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!

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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.

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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.

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unschooling freedom fireflies krystal trammell

Fireflies & Freedom

I love that my daughter can catch fireflies barefoot in our yard.

No worries about tests or grades, no cares about what day it is, no needing to rush thru an exploratory afternoon-turned-evening to get ready for school tomorrow..

My children are learning organically, realistically, without arbitrary force or pressures in their worlds. Instead of memorizing math facts and war dates, they’re learning the rhythms of nature. They are increasingly able to notice the turning of the seasons, the blooming of the spring flowers turning to seed, the timing of the fireflies’ moments of dance. Continue reading

Egg Ideas for Easter, Ostara & Spring

Next week it will officially be Springtime!  In our house, we celebrate Ostara, or the Vernal Equinox–most commonly known as the First Day of Spring.

In Greek myth, this is the day where the Goddess Persephone returns from her six-month stay in the Underworld to rejoin her mother, Demeter–and her joy brings forth the crops and bounty of the Earth.  Springtime–and Easter–are traditional celebrations of fertility, and so the egg is an obvious symbol.  Sprouted seeds are another symbol that we tend to include–especially since we’ve started keeping a vegetable garden.

There’s lots of things that you can color eggs with besides conventional (chemical!) store-bought dyes.  Also, you can celebrate with egg symbols without actually using or eating eggs.  Here are a few ideas I’ve tried:

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Success and the Myth of Grades

This article also appears on TheHomestead.Guru, titled as “Getting Good Grades is Meaningless”


Hold on–I’m about to disappoint all you high-achievers…but good grades are no measure of intelligence.

More importantly, good grades also don’t actually have any bearing on one’s success.

School does influence one’s real-world success–but not in the ways that one would hope.

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Evolution of a Homeschool Family–One Year Ago…

I wrote this about a year ago (in 2012), at the end of one of my more zealous attempts at “traditional” homeschooling.

>> I got divorced back in 2007, when I had just two children–but it took me many years….YEARS…to feel safe enough and strong enough to raise my two older children in the ways that I knew were right for them, without the influence of their dad.

I was so worried, for so long, that my ex would somehow interfere and make our lives hell. I no longer live with that kind of fear.

I found it amusing and wonderful to realize how far we’ve come since then.

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