Does Unschooling Spoil the Child? A Candid Conversation

This discussion appeared recently on the Christian Unschooling Facebook Group:

Does Unschooling Create Spoiled BratsSARAH 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?

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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

Gaining Perspective On “Unproductive” Days

When I think of a typical unschooling day, I tend to start blending all the awesome things that have happened over several days into one amazing experience.

There are days for us that are filled with life, learning, and adventure. But more often than not those things are spread over weeks, and in between we have what I often fear are unproductive intervals. Continue Reading

Just Another Ordinary (Extraordinary) Day

Some days just seem so ordinary – but if we have eyes to see, the extraordinary will appear.

  • Miss 9 was awake watching television when I got up …

… She was also looking at a diary and last year’s calendar, and was using her new blue clipboard (a longed-for acquisition). She seemed deeply engrossed but slowly managed to raise her head from her paper world, and the questions began: “Mum, how do you spell February?” “Mum, how many days are in March?” Which naturally progressed to discussions about leap years, the history of calendars, and a little rhyme I learned as a child, to help with remembering how many days were in each month. Continue Reading

Our Unschooled Friday

We’ve been unschooling since the last millennium. (Wow, that sounds impressive, but really isn’t.) When my second son was born in 1999, I decided I didn’t want to miss any more of the daily discoveries of my two boys, so I left the corporate world and embraced an entirely new lifestyle.

Our unschooling day in 2012 of course doesn’t look like it did in 1999. Actually our unschooling day today doesn’t look like it did yesterday. Unschooling means we meet our needs at the moment, and our needs are constantly changing. Continue Reading

What, You Learn on Saturdays?

When I got to kind of introduce myself to the Christian Unschooling community through the Unschooling Portraits series, I described myself like this:

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.)

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The Mess of Strewing: An Unschooling Conversation

 

This discussion appeared recently on the Christian Unschooling Facebook Group:

JENNIFER: Ahhhh!!!!!! I’m all for strewing, but my whole house is full of strew???? How do y’all manage it???? I can’t tell ya how many times I have stepped on a marble, or a pattern block or a Cuisinaire rod, etc… only to get into a very unpleasant conversations with my dcs. Do I just pick them up? ANY suggestions would be helpful… thank you in advance!

LEANNE: Yep. Having the same problem here.

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Unexpected Passions – Unleashing Potential: An Unschooling Conversation

This discussion appeared recently on the Christian Unschooling Facebook Group:

SARAH: Does anyone’s child have a passion that you never would have predicted?

My 7yo son LOVES chickens! He is the chicken whisperer I tell you! He makes pets out of them all, grieves when a young rooster has to go to the freezer, and he is the one who can get the eggs out from under the pecky hens without getting pecked. He and I read hatchery catalogs together and get excited about the new breeds that we want to try raising. We have plans to build a new coop this fall and he is looking into starting a business raising pheasants. We have talked about how that if we went to public school, some insecure kid might make fun of him for loving chickens but he never has to endure that kind of bullying. He can just like what he likes! It’s really a lot of fun, though, sharing a passion with your child. 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