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
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
“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
This discussion appeared recently on the Christian Unschooling Facebook Group:
SARAH D: So, I’m reading a lot regarding unschooling at the moment, most of it seems to be geared towards giving our children all their wants/needs – first thing is this scriptural? Wants not needs – I mean, should we get our children all their wants? Will they not turn into spoilt brats? Secondly, what if you just can’t facilitate them? Financially, space-wise, time etc?
Lately, I have had some phrases bopping around in my mind:
“Parenting without limits/boundaries,”
“no boundaries” …
I’ve also been meditating on the verse –
“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).
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. Continue Reading
“The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out, the conservative adopts them.” ~Mark Twain
I saved this post for last for a few reasons. First, in many ways it’s the most important, because it ties everything together and is at the crux of why we do what we do. It’s also one of the hardest and most frustrating to write, and the one I’ve been losing the most sleep over.
I’ve come to a disheartening realization lately. What I said in part one about feeling like I’m alone in many ways was the truth… too Christian for the unschoolers, too unschooly for the Christians. But the fact is, in some cases that feeling is self-imposed. The unschoolers I know have, as a whole, been extremely welcoming and non-judgmental. As my unschooling circle grows, I’m just more and more thankful for its presence, and proud to be part of it. Continue Reading
A friend who replicates school at home in her homeschool once said to me, in a comparison of our parenting and homeschooling styles, “I know you give in to your children, and that’s okay, that’s your choice …”
Frankly, I was too taken aback at the flat statement to respond at the time, but I thought about it a lot afterward. And here’s what I thought: I don’t give in to my kids … but I can see why she thinks that I do.
What My Friend Sees
One of the biggest misunderstandings I’ve found that people have with unschooling, particularly in Christian unschooling, is the question of guidance. People seem to jump to the conclusion that Unschooling = Unparenting. Christians assume that if you’re unschooling it means you’re not guiding your children or “training them up in the way they should go.”
So, for the record, let me very clearly state – the parenting philosophy behind unschooling typically involves a LOT of guidance, y’all! Continue Reading