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? Continue Reading

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. Continue Reading

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? Continue Reading

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. Continue Reading

How Value Bias Blinds Us

“I refuse to allow my kids access to the addictive agents such as video games and leisure tv (cartoons) all day.”

– Christian Unschooling forum user

“refuse” – That is problematic.

“addictive” – That is problematic.

“all day” – That is problematic.

You have set up beliefs on false information that seems reasonable and true because it is touted by “experts” and from “pulpits” and “tradition” etc.

Getting to the root of your “why” on such things will help you to see that they are fear based. Continue Reading

Banning Handheld Devices?

In March of 2014, The Huffington Post Parents Blog shared a post by Cris Rowan entitled “10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12“.  Listing her credentials as a pediatric occupational therapist, biologist, speaker, and author, Ms. Rowan cited several studies and observations for her assertion.  This post and others like it continue to be shared far & wide.

Following are blogs and memes generated in response to such a sweeping sentiment: Continue Reading

Guest Post from a CU Teen

This post was submitted by a 17 year old Christian unschooler, writing under the pen name Tris Cadekifobia. Tris has previously written for other homeschooling outlets under other names.

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How do you see the world?

When you look at a cat, what do you see? An animal? Whiskers? A cute and cuddly hairball? A mouse trap? Claws? A creature susceptible to the taunting of a dangling string? A poop machine? Impending doom? Continue Reading

Technology and Unschooling

Technology, and giving our children unlimited access to it, plays a big role in their learning.  It has provided wonderful opportunities for our family to connect and strengthen our relationships.

Before I share some of our favorite resources, I wanted to share a bit about the common “objections” to technology & the word “screen time”. Continue Reading

Unpacking the Parent-Child-Education Conundrum

In a recent conversation about homeschooling special needs (dysgraphia, dyslexia, etc.), a new homeschooler/education adventurer said the following to me. It’s a common reaction, especially if you have limited experience with homeschooling overall.

“I don’t think unschooling is for us. I like the ideas, but I panic. My kids are already middle-school age and I only have a limited amount of time left. And it makes me really uncomfortable. And, I’m a writer. That’s really important to me. I want them to read. Everyone in my family reads. I really think they need to as well.”

I chose not to respond at the time, because it felt like anything I might say would add pressure to a person already putting intense pressure on herself. Knowing that this woman was already maxing out her courage, it seemed like a time to just listen.

Someday, sometime, this is what I’d wish for her to think about. Continue Reading