Unschooling Parents Are Just Lazy

Left to his own “devices”

Did I inflame you with my title? Or, maybe you are nodding your head in agreement.

That title is exactly what I thought, at one time, about parents who chose unschooling.

How judgmental was I?

In my mind, unschooling was a great concept in theory. In reality, however, I didn’t see it being played out very well. Parents would simply trust their child to decide when they wanted to learn math? It sounded like an utter FAIL.

I thought maybe they just couldn’t get their act together and find time in the day to sit down and do things with their children.

And you know what? I was right. There are parents that are not involved with their children at all. They don’t have conversations, they don’t connect, and they don’t guide. But those parenting choices have nothing to do with unschooling.

They have everything to do with poor parenting.

Now, before I get something thrown at me – let me clarify.

The way I have seen unschooling played out in real life is nowhere close to lazy. Unschooling moms and dads love and trust their children. They desire closeness and intimacy as a family. They value democratic relationships and working together.

Unschoolers recognize that working and living together as a family provides the best learning experiences. And they also realize that children need time to be alone as well.

If anything, unschooling is hard. It means as a parent, you have to be close enough to your child to know when your child is developing, what their interests are so you can point them to the resources they will need, and when to gently guide them through struggles.

Lazy parenting doesn’t take into account these things. It is based in selfishness, rather than in trust. Its demands are based on the parent’s view, and on external principles rather than on the needs of the child.

Lazy parenting is relying on someone or something to decide when children are ready and for what, rather than looking to the child.

I’m not saying that using schedules and curriculum is lazy parenting. The point is that our educational choices don’t necessarily reflect our inward heart attitude. Anyone can be a lazy parent, regardless of educational choice.

After jumping into the world of unschooling, I have had to come to terms with some of my own laziness. In theory, when we started out, methodically progressing through a workbook and recording grades seemed easy. But I soon realized that it wasn’t easy – it was laziness on my part. It was checking off the list without seeing whether it was right for my daughter.

Now, I see unschooling as extremely easy, but not lazy. It involves hard work, but the effort is much more rewarding.

~ Aadel

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