I republished this post after reverting it to draft. I have doubts I expressed my thoughts properly. My intention was to encourage parents, who are thinking about unschooling, not to be put off by claims it’s a lazy way of life. I fear I was defensive rather than encouraging. Even if the post isn’t well worded, you might like to read the interesting comments!
Unschooling parents are too lazy to plan their children’s education. They just let their kids do whatever they like. It’s criminal. They’re neglecting their children’s education… Or so say the critics. It won’t take you long to find such opinions if you do a bit of googling.
I hate stumbling over sites which are full of misconceived ideas about unschooling. The words are usually highly emotive, even rude. The writers don’t present any real evidence to back up their words. Oh yes, someone may know of a wild and undisciplined family who unschool. But we all come across such people at one time or another, and they certainly don’t all unschool.
I wonder why people get so worked up about unschooling? It’s not as if we are forcing others to adopt our way of doing things. Can’t we just respect each other’s way of life? Maybe some people feel so outraged at the thought of parents neglecting their children, they think they have the right to point the finger and make a fuss about it. I wouldn’t mind that if they did it in an informed way. Perhaps if they found out exactly what unschooling is before sitting at the keyboard and writing such highly charged accusations, they just might find out they are wrong.
Yes, they are wrong. Unschooling is not a lazy way of life. I know this because I live that kind of life. It is true I don’t spend hours and hours making elaborate plans that will hopefully answer all the needs of my children’s education, and I don’t spend further time making sure my children learn according to that plan. But I do spend most of my day with my children, listening, helping, learning, chatting, discussing, playing, loving… discovering and responding to their needs, and at the same time trying to be a good example of everything for them. That can be hard!
Although I do have my own work, my children come first. I don’t say, “Go off and do what you like,” and then get on with my own life. And when other mothers might look at the clock and say, “School’s over!” indicating learning is over for the day, I’m still going. Unschooling is all about life. And life means 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
I’m still going? I’m not saying life with my children is a chore. Oh no! I love our amazing life. And there are quiet periods in each day. All mothers need these. (Children do too.) Yes, I have time for myself. But that’s not being lazy.
There is only so much I can say in a short post. If you are unschooling, you will know exactly what I’m getting at without me writing anything extra. If you are at the investigating stage, I invite you to browse a few of my stories. I’m sure you will soon discover we live a rich, satisfying, full unschooling life where everyone – parents included – works hard, helping each other, as well as learning.
A few months ago, I recorded a podcast discussing the topic of laziness and unschooling parents. It’s called Mothers, Unschooling and a Lazy Way of Life. If you’d like to find out more about what I do each day, please feel welcome to listen.
So is unschooling a lazy way of life? It’s definitely not. Those people who say it is, are misinformed!