Any advice for our family? We are considering Unschooling but I am apprehensive. Our children, a boy (14), boy (13) and boy and girl twins (11), were in public school, then we were called to homeschool for the past 3 years. We have done mainly “school at home.” Is it to late to try unschooling at their ages?
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It’s very common for Christians new to unschooling to distrust their own children’s abilities and inclinations, simply because they’ve never experienced an environment that allowed them to build that mutual parent-child trust around learning. Often, this doubt takes the form of a theological complaint, as follows. Continue Reading
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
“Encouragement and support to unschool” are the two most-repeated reasons people give for joining the Christian Unschooling Facebook group. The group has a brief application form to let moderators know which requests are intentional, versus which are random “you might also like” clicking or spam.
But when people join and ask questions from a school-oriented viewpoint (a normal part of the learning curve), they’re often surprised to receive questions in return. Continue Reading
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
This post is a collection of responses to the recurring Christian Unschooling forum question, “Does Classical Conversations fit with unschooling?”
As with trying to integrate any curriculum-based methods at young ages, the focus almost always is upon the parent’s comfort zone, fears and goals, rather than the child’s natural ways of learning. The result is an approach better referred to as “relaxed/eclectic” homeschooling, not unschooling. This is sort of inherent to the word “unschool”–the removal of all school-based education. Continue Reading
“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 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
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
I know that unschoolers don’t use curriculum, but what if your child is asking for it? Is it wrong to give them a workbook and let them go through it?
This questioned is posed a lot in our Facebook group. It will pop up every so often and I always try to answer in specific terms to the discussion and person asking.
My personal response usually goes something like this:
Yes – but with caveats. It’s not “wrong” to give your child a workbook, textbook, or curriculum as a resource to use. Unschoolers are not against those things. In general, we disagree with requiring a child to learn or complete a curricula. If a child is interested in physics there is no reason to deny him any resource that would help him learn it – including schoolish ones.