Unschooling, Shakespeare, and Geeking Out

“What’s this, Mama?” my oldest daughter asked. She held out a lavishly illustrated fairy tale we’d just gotten from the library.

“You want me to read it?” I asked.

“Yeah!” she said, jumping up and down. She settled into my lap and I opened to the first page.

None of this was at all atypical. Except my heart was beating fast. Continue Reading

Unschooling Prepares Kids For Life

One of my biggest concerns upon starting out on this unschooling path was that a relaxed, unstructured learning lifestyle couldn’t possibly prepare my child for real life. My rationale went something like this:

The vast majority of the adults in this country went to a traditional school, studied traditional subjects, and did so in the traditional way. Those people are living real lives. Therefore, to be able to live a real life, one must follow the traditional path.

And it’s certainly true that the traditional educational path works for a lot of people. It worked for me, so I’m not knocking it.

But it’s also true that it’s not the only path. Or necessarily the best path. Continue Reading

Unschooling Hopes

What I hoped to see happen in unschooling my children was simple. I wanted a life where school simply wasn’t. I wanted my kids to fully experience life–not a different kind of schooling, not school at home, not superior curriculum. I wanted to continue raising kids that love life and love learning about all kinds of things this spectacular world has to offer.

One of the first ‘a-ha’ moments, if you will, happened one warm September afternoon when we were all just hanging about outside. The kids, around six and eight years old (if I’m remembering correctly) were looking at various things under the microscope my husband had set up on the picnic table. They were bringing us all kinds of things to look at–water from a puddle, grass, toenails, bugs both dead and alive, hairs both human and dog/cat/critter…you name it, they wanted to put it under the microscope. We’d been at this for awhile on that evening, the four of us enjoying our time together outside and exploring the microscopic world. Continue Reading

Unschooling Ourselves: The Search for Joy and Fulfillment

My journey to unschooling started off when I was very young. It’s impossible to explain my own philosophy of unschooling without taking you through a brief history of my own schooling. It has shaped how I view education for myself and for my children more than any book or influential speaker.

Apart from the occasional alphabet lesson I gave to my oldest son, under pressure to begin “schooling,” I have never really liked the idea of school-at-home models. They always seemed to interfere with the natural progression of our lives, of fun, of freedom, and of true fulfillment through passions.

Geography has been one of my oldest son’s interests since he was 4

Continue Reading

Third Culture School – When Christians Unschool in a Homeschooling World

Have you ever heard the term Third Culture Kids?  It’s a term used pretty often to describe Missionary’s kids.  They’re from one culture, but they grow up in another. So they don’t fully fit in either.

That’s how I feel as a Christian unschooler.

Most of the unschoolers that I’m aware of, especially radical unschoolers, are not Christian. They are free lovin’, blowin’ in the wind hippies.

And most of the homeschoolers I know are staunchly Christian.  No free lovin’ or wind blowin’ involved. Continue Reading