All About Strewing

My Unschooling Book Series (25)

In my post, What Unschooling Is and What It’s Not, I described our early day of unschooling:

After reading these stories (in John Holt’s magazine, Learning Without School), my eyes lit up. Excitement bubbled within me. If I allowed my children to follow their interests, they’d do similar amazing things. They’d learn so much without any help from me. They’d learn all they needed to know and much more. All I had to do was stay out of the way so I wouldn’t interfere with the natural learning process. 

So we began unschooling our first child when she reached school age. And I couldn’t wait to see what she was going to do. It was going to be something fantastic, I was sure. But, despite having the freedom to do whatever she liked, nothing much happened. I was very disappointed. How was she ever going to learn all the things essential for a good education? Children will learn all they need to know at a time when they need to know it. Is this really true? I began to have doubts.

After a while, my doubts led to ‘cheating’. Instead of letting my child discover the world entirely on her own, I began making suggestions about possible things she might like to learn about. I introduced her to such things as poetry and Shakespeare, and I offered to read her my favourite books…

Of course, I wasn’t cheating when I introduced my first child to such things as Shakespeare and poetry. I was doing something essential to the success of unschooling. I was strewing.

I have a few strewing stories in my blog’s archive, and I’d like to include a couple of them in my unschooling book. Maybe Time for Some Strewing and What to Do When Strewing is Rejected would be appropriate choices.

Have you read these stories? If you haven’t, you could listen to them. I’m sharing and discussing them in this week’s podcast.

In episode 114, I answer the following questions:

  • What is strewing?
  • When do we need to do it?
  • How do we do it?
  • And what if our kids reject our strewing?

Show Notes

Blog post: Unplanning Notebooks for Strewing and Unschool Record-Keeping

Podcast episode 82: How to Start a Great Art Conversation

Blog post: What Happened When I Strewed a Painting on the Wall

My unschooling book series

Podcast music: Twombly by Podington Bear(CC BY-NC 3.0)

Have you done any strewing recently? Have you had any successes? Do you have a favourite strewing place where you like to leave things? I’d love to hear your strewing stories!

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  1. Reply

    One of the reasons unschooling clicked so well for me is that when I was following a more “school at home” type model I didn’t have any time for my own interests and felt like a really poor role model. As unschoolers I feel like I can better demonstrate a well rounded life to my children. Some of my children’s interests have been sparked by things they have seen me working on!

    1. Reply


      Oh yes, homeschooling is about kids learning, but unschooling is about everyone learning, adults included. Our example of learning is so important. Our kids have to see us involved with our interests. (This is also good for us!) It sounds like you enjoy sharing your interests with your children!

  2. Reply

    If anybody ever say that unschooling is the way of lazy people, I’ll send them here to read these posts!

    1. Reply


      Your words made me smile. Thank you!

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