what do unshcoolers believe

What Do Unschoolers Believe? Unschooling, Defined.

Unschooling, defined? How we’re different:

Unschoolers believe similar broad concepts about the nature of children and of learning, that set us slightly apart from other people. There are plenty of unschoolers who may disagree on some of the finer points, but the core beliefs are, in my opinion, fairly common ground:

Unschoolers believe strongly in the innate capabilities and curiosity of the human spirit from birth.

Firstly, we do not see children as inferior to adults (that’s adultism, FYI).

We strive to treat people of all ages as primarily competent, well-intentioned individuals who possess sufficient internal motivation and drive to learn and grow throughout life.

In short, unschoolers believe positive, life-affirming things about human nature, and we have (or cultivate) a large amount of trust in our children as people.

We respect and honor our children’s feelings, needs, and capabilities as much as is feasible (note that I didn’t say convenient, here). We strive to balance our kids’ legitimate needs and wants with the needs and desires of everyone in the family.

This cooperative living approach is subtly different from being “child-led”–but it’s crucial to grasp. I’ve been unschooling since 2004, and our style has evolved as we (and our kids) have grown.

Personally, I believe child-led parenting and education can, over time, create an environment in which the parents experience burnout and resentment.

This happens when parent(s) are so zealous in their efforts to honor and respect their child’s autonomy and preferences, that they sometimes go too far the other way and forget to tend to their own needs. Parents may forget that they too deserve enjoyment and breaks, and need compassion when they make mistakes.

We do not use punishment to try to control our children, and we strive to create an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual respect in our homes and families.

Of course, we’re human, and sometimes we yell or lose our tempers. So do our kids.

But when we’ve overreacted or are wrong, we apologize and make amends. Everyone in the family is deserving of mutual respect, and we work daily on facilitating cooperation, understanding, and empathy between ALL family members.

Unschoolers believe that absolutely everything–every interest and experience–has some inherent value.

We don’t have to artificially try to make things “educational”, and it’s kind of annoying to see other homeschoolers rushing around to dress up everything as a “learning opportunity”.

We know that learning happens best when it’s not confined to a classroom or a book. We recognize that it’s impossible to refrain from learning, even when we try!

Unschoolers believe that the desire to learn is nearly insatiable, inherent in a child’s being, and if left to develop naturally (without the use of coercion, punishments, bribery, grades, gold stars, and the like), it will flourish and continue throughout one’s life.

Unschoolers believe that grades and rewards dampen one’s internal motivation to learn for the sake of wanting or needing to know.

Unschooler believe that dividing life up into subjects – and then labeling some of those subjects as universally important to know, and others as trivial or irrelevant – is a terrible disruption and hindrance to the natural flow of learning. The Finns already know this, by the way. 

The end goal of unschooling is to raise adult humans who are “successful” in the sense that they have the tools necessary to make their way in the world, of course. But there’s a deeper meaning of success that’s also applied here, versus what’s applied to society in general.

Unschoolers are more likely to measure success in non-quantifiable terms.

We strive to give our kids the tools and the opportunities to be freethinkers. To carve out their own destinies instead of being bound by expectations or someone else’s life plans for them.

Unschoolers can and do “schoolwork”, and they can and do go to college and beyond–if they desire to.

Unschoolers have also experienced parental trust often enough, that trusting themselves comes naturally.

They have been able to experiment and follow the threads of their interests without coercion, manipulation or grades. Those interests are more likely to lead to consuming passions and an expertise with a unique and marketable skill set.

By young adulthood, many unschoolers are in the uncommon position of being able to create abundance by following the natural flow of their passions, having the boundless enthusiasm to learn new skills, and honing skills they already possess.

So when we talk about unschooling, we’re not talking about ignoring our kids or letting them fend for themselves.

Quite the opposite actually–unschooling requires a deep commitment and consistency of interaction with our kids in order to work well and feel functional for both parents and children.

We’re also not going for Lord of the Flies-style role reversal, where kids are the tyrannical authorities and parents helplessly follow in their wake.

Unschooling is about prioritizing cooperation, connection, and empathy within families.

Learning how to read, write, and do math are all simply bonus results that occur in the process.

In short – unschoolers believe in the resilience of human nature and the capability of the human mind. Do you?

why I almost didn't join dōTERRA

Why I almost didn’t join dōTERRA

Why I almost didn’t join dōTERRA

Wow, what a ride it’s been.

Over the past 9 months (!), I have unraveled the deceptive practices of one essential oils company and researched a ton of other ones.

I almost didn’t join dōTERRA, and I was even ready to toss out the entire MLM concept altogether.

Only recently did I came to a decision I feel fully at peace with!

Where it all started…

Back in December 2017, I wrote an article on my relatively new and quiet website, explaining why I decided to leave the essential oils company I’d wholeheartedly invested in for the past three years.

The article was more of a document for myself than anything. I was wholly unprepared for the huge response that my heartfelt sharing would generate!

I was simply writing an explanation for my downline, and also to make sense of the betrayal and frustration I felt. Continue reading

What Money Really Is: An Amplifier & Lubricant

Originally published by Krystal Trammell on Steemit

Money is not evil, it’s not corruption, and it’s not actually something that changes people.

Money is simply a CURRENCY–like water in a stream.

It flows with ease and gentleness wherever it’s not blocked off.

It can also rush through like a torrent of destruction, tearing apart the landscape around it with zero remorse.


(Some folks have more pebbles in their pond than others, and MANY have boulders and sediment that have diverted the flow for generations…)

It can shape beautiful and grand landscapes….over time.

But wait–how can money be an AMPLIFIER?

If you are one of those who think that, “If only I had more money, I would….”

  • eat healthier!
  • do yoga every morning!
  • donate to charities!
  • feed the hungry!
  • treat my family better!

You are lying to yourself, dear one. Continue reading

Why I LEFT Young Living Essential Oils – The Truth Is Out

This may come as a shock, but as of August 2017, I’ve cancelled my membership with Young Living.

The evidence just keeps mounting against Young Living as a company. I’m embarrassed and saddened that I promoted their products for over 3 years.

Please allow me to explain why…

(This will take a few minutes to do it justice…bear with me)

Young Living’s oils have been transformational in our lives and health. I still believe that Young Living’s oils are better than grocery-store or discount oils…but they’ve broken my trust, and there’s no coming back from that.

I no longer believe Young Living’s oils to be the best on the market. It’s come to light that they’re NOT as committed to sustainable and ethical practices as they claim to be.

I’ve personally always felt a nagging suspicion that there’s been something “off” about their products and company. Call it intuition (I unwisely ignored it).

Continue reading

Can you Unschool a Toddler?

Is unschooling just for younger kids?

It might seem that way to some folks.. There’s lots of people I meet who have a toddler and an infant, or perhaps a 3.5 yr old child, who are interested in unschooling–which is fantastic!

I’m always really glad to see parents of younger kids who are already questioning the status quo.

Maybe they’re even ruffling a few feathers in their social circles because their kiddo’s not on a waitlist for daycare, or registered for soccer, ballet, and three other kinds of lessons/classes/activities.

I think many folks approach unschooling from the attachment parenting perspective, where you’re listening to your child’s cues and looking for opportunities to invite them to try new things, instead of forcing independence on them like a shoe that doesn’t quite fit yet.

I’ve seen parents of 18-month olds saying, we’re unschooling!

Continue reading

that one time I thought I’d get to be homeschooled.

I remember asking my parents about how many years I would have to go to school.  

They were always reticent to answer…saying that after elementary school was middle school, and then more levels of school–junior high, highschool, etc.  I felt so frustrated, and so eager to grow up and call my own shots properly.

I must have pestered them pretty hard about it, because they told me all kids had to go to school, that not going to school was illegal and they’d get thrown in jail, end of story.

FINE. Continue reading

why there aren’t more lifelong unschoolers.

Where are the lifelong unschoolers? Why don’t we see more teen unschoolers?  What happens to all the unschooling communities, where the groups of little kids far outnumber the lifelong unschoolers in the group? If it works so well, why aren’t more people doing it for longer?

Every fall, it seems that in the whirlwind that is public schooling, a few more brave souls are swept up into it…either because of pressures from concerned (possibly meddling) family and friends, financial stresses, lack of adequate #childcare, or just#overwhelm.

Our tribes are so diffuse, our individual resources are concentrated in ways that do not support us in doing what we believe is best for our individual children. Continue reading

Unschooling Is…

This post is about unschooling, which is not to be confused with;

  1. how to pleasantly coerce your child to do schoolwork
  2. how to get your kids to do schoolwork on their own
  3. how to make schoolwork more fun

It IS about unpacking our beliefs about how learning happens, what’s good for kids and adults, and what’s really important in our lives as parents who want to raise happy, functional adults.

Continue reading

Unschooled 6 Year Old Writes Poetry

My now-teenage daughter wrote this when she was 6, almost two years before she knew how to read.

Invented spelling is a THING, y’all.

This child is growing up to have impeccable grammar and spelling, and reads and writes more prolifically (and with more enjoyment) than any schooled child I’ve met.  She has yet to have a single grammar or spelling lesson. Continue reading

On College and Worthlessness (2008 musings)

I wrote this in Fall of 2008, when I was in college, and still believed that college was a worthwhile pursuit.  Also, I had an aversion to capitalizing anything back then.  #sorrynotsorry

college is where people go to find themselves. discover things they are passionate about. learn about the things they are interested it, learn about What they are interested in…

it’s sad that college has devolved into almost a bare necessity for anyone who wants to make above minimum wage.

Continue reading