How Unschooling is About Being Connected With Our Kids

Some parenting ideas seem to make a lot of sense. For example, children have far less life experience than parents, so we are in a better position than them when it comes to decision making. If we give our kids too much freedom, they might make poor choices. Some mistakes might not be significant, but what about those that affect their futures? Surely, a responsible parent will tell her kids what they should be doing? And many parents do exactly that because they love their kids, care about them, and want to do their best for them.

But, of course, if we are unschooling, we don’t tell our kids what to do. Instead, we trust.  We trust they will make the right choices. We trust they will learn what they need to know. We trust they will get where they want to go. Are we irresponsible, side-stepping our parental duty?

We might be if we just step back and say, “Do what you like. I trust you will make the right choices.” There is more to unschooling than that. We can’t be uninvolved. Our kids need our guidance and help.

In this week’s podcast, episode 91, I talk about how we need to be connected with our kids if we want to pass on such things as our values, our sense of right and wrong. We need to be connected with them if we’d like them to listen to us. We need to be connected so we know when to offer help and how to do that in the best way. But how do we become connected?

I also discuss the following questions:

  • Why am I reluctant to ask people to review my children’s novels?
  • Do parents have to be perfect or is there something more important than perfection?
  • What is a family?
  • Is my new podcast series idea a good one? Perhaps it’s ridiculous!

I tell lots of stories along the way:

  • Why did I regret crying during a school film?
  • Did my husband Andy become a singing superstar with his very own backing group?
  • Did I used to be a good surgical assistant or did I quake in my boots every time I was asked to help?

Show Notes

My children’s novels

My Amazon Author Page


Facebook Page

Imogen and Andy singing Loch Lomond

Blog Posts

Imogen and Andy Elvis Presley

Sheep, Surgery, and Confident Sons


Episode 7: Unschooling Children, a School Teacher Father, and Tea

Episode 10: Should a Child Be Given the Freedom to Choose

Episode 21: Being Honest, Talking About Mistakes and Perfection


How Children Learn Right From Wrong by Dr Laura Markham

So I’m wondering… Do you share an interest with each of your children? Do you ever tell them stories of your experiences, including your mistakes? And what do you think of Elvis Presley? Perhaps like me, you don’t actually know much about his music!

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    • Anna Vaschina
    • April 2, 2017

    A great idea to go over old posts. It would be helpful to learn how you have progressed. Were you ever so unsure you were doing the right thing?

    Love you life stories.

    1. Reply


      Yes, there have been times when I’ve questioned what I’m doing. Even now I have an odd day when I wonder if I should be doing something different. Hard to admit because this is probably not what everyone wants to hear. But I think that it’s quite okay to have low days when we question things. Unschooling isn’t a magic solution. It’s life and life can be difficult. It’s the hard times that deepen our trust. We question, mull things over, and then we pick ourselves back up and go forward again, stronger than before, trusting we are on the right pathway. I guess trust isn’t worth much if we are only willing to trust when life is good. Things always work out which is just as well because when I look around at the alternatives, I realise we don’t have anywhere else to go!

      Thank you for your feedback. I will share some of my old posts. I’m glad you enjoy my stories!

        • Anna Vaschina
        • April 4, 2017

        Thank you Sue! I couldn’t put a price on the wisdom you have to share, it’s priceless.
        The story of how Charlotte had a quiet time, didn’t feel inspired but then things turned around and she did. What an important story to tell because this must be common and yet a bit unsettling when you are going through it.

        1. Reply


          It’s good to share our experiences and reassure each other. Oh yes, it can be worrying when our children don’t seem to be interested in anything in particular. After going through this situation a few times, I know that quiet times do come to an end. I have quiet times of my own. They seem like they are never going to end, and then one day, I suddenly feel alive again. I get an idea and can’t wait to begin working on it. Maybe quiet times are essential. Good things are happening even if we are unaware of it at the time!

    • Nancy Saffield
    • April 5, 2017

    Hi Sue, it’s always so delightful to read your post. You are very transparent and very honest and I certainly appreciate that. My children enjoy walking with me. I walk daily. Particularly Nathan but Emily is getting in on it as well. We have a trail about 10 minutes from our home called the B&A Trail and we enjoy walking that. We have some of our best unschooling discussions and observations during those walks Nathan and I.

    • Nancy Saffield
    • April 5, 2017

    God bless you and your lovely family Sue.

    1. Reply


      I also love walking with my kids! Yes, it’s a great time to talk about ideas and observations, I do agree. Many of my blog posts are a result of walks with Sophie. How lovely that you have a trail close to home!

      It is easy to be transparent and honest when I have kind and accepting friends. Thank you for listening to my podcasts as well as stopping by to say hello. I always enjoy chatting with you.

      May God bless you and your family too!

    • Alissa
    • April 10, 2017

    I think some older posts would be nice as my oldest is just 12 so younger unschooling stories would be helpful for me.

    1. Reply


      Thank you for the feedback. I have recorded two podcasts with older posts. I shall publish the first one on Friday. I hope you enjoy it!

  1. Reply

    “Lack of confidence” is my middle name but some seasons I rename myself “fake it until you make it”. I find when I let go of all concern for comparison I can just be “Kim”. Thank you for your podcasts!

    1. Reply


      It’s easier not to worry about what other people think when it’s something like blogging or podcasting which they can either take or leave. I have more problems when I’m asking someone to buy something I’ve produced. What if they don’t like it when I’ve taken their money? I guess I should still have confidence in what I have created. We’re never going to please everyone but that doesn’t mean what we have made isn’t good. I’ll have to try faking it until I make it too! Thank you for sharing your own experience!

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