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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Educational Idolatry Disguised as Christianity

It’s very common for Christians new to unschooling to distrust their own children’s abilities and inclinations, simply because they’ve never experienced an environment that allowed them to build that mutual parent-child trust around learning. Often, this doubt takes the form of a theological complaint, as follows. Continue Reading

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

The Biggest Transformation of All

It took me until my 30’s to even begin to learn what it even means to be in control of my own problems. I’m still working on it as I look ahead into my 40’s. I was rereading this post about unschooling apraxia by Jennifer McGrail. The following phrase jumped out at me:

“His not being able to tie well or write neatly are not an issue unless he decides they’re an issue.”

Did anyone along the way ever teach you that there isn’t a problem unless you decide there’s a problem? Or, like me, did you learn from early childhood that everyone else around you must be right about what’s problematic… and they have the right to define it for you? 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