Don’t Pressure Your Kids To Read

Why you shouldn't pressure your kids to read.

We shouldn’t pressure kids to read so young. That’s what I believe, at least. I’m afraid I failed at this with my first child (oh, the poor guinea pig). I had never heard about unschooling back then and when we began “homeschooling” kindergarten I was too forceful and frustrated with her reading lessons. The tears. Oh, the tears. Thank God (literally) she still turned out to be a voracious reader and wasn’t too scarred by the process.

When my second child became “of age” he was in public school for kindergarten. So he received a certain amount of foundational reading training there, though I’m not sure exactly to what extent. The next year for first grade we brought him back home and the process of reading and tears that I was all too familiar with started again. So I stopped teaching him to read. Continue Reading

pushing preschool

Panicking About Preschool

I do a bit of Virtual Assistant work that puts me smack dab in the middle of the mainstream homeschool culture online. I not only spend time daily scrolling the #homeschool hashtag on twitter but updating many free homeschool deals around the web in a given week. And doing this work I’ve noticed a pattern. It’s a predictable formula that goes a little something like this: Continue Reading

Fear is a Lousy Pedagogy


In January, our family will move to Argentina for five months.

I speak Spanish already. When we first decided to go, I felt relief that I was going to be able to practice the language with my kids before we leave. The more I exposed them to it, the easier our transition abroad will go.

There was only one problem: my girls weren’t interested.

And when I say “not interested,” I don’t mean indifference. It was more like anger. I wasn’t quite sure whether to feel pride or exasperation when my two-year-old loudly told me to speak in English when I tried reading her Spanish board books. Continue Reading

Unschooling Portraits: Naomi

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Naomi, I am 31 years old, and I have been married to my best friend, Joel, for 10 years. We have the three most amazing kids in the world (although I may be biased); Ella is 5 years old, Liam is 3, and Gavin is 1. We live in British Columbia, Canada, right near the lakes and mountains. We are blessed beyond measure! We are new to unschooling, so I have started a blog of our journey at growing. loving. living. Continue Reading

What I Learned in High School (Or Didn’t)

I was thinking about my compulsory education recently – high school in particular. And I was trying to remember a single thing that it taught me. I thought long and hard.  Truly.

What did I learn in high school?

After much deliberation, here’s what I came up with:

Wait for it …

Wait for it …

  1. Nothing.

The end. Continue Reading

Unschooling Portraits: Melissa

Please introduce yourself.

I’m Melissa. I’m a proud police wife. My husband and I have been together 17 years. Our children, ages 10, 8, 5.5, and 3, have never been in any daycare or schooling type setting. We have three girls and one son. We discovered homeschooling as a viable option when our older daughter was in the hospital. She went into liver failure shortly after a vaccination, which required her to have a liver transplant at the age of two. After her transplant we knew we could not send her to school and expect them to keep on top of her medications correctly, and we didn’t want her to be exposed to illnesses on a regular basis with her immune system being compromised. We are blessed that she is eight years post transplant and doing wonderfully today. Though her transplant opened the door to homeschooling, all the amazing reasons to homeschool the children beyond just medical reasons were soon discovered by our family. Continue Reading

Unschooling Portraits: Joan

Please introduce yourself.

I’m Joan Otto, wife to Chris and mom to Sarah (who’s 12). We live in central Pennsylvania in a house that also includes my mom, a large dog, 5 cats and a hamster. We’re new to homeschooling of any sort, sort of – I was homeschooled for several years, but our daughter had been in public school until Leap Day – Feb. 29 of this year. We blog about our life at Our School at Home. (Which was a funny choice for a title, really, given that we aren’t “school at home” types at all.)

What does your typical day look like? Continue Reading

Unschooling Portraits: Marisa

Please introduce yourself.

I’m Marisa, married for twelve years to my husband who runs a screenprinting/graphic design/embroidery business from our home. We have four children; Westen is 10, Noel is 8, Geneva is 6, and Jonas is 4. We live in Texas.

What does your typical day look like? Continue Reading

Following the Rabbi: Biblical Unschooling

Anyone who has journeyed down the road of Christian Unschooling has been met with evangelical opposition at one point or another. I recently heard a conservative pastor say that it was a “violation of scripture.” Obviously, I disagree and think his opinion is based on a few misconceptions (as are most people’s when it comes to unschooling).

So imagine my delight when I picked up an interesting book this week called Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith. It’s about understanding the Jewish culture of Jesus’ time, traditions, and way of life so that you can understand the impact of some of the things that He did and said in a Jewish context.

But that’s not what this post is about. :) Continue Reading