What I Learned in High School (And How I Unlearned It)

I got pretty good grades in high school. Sometimes I got really good grades. I was your average A/B student. I took (and did well in) honors and advanced placement classes, and my extracurricular schedule was nicely padded with sports and clubs and all those other things that colleges like to see. I didn’t dislike school, nor did I love it. School was a necessary evil. It was a place to go in between writing and drawing and daydreaming. It was place to be told what to do and how to do it. It was like a game to me, and it was a game that I felt I generally played well. Continue Reading

Jesus Was an Unschooler

Sometimes the objections are loud and brazen: “Unschooling as a Christian is a SIN!” Sometimes they are cautious and confused, a quietly whispered, “Isn’t that… you know… unbiblical?”

Either way, they both stem from the same place: Fear. Fear and a basic misunderstanding of what the Bible does and does not have to say about education. The fact is, the Bible has lots to say about how we should conduct ourselves our Christians, lots to say about how we treat others….. and not so much to say about how we learn the three R’s.

And when we do look to the Bible for those answers? Like most answers, we need not look further than Jesus himself. And while he of course never had children of his own … Continue Reading

A Moment of Doubt

The room was nearly silent. The awkwardness was palpable. Even the speech therapist … bubbly, outgoing and friendly until just a few weeks prior, absolutely refused to look us in the eye, instead staring down at some imaginary spot on the table. I remember looking at the clock – a standard issue, one-in-every-room school clock – and watching the second hand slowly sweep around until I heard the audible click that signified that another excruciatingly long minute had gone by. Continue Reading

Christian Unschooling, Part 4: That Pesky Word, “Radical”

“The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out, the conservative adopts them.” ~Mark Twain

I saved this post for last for a few reasons. First, in many ways it’s the most important, because it ties everything together and is at the crux of why we do what we do. It’s also one of the hardest and most frustrating to write, and the one I’ve been losing the most sleep over.

I’ve come to a disheartening realization lately. What I said in part one about feeling like I’m alone in many ways was the truth… too Christian for the unschoolers, too unschooly for the Christians. But the fact is, in some cases that feeling is self-imposed. The unschoolers I know have, as a whole, been extremely welcoming and non-judgmental. As my unschooling circle grows, I’m just more and more thankful for its presence, and proud to be part of it. Continue Reading

Christian Unschooling, Part 3: Humble Yourselves Like a Child

“And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.”

Jesus had a pretty high opinion of kids. The verse directly before the one above says that “whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” The one before that says, “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

I think of these verses every time someone questions whether or not it is biblical to unschool. I think of these before I think of those about freedom. I think of these before I think of those about parenting. I think of these before I think of those about education. Why? Because no matter what else an unschooling journey is, it begins with the children. If it were not for the children, there would be no unschooling. Continue Reading

Christian Unschooling, Part 2: Freedom

“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”

I don’t like being told what to do. I’m the person who, when told to do something, will likely want to immediately do the exact opposite, just on general principle. Lots of unnecessary rules make me uneasy. Unsolicited advice makes my skin crawl.

I was never one to march to anyone’s drum but my own. Continue Reading

Christian Unschooling, Part 1: Background

This post is a response. Actually, it’s a response to several responses to a response to a response to a call for guest posts. Got all that? Doesn’t matter. There were a lot of things said, things that ignited something in me. And because the threads that were ultimately spun off the original spool turned into a mud-slinging fray which I had no interest in joining, I came here… here where I could share my perspective, in a mud-free environment. As the title suggests, this is only part one. There will be more, but first a little background: Continue Reading

Unschooling – Going with the Flow

“Can you describe a typical unschooling day for me?”

The question is almost always filled with both curiosity and sincerity. It’s one of the first things those new to the concept of unschooling want to know.

What do you mean when you say, “unschooling?”

What does it look like in your house?

What’s a typical day like?

Or the slightly more straightforward: “What exactly do you do all day?” Continue Reading