wait and see what happens.

In order to understand what happens when you strew, you have to understand the process of what a farmer goes through every year. Continue Reading

I Grew Up on a Farm, and I Almost Failed Ag Class

I remember the year I started to understand how innately artificial school was compared to real life experience. All through school I was a bright student. I loved learning, and at times I even loved school.

But school confused me. When I was at the peak of curiosity about a topic, engaged and attentive, it was time to switch activities. Or I was called a teacher’s pet. Sometimes the teacher would reprimand me for being too enthusiastic, for doing the work too quickly, or for helping others.

Nothing would crush my spirits, however, as much as eighth grade did. Continue Reading