We have a podcast!

Not long after we got the Patreon page all set up, and this site reworked and it was all going along lovely… I (Heather) got a job. Actually, I got several jobs. Multiple jobs. And suddenly found myself working 50 plus hours a week with a daily drive of about 2 hours. Now, this meant I had way less time to work on the CU group and website but it did mean that I had plenty of downtime to listen to audio books and podcasts. Continue 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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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. Continue Reading

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. Continue Reading

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

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

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

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