Almost Anything is Better Than a Workbook

I know that unschoolers don’t use curriculum, but what if your child is asking for it? Is it wrong to give them a workbook and let them go through it?

This questioned is posed a lot in our Facebook group. It will pop up every so often and I always try to answer in specific terms to the discussion and person asking.

My personal response usually goes something like this:

Yes – but with caveats. It’s not “wrong” to give your child a workbook, textbook, or curriculum as a resource to use. Unschoolers are not against those things. In general, we disagree with requiring a child to learn or complete a curricula. If a child is interested in physics there is no reason to deny him any resource that would help him learn it – including schoolish ones.

Continue Reading

From Haphazard to Awesome: When God Provides Learning ‘Coincidences’

We don’t have any required subjects in our house. We discover and learn about things we’re interested in, and we follow our passions. And when we start to “fade out” of one topic of interest, we often “fade into” the next thing with little to no fanfare. Continue Reading

How We Fund Our Unschooling Life

Our daughter was 11 when we unenrolled her from public school. For the first 11 years of her life, I worked full-time-plus, in an office, and for several of those years, I was also a full-time college student. My husband works a 55-hour-a-week office job as well (much of that in the late evening and early morning hours), and there were days we felt like we didn’t even see our house, or each other. Continue Reading

Unschooling Happens: Impromptu Astronomy

Tonight at about 10:00, I got a text from a friend that said, “I remember The Squirrel went through a planets phase a few months ago, I thought you might want to know tonight Jupiter is super bright and right by the moon. Go check it out.”

The kids were still awake when I poked my head in their room so we hopped outside and looked (one of the joys of living in the desert is you can go outside barefoot in the middle of the night in January). The Squirrel thought it was awesome … Baby Pterodactyl babbled and tried to eat a piece of chalk. 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