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
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
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
Strewing vs. Self-Discovery
Strewing, or finding interesting things to leave in your child’s path in hopes of sparking an interest, is a fabulous thing. But there’s no denying that it is also sometimes a superfluous thing. There are kids out there who know what they want and go for it, no matter if it is “strewn” into their path or not. Continue Reading
The Scheduled Unschooler
You know that picture that some people have in their heads of the homeschooler chained to a desk in the kitchen, or worse, the unschooler who just watches television all day long, eats junk food, and can only handle social interaction by unsocialized grunting?
Erase all those preconceived notions and come and meet my kids. I have four children: Noa is 17, Colter is 15, Kyler is 11, and Mica is 9.
We are unschoolers, but we have have a fairly rigid schedule we follow … because my children have chosen to engage in a number of activities outside the home. Most are casual or fun, some are formally academic. When we’re home, we often just collapse to relax! Continue Reading
An Artistic Strewing Success Story
Strewing can be a little bit like setting a trap, but not at all for meanness. It can be like leaving a gift to be discovered. It can be a little bit like the tooth fairy came, or the Easter bunny. ~ Sandra Dodd
Strewing for a child with Asperger syndrome is just a matter of trying things until you find the one that clicks. When something clicks, it clicks hard, and everything else falls by the wayside.
In my daughter’s case, the click came in the shape of an artist’s lightbox. Continue Reading
One of the questions we run into a lot, as a radically unschooling family, is how will they learn higher level math if kids aren’t forced to learn the math facts traditionally, especially if they want to go to college and go into a math or science field. Continue Reading
School Held Me Back
I don’t mean I was held back a grade. Quite the contrary, I was a good student. I never skipped and was rarely tardy. I didn’t make trouble and my teachers loved me. I handed in my assignments complete and on time. I participated in class and generally knew what was going on rather than zoning out.
In point of fact, I mostly made As in my classes. I was a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist. I scored in the 99th percentile on the ASVAB (the recruiter lamented that I was a girl; apparently I would have been great in field artillery). I received scholarships for both my ACT and SAT scores. Continue Reading
What I Learned in High School (And How I Unlearned It)
I got pretty good grades in high school. Sometimes I got really good grades. I was your average A/B student. I took (and did well in) honors and advanced placement classes, and my extracurricular schedule was nicely padded with sports and clubs and all those other things that colleges like to see. I didn’t dislike school, nor did I love it. School was a necessary evil. It was a place to go in between writing and drawing and daydreaming. It was place to be told what to do and how to do it. It was like a game to me, and it was a game that I felt I generally played well. Continue Reading
How I Know Unschooling Works
So I’ve known for quite a while now that unschooling rocks and works. But today I got conclusive proof of how incredibly awesome it really is.
I’m working with another homeschooling mom to put together a presentation at the local library’s summer reading club for kids on the theme “The Library is Your Kingdom.” I got pulled in because, hello, my name is Mari and I’m a total medieval geek. But I’m the kind of geek that doesn’t feel the need to take things tooooo seriously so this presentation is partly educational, partly action-packed, and fully hella fun. Continue Reading