Letting Go: Our Journey to Unschooling

Autumn is slowly coming into itself here while most of the country is welcoming the chill and stillness of Winter.  Days are only reaching high 60′s and early mornings are met with blue orange glow of fire in white stone fireplace.  We spend these days deep in exploration and learning.  It seems fitting to me that as we really find freedom and settle into who we have been becoming, we are in the season of freedom, of shedding away of the old and preparing for the renewal of life. Continue Reading

Don’t Pressure Your Kids To Read

Why you shouldn't pressure your kids to read.

We shouldn’t pressure kids to read so young. That’s what I believe, at least. I’m afraid I failed at this with my first child (oh, the poor guinea pig). I had never heard about unschooling back then and when we began “homeschooling” kindergarten I was too forceful and frustrated with her reading lessons. The tears. Oh, the tears. Thank God (literally) she still turned out to be a voracious reader and wasn’t too scarred by the process.

When my second child became “of age” he was in public school for kindergarten. So he received a certain amount of foundational reading training there, though I’m not sure exactly to what extent. The next year for first grade we brought him back home and the process of reading and tears that I was all too familiar with started again. So I stopped teaching him to read. Continue Reading

Autodidacticism is Contagious

I took this photo of my son, helping his grandmother learn a software program to remind me: my children are and always will be autodidacts. He had no knowledge of this software Grandma wanted help with, but he was there to help give her the confidence she needed to see how to explore and learn what it was she needed to know. If there’s one thing autodidacts know how to do, it’s helping others learn how to be autodidacts themselves. Continue Reading

How do you talk about unschooling?

Sometimes, it seems like the dirty little secret of the homeschooling universe.

For a lot of different reasons, many of them entirely valid, there aren’t too many unschoolers who go beyond the proverbial whispers of “We don’t exactly use a curriculum…” and “Don’t TELL anyone, but we don’t take tests!” when asked about their style by friends and family members. Continue Reading

Unschooling in Action

Our “Unschooling in Action” series highlights photographs of real, live unschoolers doing real, live unschooling. If you’d like to see your unschooling photo here, please post it on our Facebook wall!

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Unschooling in Action

Our “Unschooling in Action” series highlights photographs of real, live unschoolers doing real, live unschooling. If you’d like to see your unschooling photo here, please post it on our Facebook wall!

Unschooling at our home. Our three playing the Game of Life outside with two of our neighbors, also a fulltime RVing family. It did come to blows (between our two boys!) so a good time to learn that life is indeed hard and unfair at times, but doesn’t need to end in a fight.

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Our first lemon!

Our first lemon!

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Local Butterfly Exhibit

Local butterfly exhibit.

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Apple Field Trip ~ iMovie

Apple field trip.

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Writing Transformers Fan-fiction.

Writing Transformers fan-fiction.

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Perusing books at a library book sale.

Perusing books at a library book sale.

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Assembling new Lego sets.

Assembling new Lego sets.

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Grand Opening of local gym; Zumba demo in which 9-year-old son joined right in. He loves dancing!

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A bunch of homeschooling cousins enjoying a nighttime trip to the zoo and talking to a naturalist after seeing a live tarantula, snake, porcupine, hawk and opossum.

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Share your unschooling photos on our Facebook wall for a chance to see them showcased here next week! Meanwhile, if you crave more, you can browse previous Unschooling in Action posts, or check out the Unschoolers’ Art Gallery blog for cool art from unschooled kids.

~ Happy Unschooling!

What, You Learn on Saturdays?

When I got to kind of introduce myself to the Christian Unschooling community through the Unschooling Portraits series, I described myself like this:

I’m Joan Otto, wife to Chris and mom to Sarah (who’s 12). We live in central Pennsylvania in a house that also includes my mom, a large dog, 5 cats, and a hamster. We’re new to homeschooling of any sort, sort of – I was homeschooled for several years, but our daughter had been in public school until Leap Day – Feb. 29 of this year. We blog about our life at Our School at Home. (Which was a funny choice for a title, really, given that we aren’t “school at home” types at all.)

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