How Value Bias Blinds Us

“I refuse to allow my kids access to the addictive agents such as video games and leisure tv (cartoons) all day.”

– Christian Unschooling forum user

“refuse” – That is problematic.

“addictive” – That is problematic.

“all day” – That is problematic.

You have set up beliefs on false information that seems reasonable and true because it is touted by “experts” and from “pulpits” and “tradition” etc.

Getting to the root of your “why” on such things will help you to see that they are fear based. Continue Reading

But Will They Be Prepared?

“But how will they be prepared for…?”

Recently, I read that in our culture, dreams about school are in the top five recurring dreams. And in an informal online survey on dreams about school, out of 128 respondents, zero rated their dreams as pleasant. They described being deeply stressed or panicked by a feeling of excessive stupidity, lostness, and lack of preparation. Continue Reading

Unpacking the Parent-Child-Education Conundrum

In a recent conversation about homeschooling special needs (dysgraphia, dyslexia, etc.), a new homeschooler/education adventurer said the following to me. It’s a common reaction, especially if you have limited experience with homeschooling overall.

“I don’t think unschooling is for us. I like the ideas, but I panic. My kids are already middle-school age and I only have a limited amount of time left. And it makes me really uncomfortable. And, I’m a writer. That’s really important to me. I want them to read. Everyone in my family reads. I really think they need to as well.”

I chose not to respond at the time, because it felt like anything I might say would add pressure to a person already putting intense pressure on herself. Knowing that this woman was already maxing out her courage, it seemed like a time to just listen.

Someday, sometime, this is what I’d wish for her to think about. Continue Reading

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

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

School Held Me Back

I don’t mean I was held back a grade. Quite the contrary, I was a good student. I never skipped and was rarely tardy. I didn’t make trouble and my teachers loved me. I handed in my assignments complete and on time. I participated in class and generally knew what was going on rather than zoning out.

In point of fact, I mostly made As in my classes. I was a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist. I scored in the 99th percentile on the ASVAB (the recruiter lamented that I was a girl; apparently I would have been great in field artillery). I received scholarships for both my ACT and SAT scores. Continue Reading

How Do Unschoolers Prepare for College

Academic Success Left Me a Failure

“My child is an honor student at John Q. Public School.”

Much is made of academic success in public school. Bumper stickers and window clings proudly proclaim that a budding genius may be aboard the family car. Local newspapers publish lists of “A Honor Roll” students. Every year some local paper gets to publish a glowing testemonial to a local youth who has “aced” his or her ACT or SAT exams. Continue Reading