Initially, I liked the idea of unschooling so we set off down the unschooling pathway. But it didn’t take me long to discover a few things I didn’t like about this way of life. We ended up moving away, travelling down various side-tracks as I explored other homeschooling philosophies. For a few years, I searched for the perfect way to bring up and educate our children.
Although I considered many different ways of homeschooling, I never intended to return to unschooling. Hadn’t we already tried that? But we did finally make our way back. It happened gradually, without me realising where we were headed. And when we arrived here, I discovered unschooling wasn’t what I’d thought it was. I’d misunderstood unschooling completely. Yes, our journey to unschooling was gradual and unintentional. But not everyone comes to unschooling in the same way we did. For some parents, it’s a conscious decision, after a lot of research and thought. They come to a point where they announce, “We’re going to try unschooling.” What happens next? Is the transition to unschooling always smooth?
In this week’s podcast, I discuss the topic of starting unschooling.
- Is moving to unschooling a big step for children?
- How can we encourage children to get excited about their own learning?
- What if a child just wants to sit in front of the television or computer?
- Do adults and children have different ideas about what kind of learning is valuable?
- And what about trust?
Suzie Andres’ books
Blog posts about starting unschooling
It seems to me that very few of us like venturing out into the relatively unknown, especially if it means we are heading off alone. Even when we can see things need to change, we make excuses why we shouldn’t try something different. We persist day after day, knowing in our hearts that all the work we are doing is futile, but still we lack the courage to leave behind what is safe and familiar.
Could it be important that parents get excited, show they enjoy learning, share their own passions, be a great example?
They’re sitting on the sofa watching TV. When they’re not doing that, they’re playing computer games. Or they’re lounging around, doing nothing much at all. And you are worried because this isn’t what you had in mind when you said, “You’re free to do what you want.”
Unschooling and Trust
Now that we’re not directing our children’s learning, do we believe they will learn what they need to know in their own time, without us interfering? Do we trust our kids? Or deep down, do we still have certain expectations? Perhaps if they’re not being fulfilled we will start to doubt what we’re doing.