Unschooling to Us Is About Being Whole

When we first started on our unschooling journey, I was desperately trying to ease the frustration that my daughter and I had over the formal curricula I had chosen.

Unschooling was an escape from the tests, grades, and pressures of academia. But over the years, unschooling has come to mean much more to us.

Unschooling to us is about being whole.

whole: adjective

  1. comprising the full quantity, amount, extent: entire, full.
  2. containing all the elements properly belonging; complete.
  3. not broken, damaged, or impaired; intact.

Whole Learning

In formal schooling, subjects are broken up and separated. Even learning is broken and compartmentalized. You are expected to learn at specific times and switch between subjects with ease.

But really, learning doesn’t work that way. Unschooling allows for learning to become whole again.

My kids can learn spontaneously. They can integrate science, math, and all other subjects without even thinking about it. They can spend all their time learning one skill until they have mastered it completely, and then move onto the next.

Whole Families

A lot of people I talk to are misinformed about unschooling. They imagine children are left to their own devices to figure out the world.

Unschooling to us is about having a whole family relationship. It is about God-inspired, family-led learning.

I think my friend Kandy said it best:

When I look at [my sons], I do not just see little people I need to teach. I also see people who teach me on a regular basis. I see people who can make me laugh or make me cry quicker than anyone else. I see people who need my hand to hold at times and at others offer theirs to me. Must be why the Bible talks about both training a child in the way he should go and becoming as a child if we expect to see heaven. And I believe this philosophy applies to all of our other relationships as well. Give and take, serve and be served, love and be loved.

Unschooling to us means living out all the one-anothering verses in the Bible. To learn from one another, serve one another, guide one another, and be united with one another.

Whole Education

When I was in school, I had a teacher tell me, “You are here to learn the information presented in this class, and nothing else!”

But I learned a lot more than the information he presented that year. I learned that this particular teacher didn’t care about whether the information was wrong. He didn’t care about the emotional stability of his students. He didn’t care about our home lives or what we were going through spiritually and psychologically.

Sometimes we need hard lessons like that. But during the formative years of a child’s life, they need to be supported, encouraged, and guided into healthy patterns of thinking and relating to others.

Unschooling to us is about creating an environment that educates the whole child – academically, emotionally, spiritually, physically, and even socially.

It means making God’s priorities for my family also my priorities. It means not demanding outward performance when inwardly my child is dealing with something very important in their walk with God, or in a relationship, or their own fears and anxieties.

It means being free to deal with those issues and triumphs as they arise.

Unschooling is about discipleship. And the goal of discipleship is about presenting our disciples mature and complete.

To equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ  – Ephesians 4:12-13

~ Aadel


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