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

Unschooling “Except For”

There’s actually a separate name for “partially unschooling.” Relaxed/Eclectic is its own brand of homeschooling. Because it’s so eclectic (drawing from many sources), people tend to swing between gleaning from more traditional homeschoolers and gleaning from unschoolers. I think that actually the majority of homeschoolers fall somewhere in this framework. But as many people reflect when they say “we unschool except for… math/English/that one thing,” R/E tends to rely on traditional academic categories and assumptions, rather than the assumptions that are the driving power behind unschooling. 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

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

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