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

Unschooling 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.

If you're new to the concept of unschooling, expect it to challenge your current beliefs - perhaps a lot. Perhaps for a long time.

Unschooling is not something you read about, learn, and implement in the course of one day or week or month.

It takes years to really "get it", and it'll be a continual exercise in expanding your trust and confidence in your child.

Sometimes they'll do things that make you nervous, and instead of reacting out of fear or worry - unschooling gives you a different set of tools to process your experiences.

It invites you to look at your child from a different perspective - to assume that your child is not an empty vessel, but that his interests and tendencies are worthwhile, and even educational.

Unschooling invites you to consider the possibility that everything is educational.

Learning happens as effortlessly as breathing, without carrots and sticks, without gold stars or threats.

Learning is LIFE, and it's impossible to separate the two.

Unschooling is legal in all 50 states, and it's not new--there are plenty of grown unschoolers who are now parents themselves.

It's not hands-off parenting, and it's not child-led learning either.

Unschooling done right can be an intensive, emotionally demanding style of parenting.

Unschoolers tend to spend more time, not less, with their children - although that time may look very different from a traditional homeschool family's time spent together.

Unschooling is neither parent-led nor child-led. Rather, it's cooperative, collaborative, and dynamic, ever-changing as the needs of both parent, child, and/or siblings shift.

Everyone's needs, desires, and preferences are taken seriously - instead of the parent's (or the children's!) always taking precedence.

Unschooling can be a life-changer, a massive paradigm shift, and an invitation to have closer, more authentic relationships within your family.

It's challenging, intense, fun, exasperating - and SO worth the effort.

Growth and change don't happen overnight, but they do happen.